Last Wednesday was the worldwide mental health day.
It was great to see so many people raising awareness and reaching out to help and support those that might find difficult to talk about how they are feeling.
We had a lunch time meditation session in the studio, which came as a relief to some of the people that attended. They felt that it was just what they need to slow down a bit.
After just a quick 10mins meditation it was very noticeable to change on their voice. They were speaking more calm, quieter and the movement of the body was so much slower as opposed to when they arrived moving quick, stressed and bit turbulent.
I only teach breath and body awareness meditation, because that it is what works best for me but also because it is the most simpler meditation practice that I can do anywhere and whenever.
Another meditation style I like but don’t do as much, is mantra singing in Kirtan practice.
I like it very much not so much for the singing but because of the words that are in a different language and I like the instruments used in Kirtan.
Kirtan singing is an ancient practice from the 12th century that was born in India.
It is a form of collective singing - a call and response song where a lead singer starts with a chant and everyone sings it back.
Kirtans often use short chants or mantras, often in Sanskrit or Hindi.
Depending on your religion inclination you can integrate this practice in a devotional practice or if you are like me, with no religious practice, you can integrate the practice into a meditation and evocation to the universe, higher self, destiny, or whatever word you like to use.
I am always fascinated on how the singing sometimes reaches huge levels of excitement and energy in the room, singing the same words over and over again. Be it on your own or in with a group of people.
For me it becomes a meditation when my singing aligns with every bit of my body, and there’s a depth to the words that somehow I feel the connection of the words coming out of your mouth with the universe and the world around us.
You probably feel very good when you singing out loud without any restrictions, when you know the lyrics and they make sense to you and start to connect with you and your life. The mantra singing is the same.
First you have no clue what you are singing and then you start to understand the meaning and apply it to your own life.
Here’s some of the top words used in Kirtan singing:
Namah means I bow down to, or I offer my prayers to. Namah can be used either before or after the subject. For example you could say Namah Shivaya or Shivaya Namah as both mean the same.
Often we sing Om Namah Shivaya, which means "O salutations to the auspicious one!"
Shri is used as a mark of respect like “Sir.” You will often hear Shri Ganesh, Shri Krishna, etc.
Maata means mother. Maa or Maata is used in Kirtan for Mother Goddesses like Maata Saraswati or Maata Durga.
Southampton Kirtan has kirtan sessions every week, it is a very relax gathering, really friendly, I would definitely recommend to get started with them or if you just have curiosity.
Or if you you are not ready yet play some mantras while you are driving and let yourself go with the mantra.
This is one of my favourites. Enjoy!
Namaste! with 💛
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