Neural plasticity or our brain’s ability to change and rewire itself is something we read more about nowadays. It can be defined as the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to certain stimuli by reorganising its structure, functions or connections.  This process of change is what happens when we chant. New neural pathways are created, allowing us to do what was previously not possible. This is a fundamental part of the process of Yoga. We move gradually, step by step, to a place beyond where we currently are.

Sometimes when we are talking or chanting, we say words or make sounds that are produced from habit, not from conscious effort. When we learn to chant correctly, we can break through those old habits or patterns and bring more clarity to our chanting. The effect of learning to chant accurately rewires our neural connections and this can have a similar effect on our normal everyday speech where we speak with greater confidence and are heard more clearly.

Learning to chant the mantras of the Vedas cannot be achieved by reading a book or watching a Youtube video. An important part of the learning process required to chant the mantras of the Vedas accurately is the teacher-student relationship.  A relationship of trust is needed for learning to occur and through that connection, change is possible.  I will write more about the teacher-student relationship next week.