“As the body becomes steady and at ease, the breath begins to come under control, the mind begins to experience peace and the journey to our true self begins…”

Namaste Brisbane !!!

Ashtanga Yoga in Drewvale, South of Brisbane

Welcome to M Yoga..I invite you to join me on this journey.

M Yoga is a home based yoga center which helps you practice yoga in the most beneficial way in an intimate and supportive environment. With each class limited to only seven persons, I will be able to give personal attention and guidance making this center a very special and warm place to come to.

Each week, I focus on additional fundamentals of yoga postures or asanas, pranayama which are the breathing techniques and relaxation techniques that can be used in your yoga practice in and out of class.

Daily sessions of yoga classes are arranged at different times on weekdays, and a morning session on weekends.

Please don’t forget to check out the yoga-classes and timetable while you’re here.

Each session is limited to 7 places so do email or call to sign up now and secure your spot.

I would love to see you at M yoga.


Thoppu-karanam or Super Brain Yoga

"Thoppu Karanam" - is a Tamil (a South Indian Language) word, which means to hold the ears. From ancient times this practice has been evident in the Indian Culture, where people practice this in front of the image of the Lord Ganapathy (a symbolic representation of supreme energy in the form of an elephant which actually signifies wisdom. Thus also connected with the brain. "Ga"  representing Intelligence, "Na" representing Wisdom and "Pathy" representing - Master, so ideally meaning the Master of Wisdom and Intelligence). It is said that this practice is a request to stimulate the wisdom and intelligence. It is also said that the practice has been evident in the ancient Gurukula Systems, where the seers asked their pupils to practice this technique in order to stimulate and energize the brain and its functions. The practice of ear piercing too has its real reasons being the stimulation of the pituitary and pineal glands, due to the effect of the pressure in the ear lobes.
Today this practice has been re invented by some enthusiasts and is promoted in many parts of the world as "Super Brain Yoga" and more and more people are taking to it. 
Dr. Eric Robins, a medical doctor in Los Angeles, calls it “a fast, simple, drug-free method of increasing mental energy” and prescribes it for his patients. He speaks of one student who raised his grades from C’s to A’s in the space of one semester. 
Occupational therapist Raina Koturba says the effect on one autistic seven-year-old boy was immediate and dramatic. Before learning the exercise, the boy had frequent episodes of violence, including kicking, biting, punching, and head-butting; “but since he started the exercise, he has not had one outburst.” 
Denise Peak, a high-school teacher of students with learning disabilities, including autism and Aspergers Syndrome, has had very encouraging results. She says, “I think this might be the key to help unlock these children.” 
Yale neurobiology researcher Dr. Eugenius Yang, Jr. says the practice stimulates neural pathways in the brain by activating acupuncture points on the earlobes–and synchronizes the right and left hemispheres of the brain, as demonstrated by EEG (electroencephalograph) scans. “I do it every day,” he said. He has prescribed this for patients with Alzheimer’s and children with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
In Eastern medicine the outer portion of the ear is viewed as a microsystem representing the entire body. According to Dr. Paul Nogier MD, a neurologist, the ear corresponds to an inverted fetus curled in the womb. Points on the ear correspond with specific areas of  the body, and the ear lobe corresponds to the head.  Consequently, massage of these points can produce therapeutic benefits to the brain.

The Practice: 

When to do: Preferably in the early morning, facing the east (the sun). But if this is not possible, practice this anytime at your convenience.
Step 1 (Starting position): Stand with your feet pointing ahead, about shoulder width apart. It would a good practice to press the tongue firmly into the roof of the mouth.
Step 2: Place your left hand on your right ear lobe, thumb on the front of the lobe with fingernail facing outward and index finger behind the ear lobe. The right ear lobe represents the left brain. When you hold the right ear lobe in this manner, you energize and activate the left brain and pituitary gland.
Step 3: Place your right hand on your left ear lobe, so that your thumb is on the front of the lobe facing outward. The left ear lobe represents the right brain. Holding the left ear lobe this way energizes and activates the right brain and the pineal gland.
Step 4 Press both earlobes simultaneously, making sure your left arm is inside your right.
Step 5: Pressing into the earlobes in this manner, inhaling through the nose, squat down as fully as you can, keeping your back straight. 
Exhale through the mouth as you come up.
Repeat this for at least 10 to 12 rounds to start off with and gradually increase this practice to about 15 minutes at your own pace.

..enjoy your practice..

Our Search For Lasting Happiness - by Sri M (Final Part)

The next question is – "Is there a difference between meditation and introspection?"
The word meditation is very very loaded. I’d say that when I use the word meditation it includes the word introspection. You can’t meditate without introspection  Now when I say Introspection, it means give complete attention to something. To an idea or to a  form or to an icon or to an image or even to a sound.
To give complete attention or what you call 'shraddha' is known as introspection, which means one is exclusively thinking and unraveling the different layers of one’s own mind.
This requires a great deal of attention and attention comes through meditation. So that’s what I mean by meditation.
The process by which, one pointed attention is developed, I am deliberately not using the word concentration because usually what people think of concentration is that you strain and try to fix your attention on something. But one pointed attention means one is completely relaxed and yet fully alive and sensitive – so from this  point of view – there is really not much difference between meditation and introspection. Except that it is true meditation only when one is clear and not confused.
Now the next question - "Is it necessary to have a personal guru or a spiritual teacher to start meditation?"
This question has been asked a number of times and it’s a very important question. You can start meditation by reading a book or by listening to somebody or just yourself sitting down and looking at the river flowing by.
When I was a student, and was wandering in the Himalayas, with my Baba Ji (Master), one of the meditation practices he gave me was to sit quietly and watch the river as it flows.
In today’s world when you really find it difficult to choose a Guru – maybe it is a good idea to start meditating without a Guru. Don’t do anything complicated, just sit down quietly, relaxed and let your mind settle down first.
But,  there is a great advantage if you have a real teacher, a real spiritual teacher. I’m not talking about the spiritual teacher who is in the race of trying to collect disciples; I am talking about a person, a spiritual teacher who is seriously interested in leading one from confusion to understanding, from unhappiness to happiness and from uncertainty and illusion to reality. If one fortunately finds such a teacher and if one develops a relationship – a personal relationship with the teacher then it would certainly be a great advantage. There is a spiritual law. That when a person, an aspirant, a seeker, really and seriously searches for a spiritual teacher or longs for spiritual guide, a teacher appears. One does not have to run around the Himalayas looking for a teacher.
The question is, is one ready? Is one really serious, as one could get as one is trying to build up a bank balance.
Then there is the fourth question which is being asked, "I have tried meditation, but when I am alone, I only seem to dwell on my problems and cannot concentrate on anything else".
I have an answer for this, which is that you probably haven’t tried the right kind of meditation. The meditation that is suitable for you. Therefore, I would suggest that you sit down with a teacher, a spiritual teacher, quietly talk to this teacher, ask your question, and reveal your psychological make up to this person. Let the teacher explore your psyche and then give you the right kind of meditation. If that is done I am sure that you can meditate when you are alone.
Here is the last question – "I've started sadhna (spiritual practice) or meditation. How do I know that I am making progress?"
This is a very important question, I have been meditating for many years and am still the same. I have been meditating for so many years my heart is as it was. I have been meditating for so many years; I have no peace of mind. So if these are the questions, that you encounter … then you are definitely, not making progress.
So how do I know, if I am making progress in meditation?
First I am able to sit down quietly even if it for a short period, with my mind settled peacefully, without distraction. Fixing my attention on own inner self.
The moment, I sit down to meditate, I am able to cut off all the disturbances of the world and go deep within – quiet and calm. I am now able to deal with serious problems of life without getting upset or confused, or without fearing what is the solution or without the fear that I might not succeed in handling the problem.

I am now in tune with the whole of nature – with the rain, with the wind, with the clouds, with the earth. I can no longer hate. My mind is peaceful. In short, I am a better person now, than I was, before I started meditation.
If that is happening, then you are making progress. And, as one proceeds deeper and deeper into one’s practice – one begins to also be in tune and open up to dimensions which are usually unknown to the ordinary mind.

Our Search For Lasting Happiness - by Sri M (Part 3)

Continued from - Our Search For Lasting Happiness (Part 2) - by M 

Is ‘meditation’ or ‘sadhana’ (spiritual practice) essential for happiness? Is it necessary to meditate? Is being good or kind to others not enough to attain happiness?
First of all, I’d say, if you are happy, if you really are happy,if you are fulfilled, if you are happy within yourself, if you are independent of anything external and still exude happiness, then you don’t have to do Sadhana.
There is no necessity for doing sadhana because the very need for doing sadhana arises because one finds that one is not happy.
Even if he’s happy – the only problem is, if you look carefully enough – you’ll find that this happiness that you’re talking about is usually fleeting. It is not with us all the time. Therefore we think, it is essential to find that happiness and peace which is lasting and not fleeting. Only then one looks for sadhana.
All sadhana is not mere meditation.
Sadhana has to be complimented by one’s activity in the outside world. How one deals with other human beings and so on. That’s also an essential part of sadhana, not merely sitting with closed eyes and pretending to meditate.
In fact my master used to tell me that if you can sit down with closed eyes without moving for a full hour everyday and can do it for ten years in the same way and you don’t hear the crying of a hungry child in your neighbourhood, all your meditation has gone waste.
Which means meditation – the search for happiness – is successful or shall we say is most effective only when mind begins to change.That is essentially sadhana and meditation, not merely the mechanical practice of sitting down.
Of course there are meditation techniques that are practised to calm the mind and make one turn inward. But the real meaning of sadhana is to begin by wondering if there is an essential being in us? Our true consciousness – a spark of the divine! And if it is so, the same spark of the divine has also to be in all other human beings.
Therefore the true saadhak (spiritual aspirantnot only meditates in the way his Guru has taught him to, depending on his needs. He also begins to function in the world with the understanding, although weak in the beginning, that the divine spark which is in him, is also in all living beings.
And, therefore to serve, to help, to be kind is also a form of worship of that divine spark in other living beings. So kindness and doing good to others should go side by side along with one’s meditative practices. They are not against each other, rather they complement each other.
Now to the question, ‘Is being good to others not enough to attain happiness?’
I would say that if you really, by doing good to others, by recognizing the divine spark in others, if you really feel happy, then you are already an advanced soul who needs very little of any other kind of meditation. But if you look carefully enough , you see that this is not always so. Sometimes you are kind , sometimes you are not. You are not uniformly kind all the time.
Most of what we call kindness that takes place or is expressed – is only when we are not threatened or when we don’t feel that something is going to be taken away from us or that our rights are being trampled upon.
One must note that kindness doesn’t always mean giving something to somebody who is in need. Sometimes it is necessary to make the person who is in need to understand the need to stand on his/her feet and find out what he is looking for himself. That may sometimes require a little bit of unpleasantness. When the child who is not doing well is scolded by the mother or the father, it is not being unkind. It is kindness. So one has to be very careful when one defines in being kind. 
But I can tell you that anyone who meditates, anyone who’s moving towards the spiritual goal – by the very nature of one’s sadhana - becomes more kinder, more helpful. He does good to others and definitely at least not cause harm to others.
Most people are themselves not full of happiness. So what will they share with others? It is only when you are complete that you can give. When you are  not complete what will you give to others?

Therefore what  I mean by sadhana is first to find that completeness, which doesn’t mean that while you are trying to find that completeness, while you’re performing your sadhana, you should not be doing good to others. This is not what I mean. You should (do good) because that completes your meditation. If you have done one good deed and sat down and meditated, that day’s meditation is 100 times better than when you have caused harm to somebody.

As you go deeper and deeper into your sadhana, whatever be the sadhana , that’s taught to you personally by your personal teacher, you’ll find that you’re becoming not only happier, but also a kinder, more caring and a better person.
- To be continued

Our Search For Lasting Happiness - by M (Part 2)

Since we started with the understanding that happiness is found within, not without (outside), the search naturally has to be within. So the ‘Sadhana’ (spiritual practice) has to be turning inward; so from extroversion to introversion.
Now, believe me, this does not mean that the saadhak (spiritual aspirant or student) who turns within to find the truth which is its own self, neglects the world or runs away from it. This search for happiness, this search for one’s true identity or consciousness, is not reserved for renunciants or monks (sanyasis).
It’s for every human being, every human being like you and me who lives in this world, works for his living and who has a family, who cares for other human beings.
But, then the daily activities of the world are often distracting, so distracting, that to practice sadhana, one needs to find certain times, certain periods when one can sit in solitude and practice. Once one becomes an expert at it, it can be done anywhere in the world.
Now, this practice of sadhana is what is known generally as meditation. This meditation that we are talking about is not some kind of mumbo jumbo, done behind closed doors, it is merely a method taught to a student by a spiritual teacher who has himself practiced it and it is based on the kind of student. What stage he or she is in and how much he or she can practice regularly? 
Therefore, to study and understand this meditation which is called sadhana, requires contact between the teacher and the taught, between the student and the teacher.
There is no common formula by which millions of human beings can touch their inner self and find true happiness, because everyone is made differently – physically, mentally and psychologically.
Now, there are so many ways and so many methods of sadhana, depending upon the person’s background, personality and psychological makeup.
In this regard, I’d like to mention a great sage, teacher and saint, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who was the spiritual teacher of Swami Vivekananda. We are all familiar with Swami Vivekananda. He is well known and he was one of the first spiritual teachers from this country (India) to go west and speak about the Indian Philosophies and the practice of yoga.
Now, Ramakrishna Paramahansa had many disciples and each one he treated and taught in different ways and every one of them, at least most of them, turned out, at the end, to be sages in their own right. Not one technique was the same as the other. The approaches were different.
So what I mean to say is there has to be an contact between the teacher and the student so that the teacher can discover what kind of a student one is and teach accordingly, so that he may proceed at his own pace and come finally to one’s true inner self, which is the consciousness deep down in us which by its very nature is full of bliss.
Ancient Indian Texts in Sanskrit (the language of the seers)

The Vedas (a large body of texts originating in ancient India) have called it 'sat-chit-ananda', which is actually one word made of three syllables, which are sat – the truth, chit - consciousness and ananda – happiness. So slowly and gradually by the practice of sadhana, under the guidance of an expert teacher, the student moves inwards, goes deep within and realises that his very nature is happiness. He doesn’t have to look for it anywhere outside.
When this really happens, not theoretically but as an experiential thing, then one becomes a perfect yogi. Then one is ready to teach not before that. But the question often asked is, ‘If we take to the practise of sadhna, how can we work in this world and do we have to go away to a quiet cave and meditate to find the happiness that you are talking about?
It’s not true, although short periods of solitude are required. Ultimately one comes out of it and mixes with the world. If you go to the caves of the Himalayas and meditate for twelve years and say that I am free of anger and jealousy and all the emotions normally associated with undeveloped human minds, I really can’t be speaking the truth because there is no way to test it.
I can’t get angry with the cave, I can’t get upset or jealous with the grass growing outside. It’s only when I come out and get into a bus and somebody kicks me on my foot that I am able to find out if I am really free of anger, jealousy, so on and so forth.
So while it’s required to spend some period in solitude, especially in the beginning, Ramakrishna Parmahamsa used to say that in the beginning of the sadhana, one should protect oneself like the little sapling which is protected by surrounding it with a ring of thorny bushes, so that the cow doesn’t eat it up before it grows. But once it grows, there is no need of any such protection.
One can come back into this world and lead a life which is quite, to all intents and purposes, looking the same to others. Deep down, one is a changed person and the change which is within, that is absolute peace and happiness, is reflected in one’s dealings with the outside world. 
Now this process of finding one’s true self which is one’s true consciousness, which is happiness, unalloyed happiness, independent of anything of the outside world, this is what is meant by the spiritual journey.
So you would have understood by now that it’s not cut off from day to day living. In fact it complements day to day living. One who practices meditation and lives in this world will soon discover even the workings of this world or his relationship with this world or the way he functions in this world is much more perfect than it was before.
Now, one has to start somewhere and that starting point is not far away but right here and now. One can start with ten minutes of introspection daily and then slowly proceed to the more important and intricate aspects of meditation.
So now we can deal with what is meditation, what are the different kinds of meditation and so on and so forth. 
- To be continued 

Our Search For Lasting Happiness - by Sri M (Part 1)

We at M Yoga Center are happy to share with you the transcription of Sri M's talk on "Our Search for Eternal Happiness".


The question that has been asked for centuries is a question we ask even today. What are we searching for?
What is it that human beings look for? Search for? All the time we are working, looking for more, collecting things, trying to become – Now that’s the catch word – trying to become ‘what’?
I think, and this is not just my thought, it’s been what has been recorded in the ancient scriptures. This search, this constant search of the human being is for happiness. Happiness is one thing that all human beings – irrespective of caste, creed and religion – search for.
We search for happiness all our lives, in our own way, whatever we have – (as our) ideas of happiness. A child has his own idea of happiness. As we grow up, we have our own ideas of happiness and then we are middle aged and we have our own idea of happiness; and then we are retired and we have our own idea of happiness.
How much money should I have in the bank when I retire? How am I going to continue with my life and be happy and keep my luxuries still with me? And so on and so forth; we know the whole thing. This search for happiness leads us on, goads us on to live a life. The question is do we really find it? It has a very simple answer. Somebody says ‘Yes’ I can find it in this, somebody says I can find it in that. But if one finds it finally then why does one go on looking for it, searching for it constantly?
One answer suggests itself for this question which is perhaps – although we search for happiness all our lives in things external, thinking that by acquiring this or by acquiring that or having a big bank balance or a beautiful wife – you know the whole theme, so on and so forth – we will find happiness but it looks like we don’t.
We don’t find real happiness because we are not satisfied ever with anything that we have. Maybe there is satisfaction for a short time but in the long run we are still looking, searching, sometimes grabbing. The main thing is that the happiness we seek seems to evade us, seems to be so slippery that the moment we get hold of a little bit of happiness, we try to hold on to it with all our life. Why? Because we know that it is so rare and it can vanish at any time.
Now, suppose I have defined happiness as finding A or B or some such thing, I have found it. Okay! So I think I am happy, but deep down my subconscious mind knows that it is going to go away very soon. So what do I do? I try to hold on to it as fast and as firmly as I can, fearing that it might slip away! If I hold on to something and there is at the back of my mind the fear that it will slip away, where is the happiness now? There is insecurity.
Can insecurity produce happiness? Can I ever be happy wondering when this happiness is going to slip away from my mind? So this is not happiness really; so then I search again and the search continues endlessly. Mind you, I am not saying that we should not enjoy the little joys that we find in life day to day. Please do it. We should, because that’s the greatest, most wonderful  thing that the world can offer us. These little joys of life, but then also I think we should remember that the lasting happiness that we seek is not to be found outside oneself.
So the question is, If it can’t be found outside oneself, can it be found inside oneself? Is there some happiness in each of us which can be tapped? Is there a happiness which is independent of anything external? Is there some way by which we can remain happy deep inside us, fully satisfied and yet continue to live in this world and do the right thing?
The great books – the great scriptures of this country (India) – The Upanishads and the Vedas seem to suggest that there is a way to find lasting happiness within, which is independent of all external things; and the great sages who have experienced it are on record saying that ‘that’ happiness when it comes, is an ecstasy that is so beautiful and all embracing that you feel like sharing it with the entire humanity.
Then life becomes joyful. Every little thing is full of joy. The dew drop you find on the grass in the morning, the breeze that blows in quietly, bringing in the perfume of the jasmine, the smell of the earth after the first rains. The ice clad peaks of the distant mountain, the laughter of the child, the song of the peasant. Everything becomes the festival of joy and the root of it is within oneself.  It’s only when the inner being becomes full of joy that the world becomes full of joy.

Kabir Das
You must have heard of the great weaver, singer and saint called Kabir Das, who lived in Benares.  In one of the beautiful songs of Kabir, there is a beautiful example of man’s search for happiness – humankind’s search for happiness. He gives the example the musk deer. This musk deer whose habitat is usually the Himalayan regions, the foothills of the Himalayas, carries kasturi (musk) in a little bag just under its tail. In the breeding season, the musk exudes a lovely perfume which attracts the females. So Kabir Das says, when the season comes and the lovely perfume comes forth from under its tail, the poor deer goes around searching in the forest, trying to find the source from which this beautiful perfume is wafting in and he does not find it. Because he looks everywhere, except right under its tail. So there we are!
This is a perfect example. We search for happiness like the kasturi deer, all over the world, forgetting that happiness can be found within and only when it is found within, does one derive complete satisfaction that one is looking for.
There is a beautiful word in Sanskrit for completeness –‘poorna’. Upanishads say poorna which means fulfillment,  fullness, completeness, this is the essential characteristic of one’s essential being which is one’s  own consciousness, free of all distractions, which is called the ‘atman’. It is when this atman or the real self , which is the center and core of the consciousness of every human being is found, that one reaches the state of prefect happiness and realises that this is in every single living being, although untapped.
This center of our consciousness can’t be exclusive to anybody. All human beings have it deep down and that is the true consciousness. The process of finding it is what is known as ‘Sādhanā ‘. If there is something, there must be a way to find it. Its futile to say that there is no way to something, because if there is no way, it doesn't matter if it exists or it doesn't exist.  The Rishis (sages) have thankfully, fortunately for us, discovered that there is a way by which this happiness can be found, can be tapped. It can be taught and it can be shared with other human beings. 
(To be continued in subsequent parts).

The Anjali Mudra

Añjali Mudrā or Pranaam-asana is a hand gesture which has a deep meaning. It is used widely as a sign of respect and a greeting in India, and among the practioners of Yoga and similar traditions. This gesture forms a part of many of the yoga asanas (postures) as well.

In the Sanskrit language, Anjali means a "gesture of reverence", a " salutation" or a "benediction". Mudra means a "seal" or a "sign". 

This gesture is also known as the Atmanjali mudra meaning " reverence to the self seal" where atman refers to one's true self. It is also known as Hrydayanjali mudra meaning "reverence to the heart seal", where Hrday means the "heart".

The Anjali Mudra is executed by pressing the palms of the hands together, the fingers are together and the fingertips pointing upwards. The hands are pressed together firmly and evenly. 

What we see most commonly practiced today is that the hands are held together at the Anahata Chakra (heart center - the Fourth energy center) with the thumbs resting very lightly against the sternum. 

A not so common practice is where the gesture is performed at the Ajna Chakra ( the center between the eyebrows - the Sixth energy center), where the thumb tips rest againgt the "third eye" or even at the Sahasrara Chakra (the crown center - the Seventh energy center). 

Thus due to the sacredness of this gesture, it is used in the Indian greeting of "Namaste" or "Pranaam". It is used to greet and well as farewell and thank.

The vedic significance of this gesture suggests that the joining together of the palms subtly brings about a connection between the left and the right hemispheres of the brain and represents the "yoking" or unification. This union is a symbolic representation of the practioners' connection and link with the divine in all things and beings. Thus, when we perform the Anjali Mudra - we honour both our own self and the other and thereby acknowledge the divinity in both the practioner and the recepient.

At this juncture then it is indeed apt to reflect on the meaning of "Namaste" and what it truly stands for.  So when you say "Namaste" or use the gesture the next time you will have an idea of what this powerful word when uttered or gesture performed conveys:

The Sacred Sound - Part 2

Our Cells Respond to Sound

If sound can change substances, can it alter our interior landscape? Since patterns of vibration are ubiquitous in nature, what role do they play in creating and sustaining the cells of our own bodies? How do the vibrational patterns of a diseased body differ from the patterns the body emanates when it is healthy? And can we turn the unhealthy vibrations into healthy ones? While Dr. Jenny did not focus on the healing possibilities of sound and vibration, his work inspired many whose destiny it was to do just that.

Of those who did Fabien Maman is one such, who created a visually compelling evidence of the power of sound. Maman, a French composer, acupuncturist and bio-energetician, and Helene Grimal, a biologist, experimented with both healthy and cancer cells to see how they would respond to the voice and to various instruments. 

In his book The Role of Music in the Twenty-First Century, Maman reports that among the dramatic effects of sound they captured in their photographs was the progressive destabilization of the structure of cancer cells. Maman says that when he played sounds that progressed up the musical scale, the cancer cells eventually exploded.

Dr. Oliver Sacks who is a physician, a bestselling author and a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center has authored a book among many others called Musicophilia where he details the effects of music on one’s brain and how it can have a positive effect on people suffering from Dementia and various other brain disorders.

So the people who have researched into this field have enough reasons to indicate that various sounds have a huge impact on one's well being which takes us back into the times when the great sages chanted and taught the Mantras or simply the sacred chants which have known to have a great effect on the person's body, mind and spirit. This probably is one of the very reasons why this practice has been evident in so many of the traditions across the world. 

Mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation". When a mantra is chanted in rhythmic tone with ups and downs, it creates a melodious effect in the body. The constant repetition causes the production and spreading of curative chemicals in the brain. These curative chemicals then give a smoothening and curing effect in the body. Thus mantra chanting is no way a superstition. It can also be directly called as music therapy or mantra therapy in today’s world.

Many of the mantras that are known to mankind have been constructed in the Sanskrit language, which is the purest form of language that exists from the ancient times, having its origins in India.

The sounds are specially constructed to penetrate the analytical mind and affect our nervous system very directly. In this sense, they are a short cut, and are like spiritual pharmaceuticals that enter into our soul with palpable physiological effects. It is this capability that gives mantras the very specific therapeutic and spiritual properties that are missing in our everyday language.

Even if we don’t understand the meaning of the mantra, it tunes into our subconscious mind. Often we do not need to translate the meanings of the mantra, as they work their magic on a subtle level and not an intellectual level.

The phonetics of Sanskrit also creates the most effective mouth reflexology, but it is important to get the pronunciation right. So as we chant, we stimulate energy in the meridian centres of the mouth which then awaken dormant parts of the brain and circulate energy through the body. 

Due to the benefits seen modern doctors advise the people under high tension to sit and listen to music or mantras for few minutes. This has become an accepted procedure just like the yoga asanas (physical postures) and Pranayama practices (breath-work).

A research done by Alfred Tomatis of the French Academy of Science and Medicine found that chanting sounds have a therapeutic effect on the body. It soothes all our bodily systems and activates the body’s natural healing process. It also plays a part in reversing heart disease.

A study by Dr Alan Watkins [senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London] revealed that while chanting, our heart rate and blood pressure dip to its lowest in the day. Using chants as part of our exercise regimen, helps facilitate movement and flow of the body during exercise.

Neuro-scientist Marian Diamond from the University of California found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function. It also keeps our muscles and joints flexible for a long time. The body’s energy and vitality are augmented by regular chanting.

Dr Alan Watkins says when we chant, the vibration of the sound calms the nervous system and a profound sense of peace is obtained. It also de-stresses and facilitates better concentration and memory power.

According to Dr Watkins, chanting promotes a sense of well-being and helps us bond better with people around us, especially when practiced in a group. Chanting enhances our good virtues, by eliminating negative thoughts. It helps control our mind and emotions. Alfred Tomatis goes on to highlight that chanting aids in getting over addictions like smoking, alcohol and drugs.

Mantra tunes us into the universal life force energy – the prana - and we can direct the healing flow of prana to wherever it is needed in the body.

Thus when we chant we tap into universal consciousness, this fuels us to go beyond conditioning, beyond addictions, beyond illusions. “Chanting is a sort of ‘Divine therapy,’ a means of cleansing the soul of unwanted psychic residue, and a process that has corresponding physiological effects.

When the mantra resounds in every atom of our being , when every single nerve resonates with sound,  – we can then begin to tune into an inner sound current of ‘anahat’ meaning the ‘unstruck melody’.