As the opener to a yoga practice session, me and maybe 40 other practioners were guided though some kirtan, then open chanting of this mantra: “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.” An audio sample of it can be found here. It is an invocation of Ganesha, that fabulous elephantine Hindu deity who is sometimes known as the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles. The class was part of the grand opening celebration of that particular yoga studio, so it was perfect.
It was also perfect because hindsight (and a sore body) is telling me that the rigorous asana practice wasn’t what my body needed, at that time of the weekend. The fact that I’m still thinking about obstacles of my friends, family, and self, over 12 hours later, tells me that the chanting was a far more valuable part of the practice for me, all five or so minutes of it. That, and the time with friends, that the practice allowed.
Subtle, and yet not so subtle, is this journey.