Find your authentic voice with Vedic Chanting
The ancient wisdom of Vedic Chanting
Remembering the first class I taught fills me with emotion. I felt a mixture of nerves and strident passion, as I struggled for the right words to guide the students in front of me. I was teaching a group of older men at the Centre for Positive Living in Prahran and they were much more confident with their yoga practice than I was with my teaching.
Your voice reflects who you are and must be congruent with your inner self, or your message will not ring true. Good teaching requires focus, clarity and gentle instructions delivered with an authentic, not mechanical voice.
My confidence, my communication skills and my voice have developed through practice and study of one of the oldest uses of sound, chanting the mantras of the Vedas. Chanting can be the most sublime way to clear your head and still your mind, allowing time and space for your own unique authentic voice to evolve.
Chanting is a powerful tool of yoga for health and healing. The Vedas are the most important collection of ancient wisdom and sacred texts of India. The language of the Vedas is Sanskrit and the specific vibrations of the sounds have a powerful positive effect on you at a physical, energetic, mental and emotional level. The Vedas form the foundation of all Indian philosophy. The mantras or verses of the Vedas have been transmitted over generations from teacher to student through an oral tradition, by call and response. The relationship between teacher and student plays an important role because something unique happens when the teacher recites and the student receives; when the student listens and then is listened to.
The Sanskrit word for chanting is adhyayanam and this means to move towards your inner self, to connect you with your heart creating a sacred thread from your innermost being which binds you emotionally to your voice.
Among the benefits of chanting Vedic mantras are:
• Improved pronunciation and strengthening of your voice
• Better listening skills and improved ability to concentrate
• Better memory and increased confidence
• Integration of body, voice, mind and emotion which creates resilience and inner strength
• Relief of stress and anxiety
Vedic chanting helped me find my voice and express myself in ways beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I now have the confidence to teach and became acutely aware of my progress recently when I did an extended interview about Vedic chanting for ABC radio. I would have been unable to do this a few years ago. My heart would have been pounding, my mouth full of glue, and my tongue so twisted I wouldn’t have been able to speak. Now I’m able to take such things in my stride.
For 12 years now I’ve consistently studied Vedic chanting. During this time I travelled to Chennai to complete a formal two-year teacher training program, and attended the Australian National University to extend my knowledge of the Sanskrit language. This training has given me a strong technical foundation, but most importantly it’s helped me realise I have a true love of chanting. In an effort to expand and deepen the knowledge of Vedic chanting throughout Australia, I have developed a dedicated Melbourne-based Vedic chant teacher training program beginning in February 2018.
Debby Badger is a Yoga and Vedic Chant Teacher. She runs individual and group yoga and chanting classes at Indi House Yoga & Vedic chanting in Melbourne. Find her at vedicchanting.com.au
Debby Badger Chanting
The ABC Radio interview — vedicchanting.com.au/media/