Seattle Yoga News – Sonia Nelson brings Vedic Chanting to Sound Yoga

This weekend, there are two major events for me: 1) Learning Vedic chanting with Sonia Nelson, and 2) the US soccer team plays Ghana.

I’m two percent distressed that I won’t be able to do 2) due to timing and the scheduling of 1). That’s right, all weekend, from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, I’ll be worlds away from the 2010 World Cup, (though if the lunch break is between 11:30 and 1:30 PST, I’m running to the nearest Irish pub.)

I don’t know much about Vedic chanting, which is to say, I know next to nothing about Vedic chanting, other than chanting the Shanti Mantra during my 200-hr and 500-hr Yoga Teacher Training with teacher Kathryn Payne.

What is that, you ask? It’s a Yoga Student Teacher Prayer, also an invocation from the Katha Upanishad and the Taittiriya Upanishad, copied and pasted here for your perusing pleasure.

ॐ सह नाववतु |
सह नौ भुनक्तु |
सह वीर्यं करवावहै |
तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ||
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||

om saha nāvavatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai
tejasvināvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

OM. Let both of us protect each other together
May both of us enjoy together
May both of us work together
Let our study become radiant, let there be no hatred between us
OM Peace, Peace, Peace.

I really like chanting, and, though doing it in a group is okay, my preference is learning the correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit words and chanting by myself. There seems to be a different feel to it. Kathryn told us that if we want to learn more about Vedic Chanting, Sonia Nelson is the teacher to work with, and I was excited to find out she’s coming to Seattle this weekend.

Here’s some info on Sonia Wilson from the Vedic Chant Center website:

Sonia Nelson, Director of the Vedic Chant Center, has been a student and teacher of Yoga and Vedic Chant for over twenty five years. As a student of T.K.V. Desikachar since 1975, Sonia is a Certified Teacher Trainer in association with the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF)

And here’s the information on the Vedic Chanting workshop this weekend from the Sound Yoga website:


Chanting is a powerful tool for discovering, expressing and influencing all dimensions of the human system. As a practice and study on its own chanting can help us to:

  • Improve our focus and memory
  • Build self confidence
  • Bring balance to our energy
  • Reduce mental and emotional agitation
  • Find our own voice

Combined with yoga practice, we can discover and forge new pathways between body, mind, and breath, infusing our relationship to yoga with new vitality.Taught step-by-step through listening and response, pure sound and simple chants from the Vedic and other traditions will be taught and then applied to asana, pranayama, and meditation. This integrated practice will encourage a new depth of experience helping to sustain our direction toward yoga as a process of transformation.