Jon uses a Shanti Mantra to open and close the class each day (Om Sahana Vavatu).

He learnt this mantra in Rishikesh when training to teach, and has used it ever since.

This Shanti Mantra is taken from the Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad (2.2.2) . It is usually recited as prayer before the start of the classes in schools.

Here’s a recording Jon made in Rishikesh, India, in 2014 when he did his yoga teacher training. The recording is of Tarjni Shah, a singer and yoga teacher he met there.

 

Whilst Jon does not align himself with any religious belief system, he is interested in using the voice, sound, symbol and imagery in order to create a positive experience for people coming to the class. The use of the mantra is about creating a bridge into and out of the practice each morning.

Below is a translation found on the internet (internet source here). If you put Om Sahana Vavatu or Shanti Mantra into google you’ll find lots of info on it, and a variety of slightly different translations.

Om Sahana vavatu shanti mantra Lyrics and meaning

This Shanti Mantra is taken from the Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad (2.2.2) . It is usually recited in schools as prayer before the start of the classes in schools

Lyrics in Sanskrit

Meaning in English

ॐ सह नाववतु।

सह नौ भुनक्तु।

सह वीर्यं करवावहै।

तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु

मा विद्विषावहै।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om, May we all be protected

May we all be nourished

May we work together with great energy

May our intelect be sharpened (may our study be effective)

Let there be no Animosity amongst us

Om, peace (in me), peace (in nature), peace (in divine forces)

Lyrics transliterated in English

Meanings of the words

Oṁ Saha nāvavatu Om=supreme god; saha=together; nau=both/ all; avatu=may he protect
saha nau bhunaktu saha=together; nau=both/ all;bhunaktu= be nourished/ energized
Saha vīryam karavāvahai saha=together;vīryam=energy; karavāvahai=work (kara=hand; avahai=bring into use)
Tejasvi nāvadhītamastu tejaswi = having great energy;nau = both ; adhi = intellect/ study; tama = higher degree; astu=so be it
Mā vidviṣāvahai =not be; vidvis=animosity; avahai=bring/ have
Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ shantih= peace