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Breathe life into it!
by wah!
Chanting is a way to breathe life into your spirit.  So many words on a page come to life when you sing them.  The mantras, asanas and meditative techniques from yogic masters come alive when you do them.
Mangala murti - I heard these words the other day in an Indian bhajan (folk song). Literally translated, it means the form or manifestation of divine songs.  Something is created when you chant, when you meditate, when you do yoga.  The molecules inside you and around you change.  You transform your mind, your body, your emotions; you uplift your spirit.
If you see beauty around you, you activate that energy inside yourself.  If you help others, you activate energy for good in yourself and others.  If you see fault around you, you activate that energy for yourself. Chanting brings divine energy into your life and infuses your inner landscape with purity and self-love.
Why do all the mantras speak words of praise and beauty?  To express how wonderful the deities are?  I agree that divine energies are wonderful but that’s not why we chant.  We chant with words of praise and beauty to activate those energies in ourselves, in our souls and hearts.  In our minds.  When you sing “oh how beautiful is Krishna, his words are like dewdrops on the morning vine,” you activate innocence and wonder in your own being.  You then create attractive energy for other experiences of innocence and wonder.  It starts a day which is quite different from the day which begins with emails and newsbreaks.
If you understand that words, thoughts and vibrational energy are the seeds for  life and its activities, then the practice of yoga and chanting makes perfect sense.  When you perform postures and breathe life into them, you clarify and purify your energy.  You start the day with infinite possibility. 
What kind of energy will you build for yourself?  How will you create a sacred space for your activities and interactions?  The electro-magnetic field is 3-15 feet around you, it is your personal space of thoughts, intentions and interactions.  It is your space.  It is where you will spend your day, indeed where you will spend the rest of your life.  Right here.  In the container which is you. 
Inside your personal container of energy (the Self), all things will pass, be processed and resolved.  Some things will come into your life, some things will leave.  It is more pleasant for you when the things come into your life as divine beauty, and leave as blissful satisfaction.  Compare that to things coming into your life as hassle and aggravation, and leaving as heartbreak and miscommunication.  What kind of energy do you want to attract?  How do you want to feel as you go through your life experiences? You have to build an intention of goodness and initiate its attractive force within.
When you breathe life into the mantra, when you create a structure of purity with your song, you establish a personal vibration.  You focus it.  Out of all the vibrations in the world, yours is the one that should matter to you.  Yours is the one which feeds you, provides commentary, companionship and celebration.  As you chant, you create a vibration.  This vibration is yours.  It’s your voice, the one you have been with your whole life; it carries integrity and personal history.  You infuse it with thoughts of praise, of wonder at how it is all working out.  And then you start your day.  Activities born from this space attract people and personal interactions which are interesting and enriching to you.
Think of chanting or any spiritual practice as one star in a constellation which references all the other stars to create the whole shape – much as the North Star signals the corner of the Little Dipper.  To create the constellation which is you, you must activate and connect the stars every day, activating their heat and brilliance so they can shine as a unit.  Perhaps if one of the stars ceased to burn brightly, it would be recognized as another form altogether, and not be recognizable as you, the True You, your True Self.  With simple breathing, simple melody, you can start awakening the essential aspects of who you are and calling on them to go through the day with you.
The mantras I chant are simple mantras of praise – Jai Ram, Sita Ram – or Hare Ram Krishna – or Jai Ma.  The words are universal, with themes of Divine Mother, male/female divinity, or Universal Love.  They are chanted to activate energy of universal love in anyone who sings.  The love is everywhere.  It is rushing at you, waiting to come into form.  If only you will sing it to life.
It all depends what you want to do with your energy and how you want your day to go.  Whatever you begin it with will set the tone for what follows.  If you begin with praise, you will see the beauty in your day.  You will see the beauty in yourself and the divine order of the universe. 
WAH! will tour select cities in Europe in June (please see website for details).  She has spent a lifetime immersed in spiritual pursuit, beginning yoga and meditation at age 17. Wah! has worked with various jazz, pop and world musicians to create trendy meditative music for the yoga community.  Her latest release LOVE HOLDING LOVE (Nutone Music) is critically acclaimed.