I had lots of time after practice today and on my way out I heard the chanting.
I had heard it many times before but always in the midst of my rushing to get to work, and I always wondered about it, and had secretly wanted to participate.
Today I spied.... The very clever receptionist saw me peeking and almost demanded I go in. (that is usually how new yoga things happen to me, someone pushes me in and I end up loving it). So, feeling a bit embarrassed I entered the class.
Greg gave me a paper to follow the chants, which were really complicated. Good thing I took those Sanskrit classes with Guruji's own Lakshimi at the Shala last February, it helped.
Greg chants by reading directly from the Sanskrit texts (I mean he reads their alphabet as if it was English), but for us Westerners he has copies of the text in English and with an attempted right pronunciation spelling.
The vibration of these chants is powerful. We were a small group of 4, that turned to 5 and then into 6, in the sunny Vinyasa room, it was beautiful and uplifting.
I asked Greg at the end if Manju (these are the chants that Manju had us chant in his workshop at Kripalu last year), sings the whole thing without taking a breath. Yes, said Greg, it is a pranayama exercise, where you focus on the divinity and then just chant away without taking a breath....
Did I mention it was 5 pages long? - without breathing!!! how can anyone hold that much air? amazing.
I am still feeling the vibrations. It was beautiful.