The following chants and meanings have been gathered during Sian's time living and training in India. Please excuse any mis-spellings or mispronunciations (or out of tune singing!!). The intention behind recording these mantras was for students to have the ability to practise and understand each mantra as it is often sung in classes, and to be able to practise themselves. 

OM (Aum)

Is said to be the vibration that created the entire Universe, the sound heard by all yogis when in deep meditation, vibrating through the natural world. For this reason it is the most powerful sound, the root of all sound, a basic and primordial sound, from the root ‘av’ which means to protect. It is part of every other mantra and invokes a pure and supreme vibration. It’s power is potent, calming and becomes a prayer for the devotees safety and protection. Also, in it’s sanskrit written form, each aspect of om has symbolic meaning.


om bhurburhvah swahah
tat saviturvarenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

The past present future as one, the Cosmos, the Universe, the Divine that which is the ultimate reality, the light of ultimate wisdom, that which is to be adored through Divine grace. Allow this illumination to be bestowed through our own contemplation, meditation and practise. This is our prayer for final liberation through the awakening of our true intelligence.


Gayatri is said to be the oldest and greatest of the Vedic mantras. It awakens the chakras and kundalini energy and it’s repetition allows speedy progress along the spiritual path. It is a request to remove the obstacles of our mind to show us the truth of our existence through light. With repetition, (japa) this mantra is said to protect you and allow you to shine from the inside out.


om tryambakam yajamahe
sugandhim pustivardhanam
urvarukamiva bandhanan
mrityormuksiya mamrtat

The Sanskrit word maha means ‘great’, mrityu means ‘death’ and jaya means ‘victory’, together this describes the Great Death Conquering Mantra, called this due to its healing powers, and it’s ability to instil mental, emotional, and physical health. This mantra is found in the Rig Veda and is a call to Siva asking to liberate us from the fear of death. Chanting this mantra purifies the karmas of the soul at a deep level. Along with the Gayatri mantra, it holds the highest place among the many mantras used for contemplation and meditation.



om sahana- vavatu,
sahanau bhunaktusahaviryan-karavavahai
tejasvina-vadhi-tamastu ma vidvisavahai
om santih santih santih

The mantra that supports teachers and students on the yogic path. It calls for our protection and nourishment. Asking for blessings so that as teacher and student we can work together with great energy, able to perform wonderful feats in our yogic endeavours. To sharpen our intellects so that our learning is effective, and preventing disharmony or conflict between the teacher and student.

Om, peace (in me), peace (in nature), peace (in divine forces).


Both Gayatri and Mrtyajaya Mahamantras, as well as Santih mantra are sung together here in the vedic tones of my teacher. The vedic chanting has come down from one generation to another over thousands of years. The sounds of the mantra were taught carefully so that even today it is chanted in exactly the same manner as the first generation of this particular branch of the vedas.

(Although I cannot attest to my own accuracy… I have done my best!)


Chanted before practising the ashtanga yoga series which was created by Patabhi Jois. I bow to the lotus feet of the guru, who awakens insight into the happiness of pure being, who is the final refuge, the jungle physician, who eliminates the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of samsara. I prostrate before the sage Patanjali (writer of the yoga sutras) who has thousands of radiant, white heads and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man holding a conch shell of divine sound, a wheel and a sword of discriminative of knowledge. The literal translation sounds a little way out, but it is a beautiful start to the practise.



The introductory chant talks about why we salute to the sun. The sun is described here as a representation of the golden vessel which holds the ultimate light and truth. Through these prostrations we are requesting we remove this lid and uncover the truth and show us our right path and dharma. The following 12 chants correspond with the 12 names of the sun and the 12 movements of the traditional sun salute. You can chant or listen to these sounds as you move through your suriyar namaskar practise.


The translation of this: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom for all.


This was recorded at Gedong Gandhi Ashram, as part of our Yoga Retreat. Together with the members of the ashram and the participants of the yoga retreat we chant this mantra. With the intention in our hearts of all sentient beings finding freedom from suffering and happiness in their lives.



(om budram karnebih)

A chant for the Universal Energy behind all life to help guide us, to hear only that which is worth listening to for our own growth. To have eyes to see only that which is good for us and to be open to and understand the lesson our soul needs to learn in this lifetime. We ask for healthy bodies to enjoy this human existence and to be blessed with abundance and prosperity.


Hare Om, Shri Gurubhyor Namaha, Hari Om

With this chant we honour the Guru. Like a physician who cures a person of his blindness, the guru provides the light of knowledge that makes a disciple ‘see’ the Supreme Self, the divine truth. In this chant we acknowledge the great teachers, the enlightened brings who returned back into human form in order to bring light and wisdom to the human race. We acknowledge the sages and rishis whose lives were spent in the devotion of the yogic practises we participate in. We chant in appreciation of all of the teachers we have met in our lives, the people who have challenged us and helped us. And we acknowledge the greatest teacher of all, our own inner guru.


om asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyortirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
om santih santih santih

Om, the eternal vibration of the Universe. When we align with this vibration, help it to lead us from unreal to real, from the ignorance of the darkness to the light of real knowledge. From the death that is the limitations we perceive of our true being, to the reality of our immortality and that eternal part of ourselves that is limitless and liberated. Om peace, peace, peace.




karacaranajam vak - kayajam karma jam va
sravana nayanajam va manasam vaparadham
vihitamavihitam va sarvametat ksamasva
jaya jaya karunabdhe sri mahadeva sambo

The mantra we use at the end of the day- a mantra for reflection. Asking the self- was I mindful and caring? Did I intentionally or unintentionally breach in my dharmic discipline? Rather than criticising others for their actions, can we look honestly within ourselves and reflect on our own lives. This mantra allows us to search deep into the mind and to release any negative karmic build up we may have accumulated through the day. It strengthens our ability to live through the expression of our soul, through the heart, with love. And allow us a good nights sleep and a fresh start in the morning.