Why I chant
Why do I Chant?
I remember the first time I was exposed to chanting Sanskrit words in my Yoga Teacher Training in Denver, Colorado.
After the guided yoga class all the students set up cushions facing an older, wise woman with a large box-looking thing that created music (later on we would discover the name: harmonium).
She was dressed in all white and came off very serious as she spoke about the significance of the chants.
When it started, so did all my judgmental thoughts. “Am I joining a cult?” “Who are they worshipping?” “Do these people actually believe blue Gods exist?”
In all my judgments my body tensed up and I completely restricted myself from partaking in the chanting.
During this time in my life, I defined myself as Christian--I felt it was “against” my religion to worship these other deities I knew nothing about.
After I left our chanting session, I noticed just by sitting in the room, how incredible the energy in my body felt, how my awareness expanded and how my heart felt more open, yet in my mind this was conflicting.
I was feeling a sense of guilt and confusion for having such positive effects.
I wasn’t sure whether to stay in the training, but there was a soft, gentle voice suggesting it would be a fantastic idea to guide me into living a more Mindful life.
After contemplations, discussions with friends, and listening to my heart I returned back to the next chanting gathering at the yoga studio.
This time I stepped out of my ego and followed along with my fellow students as they chanted in Sanskrit.
I realized while I was chanting that it felt so similar to worship at the church I was attending. But secretly... a little more enjoyable.
I allowed myself to really get into it and I quickly caught onto the repetitive Sanskrit words like, “Om Namah Shivaya.” Which means ‘I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.”
Honoring the light and truth within ourselves and one another.
Holding these beautiful intentions as I praised and celebrated life, I realized that I judged this experience because it was different and it challenged me.
So I labeled it as being “Wrong.” When actually from that moment on, I started living the life that I always dreamed of deep within my heart--getting out of my thoughts and becoming more focused on the existence of my soul.
As I continued in this training I opened up my previously programmed mind and learned more and more chants. Some of which I couldn’t remember the meaning of the words, but as the words came out of my mouth I felt gratitude, inner peace, and compassion.
I realized that the mind wants definitions to comprehend a practice, but the heart trusts. And with positive intentions, it actually doesn’t matter.
It is not so much about the practice itself or the product or the words, it is more about the intention within the action.
For our curious scientific minds, there is actually evidence behind how chanting positively affects your life.
Chanting increases your energy levels and heightens oxytocin levels. It brings you into a deeply relaxed state. It opens your heart to have more compassion for others. Read more on ways to Increase your Oxytocin
Chanting actually affects your HRV (Heart Rate Variability), your attention span increases, and it activates your Vagus Nerve.
From the vibration of the chanting, you are actually engaging the Vagus Nerve along with all of the organs it is attached to.
Why is the Vagus Nerve important?
Do you know what the longest nerve in the body is?
That’s okay. I didn’t know until I became a massage therapist and started learning about our homes (“bodies which we reside in”).
To book an appointment, click here: http://www.kamboja-healing.com/bodywork/
The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body! It originates in the brain and connects to the stomach, heart, lungs and several more very important organs.
What happens if our vagus nerve is not functioning correctly?
Brain fog, anxiety, addiction, fainting, mood disorders, digestion problems, seizures, high blood pressure, depression--just to name a few.
This nerve is in charge of the functions of our body that we are not consciously directing. Imagine if we had to do the work to activate our lungs to breathe or to keep our hearts beating.Click here to read more about the Vagus Nerve
Have you ever heard of Karoshi? This is a term used in Japan which is defined as death from overworking. Click here to read more on Karoshi
Japan has the highest rate of the population that experience high stress. And guess which country follows after Japan with this karoshi epidemic? The United States.
We are constantly functioning in fight or flight--sympathetic mode. Our nervous system doesn’t know the difference between the stress you feel from working 60 hrs/week at the office than being chased by a jaguar in the jungle.
The body cortisol levels are being heightened more and more in each individual on a daily basis.
So what does this have to do with the vagus nerve?
The vagus nerve is a big factor of the parasympathetic state--where we let go of stress, and which we feel a sense of safety and a relaxed state of mind.
Thus far on my journey, I realize that the majority of my big life decisions are based around that soft and gentle voice called my intuition.
I trust that and I don’t need scientific evidence as much as others may.
But I have come to a place where I find beauty in both the feminine way of trusting your inner guidance system and the masculine of doing research to share concrete studies and facts.
Once I completed my yoga teacher training, I was guided to a Hare Krishna temple not far from the studio.
I arrived one evening by an invitation from a fellow curious spiritual seeker. There were monks sitting on the ground dressed in orange robes and chanting Hare Krishna.
My eyes widened and my curiosity was oozing out of me. I enjoyed myself fully in partaking in the chanting and laid out all my questions for the monks. They were pleased to have me and answer any questions I had.
I would go back to this temple every Thursday evening and chant along with these kindred spirits that were there for the same reasons I was.
To feel good inside and out and live a more positive life.
I remember as I was driving to the temple one evening I felt cramping in my stomach from eating gluten. (I didn’t realize at the time, the sensitivities I had.)
Once I arrived, after 15 minutes of chanting, my stomach felt completely cured. It was incredible.
And I didn’t realize the science behind it at the time. I now understand that by chanting I am engaging the vagus nerve which is connected to my digestion.
This journey into chanting will change your life for the better. Whether you come from organized religion or don’t believe in a higher being. It is all about the intention you set within the words.
There are many chants available online which have different focuses. From wanting to attract a spiritual partner, to drawing in more abundance in your life, to just wanting to learn how to love more deeply.
I have been reading books by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, whom is the master at Sanskrit chants and goes into depth on what each chant may represent.
I have also been incorporating chanting into my intuitive phone sessions with people and prescribe them with correct chants that will help guide them through challenging times.
Please reach out anytime with questions or concerns. I am so excited to see these transformations in your life.
You may not be in complete control of your life, but you can choose how you would like to feel amidst the journey.
Choose happiness over anger, choose light over dark; choose love over fear.