Learning to Chant the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali
Leslie offers different ways to learn, so you can choose what works for you.
If you are a student or teacher of yoga, and wish to learn the yoga sūtras, Leslie’s audio recordings are truly helpful. The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali is divided into four chapters, or pādas. Leslie has broken the learning down by chapter as well. Leslie uses a call and response method. She chants the sūtra through, and then each individual word, with space for you to chant it back. Finally the whole sūtra is repeated, with space for you to chant it back. After you feel comfortable with the individual sūtras, you can chant the whole chapter along with Leslie at a slightly quicker pace. Order Today.
Chant the Yoga Sūtras Workshop: Classes in pronunciation and chanting, using the English Transliteration for visual guidance, are available and designed appropriate to the needs and desires of the hosting studio. In these sessions we will chant the basic sounds of Sanskrit using the bīja mantras (seed sounds). We will cover basic meanings of the Yoga Sūtras and chant them repeatedly, adding on more sūtras so that the students experience the flow of chanting sūtras together. The same format is used for the chanting of select verses from the Bhagavad Gītā and other traditional prayers. A minimum of two to three hours is recommended for these classes.
Learning Sanskrit as a Language
It’s best to begin your journey learning Sanskrit with in-person instruction. Leslie offers different courses and workshops, some of which can be followed up by American Sanskrit Institute distance-learning courses.
American Sanskrit Institute Weekend Immersion Course: Designed by Vyaas Houston, founder and director of the ASI, this fourteen hour course provides an introduction to the Sanskrit language and its original Devanāgarī alphabet. Completely different from our English alphabet, Devanāgarī provides the students with knowledge of every Sanskrit sound. You will learn to locate the five mouth positions containing these sounds. By focusing on mouth position, intonation, and various ways of contacting the mouth positions with the tongue, the entire spectrum of the sounds of Sanskrit is learned. By the end of the weekend students are reading words and phrases of this alphabet while also developing confidence in their pronunciation of terms used frequently in yoga classes.
This method of learning Sanskrit reveals the significance of chanting because the sounds of Sanskrit are the most relevant aspect of the language. All sacred texts originally written in Sanskrit were meant to be spoken or chanted aloud. For more information visit www.americansanskrit.com.
Weekly Format: This fourteen hour Sanskrit Immersion course is also available on a weekly basis. One class a week, with one and one-half hour per class, is recommended.
Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, and Chant: Explore the underlying and supporting effects of asana leading into prāṇāyāma and culminating with chanting. In this class we will explore the interrelationships among these three aspects of Yogic practice. This class is designed to give an understanding of how āsana supports our prāṇāyāma practice and how the voice, an extension of the breath, is supported by these two limbs of yoga. Two to two and a half hours is recommended.
What is OM: After a brief introduction to the five mouth positions and Sanskrit alphabet, we turn to the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣhad to delve deeply into what the sound “OM” truly is. Three hours.
“Leslie’s beautiful voice and precise pronunciation will inspire you to learn the chants and bring increased richness to your practice.” – Patricia Walden, world-renowned Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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“I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Leslie Freyberg’s Sanskrit Training 1 course. …Between Vyaas Houston’s system and Leslie’s teaching of it, the course was an excellent experience. I can only presume that Leslie’s Iyengar teaching background contributed to her clear, concise, interactive, and progressive presentation of the language. No writing or note taking ~ just full immersion in the sounds, how to make the sounds, and visual representations of the sounds. The sample handout…is a great takeaway. ” Kristine Bell