Nada – The Yoga of Sound

Creative Commons License photo credit: shankar, shiv

Have you ever felt carried away by a song? Nada yoga is the yoga of sound. A path of exploration of consciousness through sound, Nada Yoga uses music to focus our thoughts and our minds to meditate. The sound can be external (such as music from an instrument or CD) but can also be internal (the sounds that arise from within).

We start by first focusing our practice on the external or “struck” sounds, calming our mind and perhaps enabling us to become more aware of subtle inner sounds (unstruck sounds). These inner sounds that arise from your own body; from things such as blood pumping and the electrical energy of nerves and may be perceived as bells, a flute or a quiet humming. In Nada Yoga, by concentrating first on the external sounds and then on finer and deeper sounds, we can move from the outer to the inner realm.

Nada yoga has been called the science of divine vibration. By tuning in to our subtle vibrations we may be able to reach a state of silence and peace.

Nada yogis believes that everything in the universe is vibratory and therefore sonic in nature. This theory is also supported by modern physics which claims that everything in the entire universe is made up energy vibrating at different frequencies. The speed at which an object vibrates contributes to its particular sound. The tones and frequencies that make up the universe become the subject of meditation in Nada Yoga.

“Seek the sound that never ceases, seek the Sun that never set.” ~Rumi

How to Practice Nada Yoga

Start out by sitting in a comfortable meditation posture. Choose a piece of music that is relaxing and claming. Instrumental tends to be less distracting and allows you to meditate on your own thoughts. The traditional choice is classical Hindu music but you may want to use New age music, perhaps something with an Eastern influence. Another good choice is sounds of nature. We perceive a lot of creative sound in nature, such as the mating calls of birds and the complex songs of whales and dolphins.

Try concentrating on the music for 5-10 minutes. After you form this habit you may extend the time and eventually you may want to try focusing on internal sounds without the music.

Benefits of Nada Yoga

  • Through vibration, Nada Yoga refines all of the body’s systems. It helps to harmonize the energies of the body and bring them into alignment with your natural vibration.
  • Broadens the consciousness and facilitates acceptance of other cultures and their vibrations. Jean Houston explains, “Every person has a different tonality and is made up of different sonar frequencies. That is why we prefer different things and are so radically different from and to each other”. (Source) Exposure to a variety of sounds, rhythms and vibrations cultivates a larger ear and more open heart.
  • Calms the mind.
  • Develops better listening skills.
  • Cultivates a sense of joy and harmony.

It is said that Nada Yoga is not an intellectual pursuit but something that needs to be experienced. Have you tried Nada Yoga or had any experience with sound as healing?

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