Daily Archives: October 12, 2008


I love chanting.
It gets me in the meditative zone that sometimes sitting in still silence doesn't get me to.
I love chanting in class.
The collective sound and feeling grounds our energies and unifies our spirits.
However, I do think it's important to know what you are chanting.
When I take a class and hear a new chant that is not explained and don't understand, I won't take part. Why would I. I could be saying anything!
To create a feeling of community in a class, understand what, how and why you are chanting a mantra.
When alone and creating your connection to the universe, it's important to me to know what and who I am singing to.
Here are some great chants from simple to advanced that you might find yourself doing in class. These may or may not be explained in the class you are attending.
Try on one or a few and see which ones resonate within.
If you aren't chanting these mantras in class, try chanting them while driving or washing the dishes or while you are in the shower.
You will find a feeling of peace come over you, within you and create calm and peaceful energy outside of you.

Aum/Om - affirming the divine presence that is the universe. The unification or thread that links us all. The original and most powerful mantra. The primal sound of the universe in its essential manifestation.

So hum, hum sa - I am that, that is me. We are one. A meditation for just being.

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti - Peace, peace, peace

Om Namah Shivaaya - I bow to the Lord Shiva, the peaceful one who embodies all and is the creator of the universe.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu- May all the beings in all the world be peaceful and happy and free and may the thoughts and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

Om Swayam Sresh-thaya Namaha (om swah-yahm shresh-tah-yah nah-mah-hah) Mantra for excellence. Om and salutations to my inner state of excellence. Bring your everyday self in alignment with your higher self which is already perfect as a reflection of the divine.

Gayatri Mantra
Om Bhur bhuvas svaha
Thath savithur varaynyam
Bhargo dheyvasya dhimahih
Dhyoyonah pratchodhay-yath

Hear it here...

On the absolute reality and its planes, on the finest spiritual light, we meditate, as remover of obstacles that it may inspire and enlighten us.
We worship the word that is present in the earth, the heavens and that which is beyond. By meditating on this glorious power that gives us life, we ask that our minds and hearts be illuminated.

Sa Ta Na Ma-Kundalini Meditation meaning totality, creation, dissolution, regeneration. (rhythmically tap the thumbs and fingers of each hand in the rhythm of the mantra.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha- Ganesha mantra. For seen or unseen obstacles which seem to be standing in the way of your general or specific progress or achievement.

Om Shrim Klim Maha Kaxmieh Swaha - Laxmi Mantra- abundance for you and for all

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - Buddhist mantra of devotion to the mystical law of cause and effect.
For improving health, happiness, wisdom and compassion. To manifest enlightenment in our lives and potential as individuals to create thriving and peaceful lives.

Be good to yourselves, drink lots of water and call your mother.
Shanti, Om,

Time and music and driving and…YOGA

I swear I lose years of my life every time I get on the road in Los Angeles, which could either mean I'm a zygote or a geriatric.
Music is my saviour in the car. I used to think I was on the cusp, discovering the right music to share with the world at the right time. It was the time. I was so lucky to be a music journalist in my late teens and early twenties. I had access to EVERYTHING new and delightful and appropriate for my age and emotions. And the parties!!
When I was younger, I would hear a band and it would be mine. I would always be surprised when someone else felt the same passion for an artist that I soooo found and kept to myself or shared only with my small circle of friends.
I remember seeing musicians’ play in sold out houses and thinking, no, you are mine. And yet, sharing them with others in this communal feeling of respect, love, admiration and identification was bliss. Poignant, heartbreaking, memory-making, boy-crushing bliss.
I test out everything in the car, my play list for class, my writing, and my workouts, all to the music I've stumbled upon that week and it's new, every week.
I love when people comment in my classes on the music I've played but the secret is out. I rely on KCRW's morning becomes eclectic, other teachers and my friend Becky in San Diego and sister, Karin in NY to supply me with what is, the soundtrack of my existence.
I'm still a contradiction, I admit. I will always enjoy Euro pop, trance, house, hip-hop and rap. That's what keeps me pumped up, energetic, running and jumping. Gone are the days of nightclubs for me. My drunken dancing has turned into running miles on the beach, in the sober bliss of daylight.
My after-hours techno has turned into lounge, trance, shoe gazing, mantra, chants and calm sweet melodies to move through yoga poses, meditation, sleep, reflection and writing.
My most favorite thing is looking in the mailbox and receiving a disk that my sister or friend made for me and I love nothing more than making cd mixes for my friends as the travel, work, run, do yoga or drive in their car.
That art, the mix tape of my era, is still one of the things I hold onto from my youth that no wrinkle can take away.
It creates an experience in my yoga classes, creates peace through my day and keeps me stress free whilst driving the LA streets and freeways.
Music, it's what gives me years to my life and brings me back to the moment. It provides me with memories to the moment. Harmonious snapshots of existence.
Things I'm listening to now....
A.R Rahman
Travis Namaste
Davide Swarup
Morgan Doctor
Nightmares On Wax

Music is a gift.

Be good to yourself. Drink lots of water; call your mother and listen, to the sweet sounds in your life.
Shanti, OM,