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Mantra Yoga: a Yoga of Sound


In the practice of yoga, as most of us know it, we place our attention primarily on bodily sensations and breath. In Mantra Yoga, the support for our attention are chanted sounds called "Mantras". According to Vedic teachings, these sounds were
heard by ancient sages who had reached deep states of meditation. The sounds have been passed down through generations, just as they were originally heard. They are believed to have a special vibratory quality which corresponds to a higher state of consciousness, and as such, they have the potential for purifying our whole system at a deep level (our breath, energies, feelings and thoughts). They are considered to be seeds of wisdom that can illuminate the path of all true seekers.

In Introductory Mantra Yoga classes, our first intention is to impart correct pronunciation and intonation of mantras. This is done collectively through call and response in a supportive group setting. Your own voice is supported by the voice of the group. The meaning of the mantras is presented in a gentle and universal way. Along with the art of Vedic Chanting, you also learn how to use mantras as a support for meditation. This may help you start identifying or refining your personal intention for meditation.

The practice of Mantra yoga does not require prior knowledge of music or sanskrit. Vedic chanting only uses three notes. It is a joyful practice which brings us closer to spirit.

January 21st, 28th and February 4th, 2015

              7:15 to 8:15 PM - $30


These classes are more advanced as the group has been doing Vedic Chanting for a while. If you want to listen to Vedic Chanting before committing to an Introductory class, please contact us at info@upstateyogainstitute.com to ask to sit in for free on one of these classes and just listen. It is a nice way to find out what chanting is like and if it may be your "cup of tea". Classes are on a Thursday evening from 7:15 to 8:15 PM once per month.

Teachers' background and qualifications: Martine Burat and Kerry Koen were introduced to Yoga, Chanting, and Mantra Practice by their yoga mentor, Mary Louise Skelton. After Mary-Lou's passing in 1995, they continued their studies with Vedic Chant teacher Sonia Nelson from the Vedic Chant Center in Santa Fe. In 2004, Kerry and Martine spent two weeks in Chennai, India, studying chanting and mantra extensively under the guidance of Sonia Nelson's teacher, T.K.V. Desikachar. Martine has also studied the practice of mantra meditation with another of Desikacghar's senior teacher from Belgium, Claude Marechal. She studied sanskrit with Vyass Houston, founder of the American Sanskrit Institute. Kerry is an accomplished piano player and teacher and an accompanist at Colgate University.