Invocation to Pantanjali
The sage Patanjali is the author of the Yoga Sutras, one of the classical yoga philosophy texts. At the beginning of many Iyengar classes, this invocation to Patanjali is chanted to honor the ancient tradition of yoga and the lineage of yoga that we practice.
Students are not required to do the chant if they do not wish to do so.
Here is the transliterated Sanskrit:
yogena cittasya padena vacam
malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena
yopakarottam pravaram muninam
sankha cakrasi dharinam
sahasra sirasam svetam
Here is the English translation:
To the noblest of sages, Patanjali,
Who gave Yoga for serenity of mind,
Grammar for purity of speech,
and Medicine for perfection of the body, I bow,
I prostrate before Patanjali,
Whose upper body has a human form,
Whose arms hold a conch and disc,
Who is crowned by a thousand-headed cobra,
O incarnation of Adisesa,
my salutations to Thee.
An audio version by Geeta Iyengar: