It Started with ‘Om’


Of all the experiences I had on my ‘big trip’ to India, staying in an ashram in the remote Himalayas, it was the many hours of chanting which turned out to be the most lasting and transformative. Of course, the physically challenging yoga sessions changed my body, but the chanting enabled me to go further in meditation, bringing a sense of stillness I’d never felt before. On our first day we were given a book containing the various ‘prayers’ in Sanskrit (the language of ancient India) which would punctuate our daily rituals (meals, classes, even walks) and brought a deep significance to them which resonates even now.

When I started going to yoga ten years earlier, I’d haphazardly mouthed the word ‘om’, (known as the original mantra), but it was all a little ‘hippy dippy’ alien to me – specially combined with shyness and British reserve. Then I discovered Kundalini classes, where longer mantras are used in combination with the postures. Chanting along with the movement felt so good, I began to lose my inhibitions, especially when I realised it’s not about being an accomplished singer, but connecting with your own voice. Read More…