Yoga isn’t just about the asanas (poses), they are many dimensions of yoga and one of them is called Bhakti, also known as devotional yoga. The sanskrit word Bhakti comes from the root bhaj, meaning to adore or worship God. Yoga welcomes all religions as it isn’t a religion itself, its a devotion to the higher spirit, whatever that means to you is your personal choice.
Bhakti yoga has been called “love for love’s sake” and “union through love and devotion.” Bhakti yoga, like any other form of yoga, is a path to self-realization, to having an experience of oneness with everything.
There are lots of places that offer kirtans, which is a place where people come together and chant with music, it is a truly magical feeling when we all sing together, often repeating the same words or sentences over and over. They are generally in Sanskrit. It is another kind of meditation and considered a way to connect with the higher divine.
Maybe in the summer we can have a field trip to a kirtan so you can experience it?
For now, here are the words of the small chant i sometimes use before class –
“ong namo guru dev namo”
This is the Adi mantra which simplified means –
‘I bow to the creative wisdom, I bow to the divine teacher within me’ This mantra is used for ‘tuning in’ to the divine flow and self-knowledge each of us.
Doing some Bhakti yoga (chanting) after your asana yoga practice will feel amazing, just because the class ends, you don’t have to end your practice. Going for a walk after class in nature and really connecting with nature is a form of devotion. You can find chanting on YouTube, i especially love Mooji (a living guru) and his satsang music. The link here is one of my favorites and when a few people sing and dance to it, its so powerful