We begin 2020 by sharing information about a three-hour workshop that Debbie Berry and Shigeko Sleeper attended in November at Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave. Breath-Focused Asana and Chanting was led by Shailaja Madhavan, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, from Atlanta, Georgia.
Debbie gained these insights from the training:
Asana practice done with breath awareness and movement have many physiological and psychological benefits such as managing stress, achieving calmness, promoting better sleep, regulating the nervous system, and strengthening the immune system
Sound and chanting can also affect the Autonomic Nervous System by helping us regulate breath, helping to deactivate the wandering mind, and may aid in memory retention and improve the ability to focus
We did a yoga practice together involving breath and chanting to experience these benefits. I was amazed at the effect chanting and intentional breath patterns had on calming the mind.
Shigeko echoed Debbie’s comments about the impact of chanting on her mind:
What I learned in that class was chanting is really meditating. Chanting helped me to concentrate on what I was doing. First, it was not easy to do two things at the same time, chanting and working on the poses. It forced me to use different parts of my brain that controlled language and mobility. Once I got used to it, the two became one and nothing else was in my mind.
I used that method in one of my classes at Franklin Library. The students had the same reaction as I did. They were overwhelmed first then became very focused. All the movements were not very vigorous but I felt I had a lot of work on both my mind and body. I would try that in one of my 4yoga classes. Everybody, watch out, I will challenge you!!!