A Mantra is a word or a group of words said in order influence the user’s consciousness.

Traditionally an ashtanga practice begins and ends with a mantra. The mantra is spoken in Sanskrit that is considered the international language emanating from the heart.

The mantra that begins the practice separates the sacred from the profane. The mantra separates us from all that is not relevant to the here and now. It directs our minds to the practice of yoga and ushers us into a different rhythm.

The sound of the mantra accompanies the yoga practice from beginning to end. Between mantras there is a continuous sound of ujjayi breathing.

The sound provides the beat and silences the noises of consciousness thus opening the opportunity for pleasant and proper movement.

The mantra allows us to connect with something deep within us. Once we have rid ourselves of background noise we have a true opportunity for change and change is the most valuable goal we can achieve.

Every one begins and ends the practice at the same place with the same sound. Yoga sees all mankind as equal and does not discriminate among age groups, backgrounds or genders. In the studio all are the same.
You begin and end the exercise at the same point. In my opinion the practice of yoga can be viewed as a miniature circle of life. “Dust to dust”.

The opening mantra expresses gratitude to all the teachers and students whose devotion to Yoga has allowed them to pass on their knowledge to us.

Om
Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai
Abahu Purushakaram
Shankhacakrsi Dharinam
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Pranamami Patanjalim
Om

Translation:
Om
I bow at the feet of the teacher’s lotus.
My inner happiness is awakening.
As a good doctor in the jungle I remove all illusions acquired because of the poison of the Samsara.

I bow to Patanjali who has 1000 white heads.

The holder of a shell (symbolizing a divine sound).
A wheel (symbolizing light or unending time) the sword (symbolizing discernment)
Om

The closing mantra is a blessing to the world full of compassion, calm and peace.

Om
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Translation:
Om
That all the leaders and laws of the world (including us) will straighten a path to integrity and good learning.
That those will defend peace through all the generations.
That all the religions and human beings be blessed.
That all living creatures should be free and happy.
Om, peace, peace, peace.