The opening and closings Mantra for Astanga yoga

Yoga Chants

Ashtanga Yoga traditionally has both an opening chant and a closing chant. Because of Yoga's ancient roots, chants (or mantras) are offered in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), however their meaning is said to be universal as Sanskrit is the language of the heart.
Chanting acts to shift the consciousness of the individual practicing the chant to a higher level of vibration. This in turn brings us closer to our Source or Higher Self – the aspect of ourselves that remains eternal – and leaves the practitioner filled with peace and feeling calm and centred.
Studies have shown that when a person chants it can stabilise their heart rate, lower blood pressure, produce beneficial endorphins in the body and boost metabolic processes, so it perfectly compliments the physical practice of asana.

Ashtanga Yoga Opening Chant
The Opening Prayer is a blessing of gratitude offered to the lineage of teachers and their students who have enabled this ancient practice to survive through thousands of years so that we can experience its benefits today. The recitation of this mantra cleanses the energy of the space we have chosen to practice yoga, as well as preparing the mind, body and emotions for the forthcoming Ashtanga sequence.

Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai
Abahu Purushakaram
Shankhacakrsi Dharinam
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Pranamami Patanjalim


I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru
which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).
I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads (as the divine serpent, Ananta)
and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man
holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).

Ashtanga Yoga Closing Chant

The Closing Prayer brings the practice to a peaceful end; sealing in the work done and offering the efforts of our practice to improve the state of the world.

Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi


May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
For protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed,
May all beings everywhere be happy and free
Om peace, peace, perfect peace


  1. When I read these, I see the influences on so much of Ginsberg's work.

  2. Yes, so many poets then were practicing the Buddhist religion and culture.
    The practice of meditation to enlighten the soul.
    Very deep stuff.

  3. Claudia,

    I never could get how a talented 'counter-cultural' generation of poets so deep in Indian mysticism could at the same have also lived dangerously 'self-indulgent' lives. I don't mean to sound censorious but America lost so many of its best artists to drugs and alcohol.

    Did your father ever talk about that?

  4. Conrad,
    Well, it was all around at the time but I was so glad to hear that my father was not one of those artists that experiemented with drugs and alcohol.
    I think they felt that by taking drugs they were taping into the artistic vision.
    My father's vision was from God and he did not need drugs to see those visions.
    The point of Yoga is to rid the body of bad elements, such as bad food and over-indulgent living. If you look within the visions should come.
    That is how my father lived.

  5. "If you look with
    the visions will

    what-ever the source that gets us to the poem
    no rhyme or reason can 'shade

    it s not so easy
    being myself

  6. that sld be " " 'suade' "
    as in

    this damn computer AUTOMATICALLY thinks it know how I mean to spell things and the KORRECTS with what it thinks THINKS I intend ...

  7. Claudia,

    the integrity of spiritual vision isn't an accident but an ideal to which a whole lifetime must be devoted. I detect just that "purity" in your father's work.

    I just wonder if poetry's been influenced for far too long by a pernicious notion of art as almost the exclusive domain of the anguished, depressed and 'addicted'. Why haven't the ideals of sanity, clear-headedness, or even vision untouched by wilful self-destruction been celebrated to the same degree? I would add 'virtue' or 'self-discipline' or 'tradition' to that set of scorned personal attributes that in the minds of all too many, even today, are considered antithetical to 'real'art.

    I sometimes wonder if the problem isn't attributable to the tendency (prevalent still) to politicize 'art': giving to leftist poets the role of cultural gatekeepers. Is it possible for great art/poetry, for example, to arise from a fundamentalist Pentecostal congregation? Would a poetry inspired by sobriety, religious devotion or patriotism ever stand a chance against a poetic climate dedicated to smashing language & conceptual frameworks to smithereens?

  8. Conrad,
    I agree with what you are saying -
    And it is easier to commodify the tragic artist than to elevate the truely human artist because the media is ultimately the gatekeeper.
    From my dad:
    It is true that my withdrwal from the literary world is complete, but withdrawal can only mean desire of fame (vanity) - writing is not pride: to write for Humanity "God the Subject" alters every sense of the writer as personality: therefore it is not the writer's job to seek art the latest innvoations of the day - the principles of the craft are perennial; he has ancient teachers; and with them he silently converses.

  9. "he has ancient teachers; and with them he silently converses."

    do read Cid's "take a-way" re: 'a consideration of 'The Prefiguration [...]'
    (titled ) "Through"

    it is included in AT THEIR WORD / Essays ob the Arts of Language. Vol 11. Black Sparrow, 1978

    and, especially that Appendix (C.C.) added to/too:

    "This note from Samperi just received (5/25/71) may be useful to a reader who wants a sense of the poet's intent: [...]."

  10. Hi Ed,
    Yes, I will post this essay.

    Thank you,


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