Japa Yoga is the repetitive reciting of Mantras, spiritual chants, or the name of a God or Goddess. It’s in fact a form of Bhakti Yoga, that is, the Yoga of Devotion. The Japa practice is found in religions that originated in India, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
The idea behind persistently doing Japa as part of one’s Sadhana practice is that it leads to liberation of worldly ignorance and bondage, peace and bliss, and finally to Self-Realization i.e. Spiritual Enlightenment.
Typically, Japa is performed sitting in an Asana or meditation posture, and the Mantra or Divine Name is spoken loud enough to hear (Vaikhari Japa), whispered (Upamshu Japa), or only spoken silently in the mind (Manasika Japa). It’s thought that each different type of Japa has various degrees of effectiveness, where Vaikhari Japa is the least powerful and Manasika Japa the most powerful form.
Doing Japa may be accompanied with other practices, such as burning incense or counting beads that glide through the hands. A special form of Japa is Likhita Japa. In this Japa Yoga practice one repeatedly writes the Mantra (for instance, in a notebook) while reciting it. It’s thought to be even more effective than only reciting a Mantra.