Yoga

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pure Sound


The Power of Pure Sound.
Chanting, sounding Om, Singing bowls, Gongs, Toning, flutes and Sound Healing. What is this stuff all about? I don’t know the how of it; I know there is something very real and wonderful going on. I am no authority on this subject, but I will share from my own experience. Then you will know why there is chanting and OM as part of  yoga Classes, and sometimes live gongs, singing bowls, flutes or with harmonic sound healing.
We all know the pure joy and satisfaction of listening to, singing playing a favorite song, sometimes over and over. We all know how some songs help us cry when our hearts feel broken. This is emotions for certain, yet perhaps more. There are studies showing the benefit of music for the elderly, for persons with depression and even heart conditions.  I do dance/music exercise with elderly people in assisted living many times as well.  Recently I was fortunate to hear Robert Tree Cody play native flute for these elderly people, we were outside under the New Mexico blue sky. They had done the breathing exercises which we always close class with. When flute music began, the healing effect was obvious, so different than when someone hears a “grand old song” they love. As they listened, a profound peacefulness settled over everyone. I saw their faces become more relaxed and felt something changing. I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt it and others there felt it. There were more smiles and eye contact between the elderly people and also with the staff that cares for them.
The experience of pure sound and Harmonic Sound is more than emotional. I know it resonates with-in our whole being, our consciousness.  Yoga includes chanting as part of Kundalini yoga and at Kirtans.  Many cultures have mystic practices involving sound, music singing or chanting.  In Tunisia I heard singing one night, a special singing called “Singing the heart/throat” hearing it from a distance and then up close it had an effect on me I have never been able to explain, I didn’t know the language enough for there to be any understanding of the words, it wasn’t like anything music-wise I normally enjoyed, but I could have listened to it all night, and will never forget it. This was over15 years ago.
 Pure sound began to be very interesting to me,  after my first one hour, silent, group meditation; we did 11 minutes of Om sounding afterward. There was a merging and amplification of everyone’s “energy”; I don’t know what else to call it- it was not simple emotion : there was a palpable raising or shift in everyone, I talked with others who had the same experience, and one person described it as “all the cells of their body were vibrating at a higher frequency”! That described it! We talked about the sound helping raise our consciousness.  
Shortly after that I went to a sound healing event in Santé Fe, (Renee S. Lebeau, http://www.ahkana.com/ who studied with Tom Kenyon, http://tomkenyon.com. (There is a wonderful documentary film about him, I recently saw).  The sound/music was amazing. The next event, I asked Renee if there was space to dance or do yoga in the back of the room.  I wanted to explore movement with this live pure sound. She said we could make that an option. That night she was collaborating with two others, there was a wooden flute. I listened and did yoga breathing and then began to move.  I did a combination of yoga and dance spontaneously, my mind was totally quite – void of thought, I moved in expanded ways and did yoga poses I thought were out-of my-reach and did them with amazing ease.  I experienced direct effect of the sound on my physical body, movement in the fascia and tissue deep within the body.  Whenever the flute was played, I felt as if I had wings and my shoulders became very flexible, again I did poses beyond my usual range with ease.
I was contacted to do Yoga to the sound of Gongs www.thegongtemple.com recently, and said yes! to complete strangers!!!  (Who turned out to be wonderful, kind and true sound healing artists). It was awesome to teach with the gongs, halo, singing bowls and Michelle's voice and share this experience.  I also participated in doing a healing circle, where healers did Reiki, and other types of healing, on massage tables, placed around the gongs. The energy, sound vibrations, harmonies amplified the healing effects. I am so glad to know they are coming back in October. 

The Gong Temple's photo of their gongs, halo and singing bowls....

Please share your thoughts and experiences with sound healing; toning, chanting, singing bowls gongs- I would love to hear more about people’s experiences and practices.

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