Yoga and music come together beautifully. They play an essential role in connecting yogis with their inner selves, and thatâ€™s why most people prefer practicing kundalini yoga today. Kundalini yoga uses songs and chants to set the right energetic vibration during the class.
If you have just started your kundalini yoga practice or have been a practitioner for some time, you will realize there are several mantras that are chanted throughout. For instance, at the start of every session, the yoga instructor will ask that all practitioners chant the Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. This Adi mantra is incredibly powerful, but very few people know its significance.
I practiced kundalini yoga for many years, and I never took the time to know what this mantra meant or the proper way to chant it. This limited my potential greatly, and now that I know its significance, I recommend that you do too.
So, we will be breaking down the Adi mantra to help you know what you are chanting each time you start your kundalini yoga session. But before that, letâ€™s define kundalini yoga and determine its connection with mantras.
Whatâ€™s Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo?
This a strong mantra thatâ€™s used in Kundalini yoga sessions. The mantra stands for â€˜salutationsâ€™, or â€˜I respect the divine teacher or teacher withinâ€™.
If you have practiced kundalini yoga, you know this mantra is chanted when starting the class. The mantra is considered to be protective and high vibrational, making it easy for a yogi to unite with the higher power, yoga students community, and the teachers. The connection that involves this wider power is called the â€˜golden chainâ€™.
Every word in the Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo also has a unique meaning, so itâ€™s crucial to know this to understand the significance of the mantra. This way, it will be easier to tune in and let the divine energy flow within you whenever you are chanting.
ONG is thought to create the Divine in the form of sound, and itâ€™s another way to say the common â€˜omâ€™. So every time you say the word, you are alluding to the primary life force in its absolute state. Whenever the Divine works as the creator, then itâ€™s known as ONG.
You want to say ONG properly each time you practice yoga. Make sure the tongue hits the roof of your mind and visualize the energy in the third eye while chanting the sound. Doing this will vibrate and stimulate different points of the mouth roof, which stimulates the pineal gland and pituitary gland, respectively. Chanting ONG will also bring energy to the front brain, so make sure you do it correctly and remain focused.
This word is actually â€˜namahaâ€™, which stands for â€˜my salutationsâ€™. In the Sanskrit linguistic, there is a process known as sandhi that allows changing the â€˜ahaâ€™ to â€˜oâ€™, making the name Namo. This happens when some letters are together or when there is a need to create the right number of syllables for the mantra flow. So whenever you say Namo it means you are offering humble or respectful greetings to the infinite creative consciousness. The universal consciousness guides all actions and can open the wisdom and external knowledge, the spiritual teacher and environment.
While chanting this word, you are required to bring your attention to the fourth chakra, the heart. If you find it difficult to do this, you will need to visualize the radians or light coming from the fourth chakra.
Guru syllable can be broken down into two: Gu stands for darkness, while ru stands for light. When combined, it stands for â€˜the one who brings someone from darkness to lightâ€™ or the â€˜remover of darknessâ€™. In other cases, this is translated as a teacher that acts as the spiritual leader. The devotees are expected to follow the practice and instructions laid out by the guru to try to attain high spiritual growth and enlightenment.
But guru doesnâ€™t have to be your physical teacher. It can also be anything that can illuminate your vision by taking you out of the dark space into the light. So if you connect with the divine teacher in you via meditation, hand mudras, mantras, asana, and pranayama, that will be your guru.
When pronouncing guru, let your tongue hit the mouthâ€™s roof as you get to the R. This means you will sound like you are saying â€˜godooâ€™, which will stimulate your pituitary gland.
Dev is a syllable that stands for the Divine or universal consciousness, which people call God or the higher power. The syllable is a shortened way of saying, Deva. Dev opens your inner wisdom and knowledge and offers meaning to whatever you connected with in your life. The syllable can also be translated to â€˜I bow or exalt the infinite wisdom of beingâ€™.
As you say DEV, you have to recognize that itâ€™s your chance to approach the higher power, God, or the divine consciousness with humility. Be ready to receive guidance and wisdom via your practice.
Finally, we say Namo once more to bring ourselves back into the fourth chakra, the heart or Anahata.
Therefore itâ€™s safe to say that the combination of the syllables gives varying interpretations. First, the mantra will mean honoring the power of the community and the inner consciousness of the yogi. Yoga teachers also use the mantra to connect with their gurus and community, hence allowing the divine power to teach through them during the different sessions. They will be drawing on the entire lineage and history of those who came before them during the class.
The Adi mantra also refines the energy of the yogis and the energy surrounding them. Some practitioners say it has allowed them to tune into a certain frequency of vibration where they access the deepest understanding of the kundalini yoga. This assists the yogis to have a better experience during and after each yoga session. You can also use this mantra individually to remind yourself that youâ€™re your own greatest teacher.
Whatâ€™s Kundalini Yoga?
This form of yoga often sounds mystic and can be confusing at first, but it is one of the best ancient practices you can consider to channel powerful energy and transform your life. Most kundalini yoga enthusiasts are often intrigued by the flowy outfits, chanting, whispers on awakening the kundalini energy, or rituals but knowing what itâ€™s actually about can help a lot. Weâ€™ll share a quick snapshot that de-mystifies this yoga practice, so you donâ€™t get overwhelmed.
Letâ€™s dive right in!
Kundalini yoga is a yoga practice that powerfully combines several yogic tools, which include asana(posture), mantra(sacred sound), bandha(body lock), mudra(hand position), pranayama(breathing technique), and meditation (mind focus).
Mantra chanting is done extensively during the sessions to help yogis tune in, and thatâ€™s where the Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo comes in. The ritual is done to acknowledge the Kundalini yoga teachers lineage and establishing a strong connection to oneâ€™s high state of consciousness. Yogis also chant another mantra, Sat Nam, while closing the class to awaken the soul. There are other mantras used between the opening and closing mantras, but they vary from one teacher or class to another.
If you are accustomed to the usual vinyasa flow class, you should know kundalini yoga is very different when it comes to the moves. Once you tune in, there will be the pranayama or breathing, which is followed by the posture sequences known as kriya. Every set will have varying poses that involve breathing, movement, meditation and a mantra. You will have a few minutes to relax and focus inward. You will have to meditate and close the session with the last mantra.
Breathing and meditation
The breathing and meditation in Kundalini yoga help to deepen oneâ€™s experiences. The breath acts as a bridge, connecting the mind with the body. So, the more you focus on your breath while meditating, the easier it will be to quiet the mind. Breathing will also release anxiety and stress.
Now that you know what kundalini yoga is and the roles that the mantras, breathing, and poses play, itâ€™s time to discuss the significance of the Adi mantra, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.
Why the Adi Mantra?
Yoga teachers use this mantra to set the tone for each class. It acts as a meditation mantra that can link the body, mind and spirit into one. This state of connection is what we know as the higher consciousness, divine truth, or self-knowledge.
In kundalini yoga, the mantras you will chant hold a divine meaning. In fact, we can say that they act as the primal vibration at the core of your existence. When you think about it, you will realize everything in this realm has a vibration.
For instance, energy is a form of vibration that can be seen and measured. Sound vibrates too, and itâ€™s not something you can hold at hand. But, once you push the air using a lot of force, you can create vibrations in a rhythmic pattern, and your ears will capture them as sound. The sounds rhythmic patterns usually match those of the mantras, so you will raise your vibration when you chant.
How do I chant the mantra?
Start by finding a quiet place and make sure you arenâ€™t distracted by anyone or your phone. Sit on the surface, in easy pose. Your legs should be crossed, and your spine should be straight and relaxed. Open your chest, keep the neck straight and ensure the shoulders arenâ€™t tense. Take several deep breathes to find your center and relax.
Bring your palms together in a prayer position, with the thumb base resting on your sternum. The hand should be at the heart level to enable you to find your center. The pose also creates a great base for concentrating while chanting the mantra. Then, close your eyes and focus on the area between your eyebrows or the third eye.
Try to focus on yourself as you inhale and exhale, then start singing ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO.
Itâ€™s recommended that you practice this mantra meditation technique for 11 to 31 minutes for effective meditation, but some yogis even take longer. If you donâ€™t have much time, then you should chant the mantra at least three times (past, present, and future).
What are your options when using the mantra?
Generally, you have two main options when using the Adi mantra:
1. Basic mantra repetition â€“ entails repeating ong namo guru dev namo in your mind or aloud for the past, present, and future.
2. Embodied chanting â€“ this requires you to use the voice, lungs, throat, diaphragm and solar plexus to activate the vibrations and sound patterns of the mantra in a powerful way.
If you cannot find a quiet room or you are in a public space and cannot chant out loud, be sure to repeat the mantra internally. Nobody will notice what you are doing.
But, itâ€™s vital to note that vocalizing the mantra sounds is extremely essential and powerful, and the only way to know is to give it a try. You will be doing yourself no good if you donâ€™t do the embodied chanting regularly, or at least give it one try.
Now that you know the importance of mantras in kundalini yoga and the significance of ong namo guru dev namo, it will be easier to have a better experience whenever you are in a yoga class. You will be more open to connecting with the golden light and community at large, and connecting with your inner self will be easier since you are more harmonized from within. Renowned yogis have also revealed that the Adi mantra chanting can cause the left and right brain hemispheres to stay in perfect balance. More importantly, the recitation of the mantra will cause your physical and energetic body to vibrate higher, hence being more attuned with the higher power or divine energy.