Alderson, WV – Chaz Gladwell likes to begin his yoga classes by chanting a short Hindu mantra while he plays the harmonium. He always invites his students to join in but they routinely remain silent while he chants for approximately three long minutes.
“I’m not against him chanting if he wants,” said one student, “but if he thinks I’m going to be the first to join in he’s out of his goddamn mind.”
In a recent class it was reported that you could faintly hear one or two people possibly attempting the chant under their breath, but it was difficult to make out and by no means constituted a “join.”
“I thought I heard a timid hum from somewhere in the room but there were no distinct words or melody, just sort of an insecure sound emitting from someone,” said Gladwell. “Maybe the class isn’t ready for the chant yet but if a couple did it I think the rest of the room would feel better about it.”
“I don’t understand Sanskrit or Hindi and I never really know what he’s saying is part of the reason why I don’t join in,” said Sarah, a long time student of Gladwell’s. “Also, it’s so quiet when he starts that I would never want to be the first one to join in. I also don’t want to be the last one.”
Despite the lack of participation Gladwell has plans to bring his lover into class to harmonize with him. “I think this will kick it up a notch and maybe once two people are chanting it won’t be as intimidating. Plus, my lover and I sound great together and I think that will translate.”