One of the effects that occurs most often is related to our energy. For example moving from a more depressed state to a state where there is more buoyancy, there is more motivation and I don’t feel I have to force myself to be active. So if wellbeing means feeling alive and active and being involved and engaged in life, then chanting can contribute to that state. At the same time, there is the other side of modern life, where we become agitated because we are pulled in so many directions. Many of my students say that if they find themselves in a state of agitation, all they have to do is sit down and chant a little bit and they will settle down. My teacher used to say that chanting works so quickly. Pranayama and asana are effective tools but they take time. But there is an immediacy to the effect of chanting that is unique.
Of course Yoga gives ideas how to stay healthy. Yoga prescribes four major approaches to a healthy living. Ahara, healthy diet, vihara, a healthy and spiritually conscious lifestyle, bhavana, healthy and positive attitudes towards oneself and the world, and finally sadhana or abhyasa, practices which include engaging the body, breath, and mind. In sadhana we have tools such as asana, pranayama, mudra, etc.
By practicing all the four we use a holistic approach to regain holistic health. The greatness of Yoga is that it offers a multidimensional approach to healthy living with a multitude of tools. Yoga also teaches us that we have to find tools that are appropriate for us, considering different parameters such as our age, our stage in life, our capacities, the seasons of the year and other such individual centric parameters. Thus for optimum health each individual needs to adopt a personalized practice. The theory of one size fits all doesn’t work for Yoga.