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Illustration of crescents, raindrops and circles coloured in vivid colours, representing sounds as patterns.

Feeling Uncomfortable with Mantra Vocalisation?


In our “The Journey" classes, as we deepen our practice, we may vocalise simple sounds such as AUM or similar. The purpose of these vocalisations is two-fold: first, they naturally lengthen the exhale, which has a calming effect as it activates the rest and digest branch of the nervous system; and second, the vibrations of these ancient sounds provide numerous well-being benefits. It is important to note that these are not random sounds, but rather carefully chosen mantras with specific effects.



We would never want to include a yogic experience in our classes that you are not ready for or are averse to. Therefore, please inform us before the class if:

  • You do not wish for any vocalisation during the class, including the vocalisation of the sound AUM.

  • You are not comfortable vocalising any sounds, but you are fine with other students or the Yoga teacher vocalising mantras. Please note that merely being exposed to the vibrations of the sounds can provide benefits.


If you are still uncertain, we encourage you to delve deeper into your thoughts. We would like to share some beliefs we strongly hold regarding mantra vocalisation.

In mantra chanting, it is the sound itself that brings benefits to our well-being, not necessarily the meaning behind it.


Mantras are sacred utterances, made up of combinations of sounds that have a powerful effect on the body and more subtle energies within us. The first mantras appeared in one of the most ancient scriptures, the Rigveda, which is the first of the sacred Vedas texts, written in Sanskrit.

Most mantras are in Sanskrit, which is considered to be one of the oldest Indo-European languages. In Hinduism, it is the language of the gods, the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and the language of classical Indian literature, philosophy, and religion.

While we highly recommend conducting your own research to gain a deeper understanding of the subject, we also want to provide some insights from Sadhguru.

In addition to his philanthropic work, Sadhguru is known for his teachings on sound therapy, or Nada Yoga, which emphasizes the relationship between sounds and forms and their impact on the body and mind.

'I was sitting silently on the banks of Kanti Sarovar, eyes wide open, when I heard this song loud and clear in my own voice. It was so loud that it was as if the whole mountain was singing it. It was my voice, and it was in Sanskrit, a language I never learned. In my experience, everything had turned into sound. I did not create the song – the relationship of sound and form just descended upon me.'—Sadhguru


If you find this experience too unscientific or far-fetched, know that you are not alone.

From Science to Chanting: DessiYoga's founder shares her experience.


DessiYoga's founder, Dessi, shares:

"I also had reservations, even when I was drawn to the physical practice of Yoga (asanas). However, as I deepened my Yoga practice, I found myself craving chanting, mantras, and sounds like Tibetan bowls. It was an intense need that went beyond my intellectual understanding and the mind.


My mind has always identified itself with the label "scientist." I rely on empirical evidence, make logical conclusions, and my scientific discoveries follow known physical laws based on tangible, material entities, even if those entities are invisible to the human eye, such as proteins, molecules, and energies released from breaking a chemical bond. I can explain these concepts in a way that is relatable to most people.

However, my intense need for chanting cannot be conveyed to you unless you experience it for yourself. And you may not. As I mentioned before, Yoga gifts you what you need based on where you are at.


I have always loved words and ancient languages, and unsurprisingly, mantra chanting is a part of my spiritual and yogic evolution. However, I don't want to impose it on anyone else.

If you feel drawn to it, please chant to your heart's desire. If you feel aversion to it, ask yourself why. Is it because of a misconception about what a mantra is, what chanting is, and what it is intended for? 

Or is it a genuine, deep, inexplicable aversion? That's okay too. Trust yourself. Yoga will lead you to all the paths that need to be walked and that are right for you."

'Sound has an impact on both the body and the mind. A mantra is a mathematically organized sound pattern that has a deep impact on the system. One can break through limitations in so many different ways just by uttering certain mantras. So there is a whole science of mantras – understanding the relationship between sounds and forms and using it to your benefit. It is a very essential science.'—Sadhguru

Source: Sadhguru. "Making Hata Yogi: Nada Yoga." Isha Sadhguru, Isha Foundation, Accessed 26 April 2023.
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