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New Trade Paper
Available April 2014
Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth and Meaning of Mantra and Kirtanby Alanna Kaivalya
Synopses & Reviews
Mantras are sacred sounds and phrases that have their origination in the historical texts of the eastern traditions, and as it turns out, there is actually a corresponding mythology behind them. While Alanna Kaivalyas first book, Myths of the Asanas, gave the mythology behind the physical practices of yoga, Myths and Mantras will give the related myths to the yogic practice of mantra recitation allowing readers to have the tools they need to understand the power of this practice and the practical relevance to their lives.
Mantra is not a scary word. Nor is reciting mantra impractical. An important and essential part of most every eastern spiritual practice, its an easy, accessible tool that anyone can use. Akin to singing in the shower, it can be done whenever it suits you, on your own, and no matter what kind of voice you are working with.
Audiences who come to see Alanna Kaivalya at concerts across the country listen in rapt attention at her telling of the mythology and the chanting of the chant and she finds that practitioners love both aspects equally. All spiritual practitioners seek to know themselves better, and Alanna shows that both of these tools are interrelated and important elements of the practitioners personal development. The function of mantras is to unlock deeper access into the psyche, just as their mythology provides the context to better understand how our psychology affects our everyday life.
Whether chanting a mantra aloud, or saying it silently to oneself during meditation, a primer that gives greater understanding to these often mystical and misunderstood aphorisms and phrases will empower the reader not only to continue with this millenia-old practice, but also will give them ownership over their practice with the knowledge and wisdom of a time-tested tradition.
The culmination of more than a decade of experience reaching tens of thousands of audience members yearly, this accessible book will allow all lovers of myth and mantra to explore further the power contained within this practice.
The book's first section presents a group of common mantras that are important for the modern day yoga practitioner, offering a primer and a resource for any practitioner wishing to deepen their understanding of the philosophy and power behind these sacred phrases. Each mantra illuminates an important aspect of yoga, and enhances each practitioners journey. The second section features popular Kirtan chants commonly used by modern day Kirtan leaders and widely enjoyed by spiritually-minded audiences. Each of these chants also contains a deeper wisdom that can exemplify the path of the spiritual practitioner.
Each of the mantras and Kirtans will feature the Sanskrit, the transliteration and the translation. Then, each will be followed by an exposition of the underlying myth and how it applies to a modern-day understanding of yoga philosophy, the goal being to bring the reader closer to a personal connection with the power of both the myth and the mantra.
The mantras and kirtan (call and response devotional chants) of yogic practice sometimes get the short shrift in the West because they arent well understood. These chants are an integral part of most every Eastern spiritual practice because they are designed to provide access into the psyche while their underlying mythology helps us understand how our psychology affects daily life. Sacred Sound shares the myths behind the mantras, illuminating their meaning and putting their power and practicality within reach of every practitioner. Each mantra and kirtan includes the Sanskrit, the transliteration, and the translation. Clear retellings of the pertinent myths highlight modern-day applications so that readers discover their own personal connection to the practice. Alanna Kaivalya has refined her teaching over a decade with a diverse audience of tens of thousands. Her unique and popular approach to human connection and self-knowledge turns a time-tested tradition into a versatile and potent tool.
About the Author
Alanna Kaivalya has been voted by Yoga Journal as one of the top 20 yoga instructors under 40. Her podcasts have been heard by more than one million people worldwide. She is a regular contributor to Yoga Journal and other popular magazines. She is a PhD candidate in Mythology and is viewed as the industry expert of yoga and Hindu mythology and mysticism, being regularly invited to teach these topics at teacher trainings, industry conferences, and workshops worldwide.
As a teacher, speaker, writer, and musician, Alanna has been leading and working with yoga teacher training programs in all major US markets and around the world since 2004. After training more than 5,000 yoga teachers worldwide, Alanna founded The Kaivalya Yoga Method, an amalgamation of her years of training and her desire to teach people about the importance of human connection through mythology, philosophy, and yoga practices. Alanna has performed and taught at various industry conferences, including Yoga Journal Conferences (2,500 attendees) and the Asia Yoga Conference (4,000 attendees). Her YouTube channel has nearly 20,000 views. In 2012, an average travel year for Alanna, she traveled to more than 20 cities in the US and around the world including: New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Boston, Denver, and Washington DC, performing to sold-out conferences (2,500 people at each conference), workshops (25-100 people per workshop), trainings and retreats (50-75 people each). Her popular first book, Myths of the Asanas, which has been translated into six languages, gave the corresponding mythology to the physical practices of yoga.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Mantras
Om Tryambakam (Mrtyunjaya Mantra)
Om Namo Bhagavate
Vande Gurunam (Ashtanga Invocation)
Introduction to Kirtans
Om Namah Shivaya
Govinda Jaya Jaya
Kali Durge Namo Namah
Shri Ram Jai Ram
Jai Ambe Jagadambe
Om Mani Padme Hum
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