Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Power of Mantra

Wikipedia defines mantra as a sacred utterance, or numinous sound that has psychological and spiritual power. Earliest known mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, and those are at least 3000 years old.

This past year we here at Yogi Tunes were introduced to Valinor, a record label created by Prana Yoga Flow® instructor Veronique Dumont and musician Rogerio Jardim, for the sole purpose of helping yogis access the power of mantra in their personal practice.

I recently asked Veronique if she'd be interested in giving away a Christmas mantra to our beloved Yogi Tunes community, and when she agreed I thought I might as inquire a bit more into this truly intriguing creative duo.

Can give our readers a little bit of background on where Valinor came from and what inspired it's creation?

Many of my students were asking me for music to accompany yoga and at the same time help them with meditation and mantra practice. Even with my many years of practice I had nothing really that I could suggest to them that was to my liking. So I figured why not do it myself and produce my own mantra music so my students can benefit from it. So it came really from the request of my students, and the desire to give them a daily tool to support them in their meditation and practice. I was lucky enough that life brought me on my path a dear friend and great musician Rogerio Jardim who supported these productions and understood what these recordings could bring.

In your own experience, how has the power of mantra influenced your yoga practice?

For me mantra practice has created miracles in my life. It gives me the possibility to focus and align my own energy and to be able to create at all levels in my life. It is definitely a very powerful still or movement meditation tool, but also the tracks that we've written are made for yoga practice, bringing additional elements to support the specific energy or feeling you want to give to the sadhana itself.

Can you speak to those people who feel like they can't sing, or "don't have a good voice" for chanting mantras?

I say sing even though you think you don't have a great voice... If you come from the right place within your heart, to serve, heal and enjoy, then that is what people will receive and feel in their own hearts. Even though I did study music for 20 years and singing for 10, I don't consider myself a singer. I consider myself someone who likes to share the tools that made a difference in my own life.

Do you have any favorite mantras you like to sing for certain reasons? If so what are they and how do you use them?

I have many, all the ones I produced are my favourites :-) but if I could pick just a few:

The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra To bring healing and great transformation in all aspects of life. The Ahum Prema mantra opens and heals the heart, bringing us back to our deeper essence. I love the Mars mantra (coming on our next release 'Agni Mantras' available on Yogi Tunes January 2014!) and Surya mantra to awaken inner fire, courage and strength. 

Do you have any tips for teachers who are new to singing mantras and want to incorporate them more into their classes and personal practice?

I always say share and teach something you've already experienced for yourself and that made a difference in your life. Find the appropriate mantra that you need in the moment, wether that be for healing, empowering, inspiration, connection with your essence, or to create change and transformation, manifest abundance and channel creative energy.  Whatever serves you the best, work with it for a while. See what it brings in your own meditation, yoga practice and creation in your life. Once it has made a difference in your own life, either an inner difference our outer difference, you'll be able to share it with confidence with your students.

Can you write about any highlights you've had where you became more aware of the connection between sound and yoga?

As a Prana Flow® yoga teacher, music has always been a big part of yoga sadhana, through mantra practice and carefully chosen music to accompany the yoga practice itself. It is well known now that the vibration of sound has an effect on the physical matter, and as yoga practitioners we are aiming at this transformative aspect in our physical body and all levels of life. So to choose positive music and Mantras can definitely enhance and bring an opening to yoga practice at a deeper level. I've been an eyewitness of this in every yoga retreat I teach. Music and sound is a very unique powerful tool that supports the deeper goal of yoga.

Where do you teach and how can people find out more about you and what you do?

I teach year around weekend yoga retreats intensives, in the Eastern townships of Quebec near Montreal Canada. Being an affiliate teacher trainer with Shiva Rea, I also teach a Prana Flow Yoga® teacher training in French and English, in my own retreat center, the Institute for personal growth, that I direct with my mother Annie Marquier. We have students and clients from all over the world, coming for retreats on a year around basis. Our website: www.idp.qc.ca - facebook: www.facebook.com/veronique.dumont.yoga

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