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The Many Benefits of Chanting

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The Many Benefits of Chanting

“When you sing, you pray twice.” Saint Augustine

As yoga has grown and spread throughout the West, chanting the sacred Sanskrit words has spread right along with it. For many the uncertainty of the strange words and meaning of those words can cause one to hesitate before opening wide and letting the sound vibrations escape the mouth; for others it can be shyness to sing in the presence of other people. Chanting or singing your prayers, has been a vital part of worship in every religion world wide and it is done to soothe and quiet the mind, awaken spiritual energy and to heal the body.

The beauty of chanting is that there is not just one way, or one rhythm, but a broad spectrum of rhythmic patterns combining the sounds of the human voice with traditional instruments of a particular culture. The range of rhythms are as diverse as the chants of a Catholic mass to the tribal drums of the Native American Indians, the deep drone of Buddhist monks or the keening wail of women mourning the dead. Opening the mouth to chant allows us to open our heart and speak to Spirit in worship, in prayer or as a form of meditation.

Whether you are chanting in an ashram, yoga class, church, temple or mosque, you are affecting your body-mind by the sound vibrations that resonate throughout your body. According to research done by Alfred Tomatis of the French Academy of Science and Medicine chanting has a therapeutic effect on the individual by activating the body’s natural healing process. He recommends chanting as an aid for overcoming addictions such as smoking, drugs and alcohol.

Other research conducted by Dr. Alan Watkins of the Imperial College London, reveals that while chanting the heart rate slows and blood pressure lowers; and while just listening to other voices chanting the adrenalin and cholesterol levels in the body begin to normalize.

Living in a stress filled world many people are conditioned to seek release in mind altering substances or activities when the simple act of chanting can calm the nervous system relieving stress in the body-mind and replacing them with feelings of well-being and often times pure bliss.

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: brcleanse.blogspot.com and. To view her website go to www.deliaquigley.com

62 comments

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1:44AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Thanks

9:29PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

One of the reasons I love being Indian is because our Hindu practices are not only ancient, but they are so spiritual and healthy! How interesting that the word Hindu isn't mentioned in this article...that really needs to be fixed!!

4:40AM PST on Dec 21, 2011

Chanting and affirmations are very good for making positive changes.

7:21PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

very interesting, thanks for sharing this

9:22AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Chanting can be very powerful

8:21AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

I love chanting. I feel so calm and connected when I chant. My favorite chant is "Om mani padme hum".

1:52PM PST on Nov 17, 2011

I have heard awhile back of the great benefits of chanting. We chant everyday in our convent, and I like it very much. Also have yoga at a program I attend and find it very beneficial with the chant too

3:36AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

good read

11:27PM PST on Nov 9, 2011

I love the tibetan chants, some of them are on youtube or the internet, they have wonderful healing energy to listen to

11:23AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Chanting can be very powerful

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