Chanting and mantra recitation have accompanied yoga practice for thousands of years. Chanting is of course both the in-toning of the rich vibratory sounds and the simultaneous listening to them. The concentrated in-toning of sound vibrates all along the axis of the body from the perineum up through the head, giving access to subtle and deep sensation and feeling. The deep listening naturally suspends the normal movement of the discursive mind and allows contemplation of the patterns of sensation, emotion, and imagination.
Chants have meanings, which are to be contemplated. Some express a truth directly; others use images, metaphors, and myths; while still others are deliberately free of meaning or reference to anything except the whole of reality. The meanings are designed to return the chanter to the direct experience of the sound vibration, making the experience of that sound and eventually all sound and all forms and patterns of vibration sacred.