Sarah Ryan Yoga

Vedic chanting

The Vedas are India’s most ancient and sacred teachings, an oral tradition that was first written down about three thousand years ago. They were chanted and memorised and passed on from generation to generation, and used to be the preserve of men of particular castes. Vedic chanting is a little different from the bhajans and kirtans that were available to all in India. It is more formal, and links us back very exactly to teachings which are thousands of years old.

Towards the end of his life, however, the great yogi T  Krishnamacharya felt that the art of Vedic chanting was in danger of becoming extinct as India became more modernised, and that it should therefore be taught to any who were sincere in their desire to learn.

Since then it has been taught by teachers in his tradition, both as an art and discipline, and as a practice which can bring many of the benefits that yoga brings – it can make people feel better, healthier, happier, more positive, more at peace with themselves and the world. It is used extensively for healing, having proved to be extremely helpful in cases of stuttering and other speech impediments, for example, but also for many others, suffering from all kinds of problems and none.

You do not have to be able to sing! Only three notes are used. Chanting from the Veda-s is the most wonderful thing to do. The sound takes us to silence, the silence of the heart. It is a meditative discipline – indeed, Krishnamacharya used to say that it was the most suitable meditation for people in this distracted age. It makes us feel calmer but also stronger, more joyful and more positive.

Modern science is at last finding explanations for what people knew experientially thousands of years ago: the neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.

The Veda-s are the great teachings on which all the classical Indian philosophies, including yoga, were based. When we chant them, we connect not only with our own heart, but also with people going back over thousands of years.

I love it for the way it makes me feel, and also because sometimes, when I feel that I can do nothing else – not asana (bodily postures), not pranayama (breathing exercises), not meditation – I can still chant.

I teach Vedic Chanting at the Dorchester Yoga and Therapy Centre, (14 Trinity Street, Dorchester DT1 1TU), from midday to 1pm once a month. The next one is on July 13th. Payment is optional, with donations going to a charity. (This class follows shortly after a class on the Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali, which ends at 11.45, so it is very easy to do both – see the Yoga Sutra Page – but you don’t have to!)

I teach both face to face and with Zoom, which can be downloaded free. Oddly, teaching groups chanting works very well on Zoom. When I am wanting people to chant, I mute everyone, which means that people don’t feel self-conscious! I also record the classes, so that people can play them again at will, or catch up if they are not able to attend an actual session.

I charge £50 for a 50-minute individual class.

I also offer three courses on Zoom. 

An Introduction to Sanskrit and Mantra consists of 6 one-hour sessions, costs £50, and is a mix of theory and practice. I look at some key Sanskrit words used frequently in yoga, and some mantras, one of which we use in a practice. One person wrote: Thank you so much…I felt uplifted and light after the session…

If you would like to do this in the future, please let me know, also telling me if there are times that you cannot do.

An Introduction to Vedic Chanting consists of 7 one-hour sessions and costs £55 plus £35 for an individual class, (this is optional, but necessary if you want a certificate). A book of chants is needed, which I send you, costing £25 with postage.  

Quite a few people have now done an Introductory Course in Vedic Chant with me.  Vedic Chanting 2 is a follow-on course. It has the same format: seven weeks with an hour’s class a week, plus one individual class (an extra £35) if you want a certificate at the end.

I usually manage to record the sessions, so that people can listen to them again, or catch up if they were not able to be present for the live class. 

Please contact me if you are interested in doing any of these courses, and mention, when you do, if there are days or times that you cannot manage, as I shall  do the courses again when I have enough people. I am able to do them  Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons.

Get in touch

My telephone number is 01258 839 230 or you can email me at If you prefer, click the Contact button to send me a message.

My location

I am in Milborne St Andrew between Blandford Forum and Dorchester in Dorset. Click the Location button for a map and directions.

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