Chanting is a powerful way to relax the body and open the heart. In yoga when we chant “Om shanti shanti shanti” it is an invocation of peace, we chant this three times to represent peace in body, speech and mind. This mantra calls forth cosmic peace and its purpose is to remove mental distractions and to immerse us in the sensations of the vibrations created in the body from chanting.
Om has no literal translation, it is simply the sound of the universe, the cosmic vibration of all life. Shanti in Sanskrit means peace, also described as calm or bliss. In yoga this is the ultimate state of being that we are moving towards in our practice. Shanti is a state of equanimity, we are not grasping or rejecting anything, we are simply content with what is.
Shanti is an enlightened state of being and takes constant practice to achieve. The nature of our minds is to control, we want to hold on to things, people, situations or to reject them. To experience Shanti we need to learn to surrender, accept, embrace everything that appears on our path with the understanding that all that exists in the material world in impermanent and constantly changing. Learning to flow with the impermanence of life and to surrender is how we get closer to peace of mind and body.
“ yoga is the golden key that unlocks the door to peace, tranquility and joy”- B.K.S Iyengar