About Me

Yoga changed my Life and it's just too good a thing to keep to myself! I have been practicing yoga since 1995 and am a certified yoga instructor. I teach a combination of classical Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow. My teaching style is safe, compassionate and challenging at the same time. I teach at a number of studios, and also offer private and group lessons!

In addition to my schedule, I post other writings here, about yoga and Life in general. For private or group lessons, contact me at: workofheartyoga@gmail.com .

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What is that thing April does at the end of class anyway?


I've been asked a number of times about the chant that I sing at the end of class sometimes. And some of my YMCA "regulars" even got a print out one special class of that little prayer. But I thought I would make the transliteration/translation available on my blog since some people seem to really like it.

Let me start by saying that when I first got into yoga, I didn't want to get into the whole "chanting" thing because it felt weird, a little goofy, and close to religious, which is something I have struggled with. However, when I started to read about the translations of some of these chants, I found them to be spiritually purposeful for me, and fairly universal in nature - meaning the opposite of exclusionary. That's why I sing some of them before or after my class, because it reminds me of my own intention, and to be honest, I like the way they sound and feel when I sing them. They fill me up like a glass of water does a thirsty person in the desert. Or at least that's the feeling I get.

However, I understand people's curiosity or hesitation about them. More to the point, I have no interest in being signed up for a particular religious belief or pushing one on anyone else. I'm the first to want to know what prayers are being made in my presence and to make sure if I sing along, or say them, that I'm not signing myself or anyone else up for a contract of which they are not a willing participant. Therefore, without further ado...

Closing class prayer:
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah
Sarve Bhadraani Pashyantu
Maa Kaschid Dukha Bhaag Bhavet
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

May happiness be unto all,
Perfect health be unto all,
May all see good in everyone (or all things auspicious)
May all be free from suffering.
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.
I bow to you (or I bow to the god in you.)

**I took this translation from a little booklet of Kirtan from Swami Satchidananda's Yogaville, copyright 1987. However, if you enter "closing slokas" in a google search, you'll find different variations of the transliteration and the actual English translation - but they all come pretty close to this one.

*A little known fact is that the salutation, "Namaste" is an acknowledgment or sign of deep respect.

So with that...

April KirkHart