Learning to Chant the Four Chapters of the Yoga Sūtra……

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Unlike other aspects of our personal Sādhana, when it comes to the practice of Jñāna Adhyayanam, or the chanting of the Yoga Sūtra, there is an unusual developmental process in that as we refine this aspect of practice it take less and less time.

Obviously the first step is to commit to learning to be able to chant the four chapters of the Yoga Sūtra, along with the relevant opening invocations and closing invocations. Once we have this basic accomplishment in place then taking our seat and chanting the whole text, within a Vinyāsa Krama by including the accompanying invocatory chants, will take around 35-40 minutes.

However given time, commitment and practice, the time required, unlike many other aspects of practice, actually reduces. You can find that as you progress the 35 or so minutes reduces to less than 30 minutes chanting the long form version of the text, or even 25 minutes, or less if familiar and competent with the short form version. Though 25-30 minutes is a good enough time for engaging all four chapters and relevant textual invocations for a competent student.

Chanting, whether Jñāna Adhyayanam or Bhakti Adhyayanam, is a very special Sādhana and a essential facet in Krishnamacharya’s practice and teaching priorities and one which, I feel personally, needs more attention and formal engagement rather than just the use of the odd Sūtra or Mantra ditty here or there.

Chanting has a special potential in that, through its practice, we can make use of the language of Yoga to deepen our relationship with that which is beyond the world of words.

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