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Thank you so much for being such a longtime, steady member at the IYI. Many people are unfamiliar with the "chanting" we use in our classes. Whenever a student first comes to us we send them a welcome letter with a link to our "New Student Kit," which includes a lot of useful information. This is always available to everyone as a link on our website's home page. One item in the Kit is "Answers to frequently asked questions." Let me share from that, hoping it will help some:
Q. I have been to other yoga classes and there is no chanting. Why do the Integral Yoga classes include chanting?
A. The use of sound is part of the traditional yoga practice. Yogis recognized what scientists
today have also come to acknowledge, that everything is composed of sound (or waves). Sound
is a very powerful force that can be used to affect all aspects of our being. The physical cells of
the body are impacted. The energetic levels are also cleared and strengthened by the use of
sound. The yogis developed an entire science of sound, Nada Yoga. We use sound in our classes
for a number of its benefits. It strengthens the endocrine system. It can quiet the mental state.
At the beginning of class, it helps you let go of whatever was happening before class and draws
the class into a group consciousness that allows everyone to benefit from one another's depth of
yogic awareness. This makes it easier to take the class experience to higher levels of practice.
This may not answer all of you questions, but might explain why we are including the work with sound in our classes. The chanting is usually done in Sanskrit. The chanting is mostly work with the actually sound syllables rather than trying to "say something." It is true that we close our classes with a traditional ancient closing, but we always also chant the translation, too. This might be considered "praying." We include it because yoga was initially created to help people come to an awareness of the fullness of their being, and we teach all of our classes with that same intention.
Please let us know if there is any more we can share to help you be more comfortable. Blessings.