jaw tension... normal?

(Questions and Answers are from Bhavani’s workshop “A Simple How-To and Who's Who Introduction to Sanskrit Mantra” part of the Feb 2012 Annual Yoga Hub Virtual Conference.)

Question: I really enjoyed this session! I have been intimidated by mantra, so it was nice to learn more about it. As I was repeating the mantras during the session, I noticed I developed a lot of throat and jaw tension...am I doing something wrong, or is it just something new?

Answer: I'm so happy you enjoyed the session. I'm always thrilled to share about mantra. Here are several ideas regarding your throat and jaw tension. First, I think whenever we work to pronounce a language that is not the one we grew up with, there's a bit of tension to form the sounds. With Sanskrit there may be even more. I often say that you have to chew Sanskrit because of the way the letters combine in the mouth, so it can be even more tricky sometimes than one of the European languages. Also, with anything that's new there's often tension in the beginning until it is more familiar. So not to worry. Whenever you feel that tension in your throat and jaw, just stop for a moment and yawn a couple of times and begin again. Soon it will come "trippingly off the tongue" as Shakespeare says. Have fun with it.

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