Seeing as this is Judali Yoga's first visit to Studio 70, we thought it'd be nice to sit down and have a chat and get to know our new friends and find out a little bit about Mantra prior to their workshop in August.
Studio 70 Glasgow: Hello, tell us a bit about yourselves!
Judali Yoga: Ali and I love teaching and practicing yoga. We’ve been practicing together for over 25 years and encourage you to practice yoga regularly by adapting asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), relaxation (rest), meditation (single-pointed focus) and mantra (chant) techniques to suit your individual needs. We’re both qualified hatha yoga teachers who completed the 500 hour Yoga Scotland Teacher Training Course. Ali is also a co-tutor on Yoga Scotland’s Central Foundation Course and I’m also a qualified Aerial Yoga Instructor. We follow Desikachar and his definition of ‘the guru within’ where each individual learns to develop a style of yoga that is right for them - and for want of a better definition we call our yoga style Judali Yoga.
Studio 70 Glasgow: What is mantra?
Judali Yoga: Mantra is the repetition of a syllable, word or group of words. There are many reasons to chant, but mantra is usually chanted to induce a meditative state. Forms of mantra are evident in all eras and cultures throughout human history.
Studio 70 Glasgow: Do you sing during mantra?
Judali Yoga: No previous experience of mantra or any ability to sing is necessary. Mantra (repetitive chanting) and kirtan (where mantra is chanted as call and response) are both excellent practices suitable for all ages and abilities.
Studio 70 Glasgow: Tell us about the benefits of mantra: what would you say to anyone who wasn't sure if this workshop was really their scene?
Judali Yoga: Being present and taking part has great benefits. Mantra can be chanted silently by repeating the mantra internally, whether on your own or in a group. Fundamentally, at the quantum level, everything is made up of vibration. By chanting mantra together we not only strengthen our own vibrations, deepening our understanding of ourselves, but share and strengthen our harmonious connections to other people, places and situations.
Studio 70 Glasgow: Tell us a bit about kirtan? Will you be doing this on the evening?
Judali Yoga: Yes we will. Kirtan (where mantra is chanted as call and response) is the easiest way to learn mantra. The person leading the mantra chants a phrase and the rest of the group repeats it back to them.
Studio 70 Glasgow: Are there any yoga postures involved?
Judali Yoga: No, there is no asana involved, other than sitting comfortably in an upright posture (whether on a chair or on the floor) or sitting or lying down at the end of the session for relaxation. These postures, where the spine is straight, are encouraged to facilitate breathing and allow energy to move easily through the body.
Studio 70 Glasgow: How will the event be set up?
Judali Yoga: Our mantra evenings aim to gently recharge your batteries with a soothing mixture of chanting in a variety of styles – sometimes accompanied by the harmonium, drum or other instrument. We like to sit in a circle and take a relaxed approach, encouraging you to find a way of chanting that is most appropriate for you. Many of the benefits of mantra chanting can be experienced by just listening to others. But for best results chant! Then take the time to notice how you feel.
Studio 70 Glasgow: What should we wear to the workshop?
Judali Yoga: Please come as you are to our mantra sessions. We welcome all ages, abilities, faiths and genders to our sessions. Wear loose comfortable layers that you can sit comfortably in. Maybe you’d like to bring your favourite cushion or blanket. Maybe you’d like to bring something to share with the group – be it an interesting story, an object, a snack, a song, or even just your smile! You’ll be most welcome.