Posts Tagged ‘Nada Yoga’

Lotus Love Blog

The Source

Posted on: June 22nd, 2016 No Comments

by Genevieve McClendon

HEART-26

The Source
The lovely melody of a flute
is found neither in the instrument
nor in the player’s fingers.
You might say it comes from the composer’s heart,
but if you opened his heart
you would find no melody.
Where, then, is the source?
It is beyond—in the supreme cosmic Energy
which the ego will never know.
Only if you act from your heart
will you know life’s divine power.
-Amma

When we are born our heart is one of the first organs to develop along with the spinal cord, its beat setting the tone of our lives. We are then born into the world and given the constant rhythm of breath, synchronizing all the sounds and tones of life force. Nada yoga is the union through sound, inner transformation through sound and deeper listening. We honor them as the source and vibration of Om (also know as AUM, broken up into three letters) and anahata, the sound that is always in you, the vibration within the sound, the sound within the sound. It is the vibration within each cell of our being. Nada yoga is to feel the sound of God within us.

This past week I went to visit Amma, the “Hugging Saint” at her ashram in San Ramon. Being there was like being bathed in a celebration and party of blessed sounds and an intoxicating vibration of omnipresent love. Whenever first entering Amma’s ashram there is a restoring of harmony within my inner sounds as I receive all vibrations and sounds of the temple. It takes moments to synchronize myself with her loving presence and the sounds of chanting, repeating mantras, and the vibrations of all the people. There is a change in the atmosphere when a true Guru is present. The vibrating sound of the crown chakra and OM is everywhere. Communing with the Guru I am left feeling focused and relaxed. A feeling of hOMe.

As I was sitting in my seat waiting for my turn to receive a divine Amma hug I was mesmerized by her japa, or repetition in hugging one being after another. To me it was as if each hug was a mantra on a mala bead. And these aren’t just hugs, she snuggles you into arms with all her divine love and it’s as if a thunderbolt of love moves through your body. This alters your vibrational field and awareness. I could feel my heart’s capacity expand and my energy cleansed. Being in her energetic vibrational field I could feel all the cells in my body shift by the immense love she was radiating. Helping tune every one of us back into who we really are. Showering everyone in the purest vibrations of love. Restoring our hearts divine rhythm and tone. Shedding pain and suffering.

Patanjali states, “vibration is still there in the mind in an unmanifested condition. Scientifically, we can say that when manifested objects are reduced to their unmanifested condition, they go back to the atomic vibration. Nobody can stop that atomic vibration.” The omnipresent vibration of love is never changing – it’s always constant. Whether it’s through chanting mantras, thinking good thoughts, giving silent empathy, prayer, singing your heart out, dancing, being in nature, visiting a Guru, laughing with friends, we are given the opportunity to vibrate with our truest self, the sounds of divine love. The rhythm of our heart, the tide of our breath, the sound of divinity that vibrates inside and outside of us are reflections to the ever present Om and love in the universe. Nada yoga transforms our inner and outer sounds into love, vibrating our truest self. Sending waves and sounds of love from me to you through this blog. Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

“Your heart is the real temple. It is there you must install god, good thoughts are the flowers, good actions the worship, good words the hymns, love, the divine offering.”
-Amma

Genevieve is committed to serving and helping others come into their best self. She is a compassionate teacher that invites all her students to live their truth and celebrate who they are as they are. She is a passionate Reiki Master/Teacher. Genevieve also teaches Restorative yoga with Reiki at Laughing Lotus on Friday from 6:45-8:00pm and Sunday from 6:15-7:30. To learn more, please visit her website at www.InLightandSoul.com


Nada Yoga

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 No Comments

by Astrud Castillo

astrud meditation green heart

NAMAH SIVAYA GURAVE NADA-BINDU KALATMANE, NIRANJANA-PADAM YATI NITYAM YATRA PARAYANAH

Salutations to the Nadam, which is the inner guide and the inner life the dispenser of happiness to all! It is the inner Guru appearing as Nada, the inner music, obtains the highest bliss.
-Hatha Yoga Pradipika IV.1

Translated by Shri Brahmananda Saravati
The Nadam is the inner current, light
and the dance that occurs, in us as us.
It urges us to listen with the ear of the heart!

I recently returned from Hawaii and Big Sur, where the purest form of sound was to be heard both inside and out—the sound of the ocean, the birds and the wind. I fell asleep each night to what at first was the sound of the tide rolling in and out, and at some point, there was no separation—there was no beginning, no end-just the sonorous sound of the water itself, which evolved into the eternal hum or sound of Om.

I also recognized this powerful sound inside the sound while I was observing large birds flying in unison over me, flapping their extremely large wings.The sound was filled with effort and had a rhythm all of its own. Then they would rest their wings in mid air, and you would only hear the power-FULL silence of the wind, the breath inside the breath. The reason the silence is so powerful and healing is it creates a vibration inside of us that then reverberates through each one of our cells—awakens consciousness and dissolves and breaks down any obstructions in the body and mind.
Nada Yoga reminds us that when “Entertainment” leads to “Innertainment,” music then becomes Yoga. The most powerful moment in Nada Yoga is when the music stops!

There is said to be two sources of sound. The AAHATA NADA (struck sound, that which is played using instruments) and the ANAATHA NADA, which is the uncreated sound—the sound of silence, the cosmos it is the sound of the void.
The sound of the Cosmos dissolves into the seed sound of all sounds, the sound of OM.

AUM is broken down into simple terms for us.
A-manifestation, creation and is symbolized by the SUN and waking consciousness.
U-growth, preservation,and the MOON is represented here as the dream state.
M-completion, destruction, perfection it is the sphere of FIRE as well as deep sleep.

You are encouraged to explore the sounds of nature—take a walk in the forest, by the ocean and listen to the sound inside the sound. Pick up an instrument and play or turn on some good dance music and explore the movement that naturally happens. Then pause and feel the vibrations.

Find some Kirtan in your community and chant the names of gods and goddesses and bathe in the sacred sounds and their power—before during and after the music.

“Enjoy the Silence” -Depeche Mode
“Great is the intoxication of money, of physical power and strength, of the relative world. But far greater still is the infinite bliss of Anahata Nadam which, takes one beyond time and space and makes all temporal intoxications fade away, useless.”
-Kabir

Om……

originally posted June 25,2014


The Music of the Soul

Posted on: June 8th, 2016 No Comments

by Robin Wilner

RW-dancer pose

I came into the world with music in my veins. Genetics seemed to predetermine my future profession as a dancer/singer – grandma was a symphony pianist, grandpa was a cantor, mom played guitar, sang and taught music in elementary schools. So it’s no wonder that I was drawn to music as a means of expressing myself – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our family sang traditional prayers together during the holidays; pop music always bellowed from the car stereo or at home during dinner; a classical pianist accompanied my daily dance classes. From as far back as I can remember, music and dance were integral part of my life. Movement and singing were a means of connecting to the world from a very young age, making sense of the overwhelming feelings that accompany young adulthood, and articulating myself as a creative being as I matured.

Music is a universal language, it touches people of all different races and creeds and social backgrounds. The piercing beauty of an opera singer’s soprano can bring a room to tears; a rock and roll band can inspire entire generations towards creating change; a drumbeat builds anticipation, church bells signify joyous celebration, the cello may accompany a somber affair. What we hear has the power to affect how we feel, and music itself can break through barriers. And so it is that many spiritual practices seek higher states of consciousness through sound.
The “yoga of sound” or Nada Yoga, is a meditative practice that involves deep internal listening for the sacred sound of the Divine within – known as the anahata nada. Through purification of the mind, one might tap into the central energy channel (sushumna) and begin to hear this unstruck sound in the ear of the heart.

While this intense practice can be challenging, a more accessible practice for the modern yogi is the ahata nada yoga practice, which involves listening to external sounds. All life creates its own music – the whisper of the wind or crashing of waves, the chirping of birds and buzzing of bees, the rustling of leaves or a crackling fire, a giggling child. Whether we listen to nature or the soulful melodies of voices and instruments in harmony, we can strengthen our ability for internal listening and concentration and, in essence, experience more peace and tranquility.

Whether I’m feeling joy, sadness, anxiety, fear, anticipation, or exhilaration, music has always been my greatest companion. There are songs whose poetic lyrics force me to sing along. As soon as I hear a fierce pulsating rhythm, my hips start to sway and I feel the intense desire to move. Sometimes I simply need to be still and listen, and it’s the graceful harmony of bells and strings that bring me to a state of quiet calm. Other times, I come to sit at my harmonium and chant various names of the Divine in the spiritually charged language of Sanskrit. The droning of the chords creates a soothing vibration and the melodies somehow write themselves.

Sound is merely vibration….vibration is energy…and energy is life force, which connects all living things. A series of sounds in harmony can create a portal for our spiritual healing. Whether you croon, chant, play an instrument, clap, tap, boogie or rap, let your heart resonate with the rhythm of your soul. The more we can open our outer and inner ears to the vibrations of Life, the greater our capacity to enjoy it. As the late Robin Williams said, “You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even in the stars.”

Robin Wilner is a former Broadway dancer/singer/actress who took a leap of faith, moved to the west coast, and is devoted to teaching and practicing yoga. Mixing her dance background with a love of chanting, meditative healing, and philosophy, she strives to lead her students to a state of being that reflects their own inner radiance. Flow with Robin on Mondays & Fridays at 12pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9am, Fridays at 5:30pm or Sundays at 10am.


In between all these sounds I hear….

Posted on: June 1st, 2016 No Comments

by Brima Jah

Brima Jah

I sit down to write this blog.

A fly with big, loud wings collides into my left hear. People yelling and Muni buses jetting down the street downstairs from my apartment echo into my bedroom. A wall in my bedroom shakes to the beat of the latest Drake album that my neighbor blasts on repeat.

In between all of these sounds I hear my breath and quick glimpses of silence.

Listening to all of these different sounds and the accompanying silence in between them are part of the experience of nada yoga. The Sanskrit word “nada” means sound and is related to another Sanskrit term “nadi,” which means stream or flow. “Nada yoga” is therefore a union through sound or the flow of sound. Sounds of all different forms including music and our voices are part of nada yoga.

These sounds can be placed in two categories:

there are “ahata” sounds that are created by striking objects together such as drums, clapping hands, or maybe less obvious, wind blowing through trees and air colliding with our vocal chords when we speak or sing; and,

there are “anahata,” or inner sounds that are created without striking objects together and are heard from within.

It’s been said that our mind can become entrained or during meditation become absorbed in inner sounds, to the extent that we no longer listen to it but rather become one with it. However, the idea getting “absorbed” in inner sounds can take years and may seem inaccessible.

Still, research studies done at the Bihar School of Yoga have demonstrated that we do have access to connecting, or perhaps to RE-CONNECTING, with our inner sounds. This reconnection can happen through chanting mantra and participating in kirtan that can unite our breath, body and mind.

In essence, chanting mantra and kirtan helps us use of our voice to become a medium for communicating both with others and with our selves. There is rarely any instance in which we use our voice without feeling it vibrate in our body, repeat in our mind, or move us in some way emotionally.

As newborns, we create the same sounds. Within the first few months of life, the sounds we create are universal across all races, ethnicities, culture or nationality. Acquiring language and speech as children, unfortunately, starts to create demands on us that sacrifice our vocal freedom and spontaneity.

Exploring our voices, whether in chanting mantra, kirtan or by speaking, invites us to return to a sense of freedom and spontaneity that is more universal. This exploration is grounded in our body. As our voice resonates, we learn what we sound like alone and in community as one.

While we may chant mantra or sing when we are happy, singing can also support our coping with sadness, pain, and suffering. Chanting mantra and kirtan, as practices of nada yoga, give us each a means for freedom of expression when we feel happy, sad, or a mix of both. As in the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan, “the shortest way to attain to spiritual heights is by singing.”


My First Mantra

Posted on: June 24th, 2015 No Comments

by Laura

Laura Schadler

I have no memory of a time before my first mantra. It was two words my mom told my sister and me, a mantra from the lineage of yoga my parents practiced at the time. I forget exactly how she explained it to us, but it was clear the words were magical, and sacred. They were alive, and a way to call upon what we needed. I repeated them to myself every night as I fell asleep. I repeated them when I was anxious or worried, when I couldn’t sleep, when I wanted to be with myself in a certain sort of way, still and calm and separated from regular life. Coupled with this mantra was my mom’s instruction each night as she turned the lights off in our room and said, “Good night. Look for the light inside you.” I began to conflate these two actions, the repetition of my secret words, and the light inside me. I thought those words, repeated with devotion, called upon the light, dormant somewhere behind the darkness of my closed eyes. Then I thought I found it, of course, pressing on my eyelids until purple flares burst there. I was aware that perhaps this was cheating but I didn’t care. I contained these colors and lights, these sounds, and I had sensory proof. I echoed with all of it, repeated for years and years. In some ways I’ve never really stopped this mantra practice. My being echoes with the sounds of a lifetime spent whispering the words given to me by my mom.

Nada Yoga is the yoga of sound. It translates to “union through sound.” Like all yoga practice, this particular type of yoga contains everything, its own contradictions included. OM is the universal sound, containing all sounds. It is comprised of three syllables, but the fourth syllable is silence. And Nada Yoga works similarly. Nada Yoga is not exactly mantra. It is the inner sound, the silence. I have heard it described as the vibratory hum you hear right inside your ear when you are quiet. That sound you hear inside yourself is similar to breath, in that it can be a focal point of meditation, and a reminder of the fact that nothing is ever beginning nor ending. This sound is another manifestation of energy that was around long before us and will be around long after us. It is another layer of reminder. It is a place to return our attention. I find this tremendously comforting. I find it as comforting as the mantra my mother gave me all those years ago. The comfort comes from the reminder that we can call out, and when we do, we call out to all existence, and to ourselves.

There is so rarely silence in our lives. The moments we take to actively seek it, or the times when it finds us anyway, are true gifts. The moment in a yoga class after you chant OM, allow yourself to feel the vibration in the air as the room falls silent. That is Nada Yoga. It is often so palpable it seems to have a texture, as if everyone’s voice is sinking back down and re-entering us via some other form. You are feeling the fourth syllable of silence. For me, when I am in Child’s Pose or a forward fold, those are moments that call on Nada Yoga. At these moments of turning a bit more inward, we hear our own existence, the beat of our heart, and the sound of our breath, even the energy we have created through our practice moving silently (but not silent!) inside us.

That being said, I think the opposite of silence is part of our Nada Yoga practice as well. I have a Spotify playlist that is my home practice soundtrack. It is full of hundreds of songs, some quite yogic, and others quite not. I find myself often putting loud, dark songs on this playlist. Songs that are dissonant or jarring in some way. Songs I would never include on a playlist as a teacher because they might be disruptive or not quite right for the mood I am trying to create. But I love practicing to them by myself. When these songs come on I find myself more reminded of the visceral truths of myself and this body that I use to practice yoga. It is a wild, unlikely, and temporary place, this physical self. Sometimes I want to close my eyes and move and feel the sounds swirling and growing louder and louder all around me. This sensory experience is both profoundly physical and also not. Again it all returns to this idea of union, of oneness. There is no distinction. There are times in our practice when we more fully feel the truth of that, when it moves beyond words into an experience. For me, my music blasting, I often am able to enter that space.

My most recent mantra practice is with a long, healing mantra. It is a chant to Rama, who reminds us of our great power to heal ourselves. My new Rama mantra reminds me of my childhood mantra, the power it gave me to calm myself, to be present, to feel that I could call forth the light inside me. I am chanting this Rama mantra because of health issues I am having, in particular on my right side. And I love the symbolism of the sounds Ra and Ma. Ra is associated with the solar current that runs down the right side of our bodies and Ma with the lunar current that runs down the left. By repeating Rama we balance these two energy channels. I have chosen a particularly long mantra, which took me awhile to remember. I say it in formalized ways during meditation, but I also find myself whispering it on my bike, it is simply starting to be everywhere inside me: Om Apa-damapa Hataram Dataram Sarva Sampadam Loka Bhi Ramam Sri Ramam Bhuyo Bhuyo Namam-yaham. I sit, interlace my fingers, place them over my right side and chant this, sometimes aloud and sometimes silently. Bring your healing energy to the Earth, to the Earth, the mantra requests. I love the repetition of it. I feel the light inside me. I don’t have to press on my eyelids anymore to see it there. In the silence after my mantra is over, I breathe in and breathe out, and I listen to those final syllables.

Laura Schadler is a San Francisco based yoga teacher and fiction writer.


The practice of connection

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 No Comments

by Valerie Starr
-2
One of my favorite by-products of being a yoga teacher is that for a duration of time we get to become DJ’s. I love digging through music sites, making playlists, and finding new songs to inspire. Music can be a great tool to drive your practice deeper and we are vibrational beings that respond to vibration. There is a beautiful connection that can occur between our body and soul when we resonate to sounds during a heart-opening experience such as yoga.

This practice of connection is called Nada Yoga.

When we consciously move our bodies in harmony with our breath we are attuning the internal vibration (anahata); when we dance to music, we move through the external vibration (ahata). The external and internal worlds have a hypnotizing, spiritual partnership that is evident in our bodies, our world and throughout the cosmos. We connect to this when we chant the sounds of Om.

This leads me into one of my favorite theories, entrainment, which is an aspect of sound that is closely related to the way rhythm affects us. Entrainment happens when one powerful rhythmic vibration of an object causes a less powerful vibration of another object to oscillate at the first objects rate.

We feel this when listening to a song and we start to tap our feet to the rhythm. Or, when a pendulum is swinging and syncs with another that was originally at a different pace.

In our body we are always in a state of entrainment as our heart rate, respiration and brain waves entrain each other. When we are flowing in the middle of a vinyasa and the music is playing, often times we feel like we are moving and synced with the music, tuning deeper into our breath. At the end of a class, when we are sitting in meditation and slowing our breath, our heartbeat starts to decrease as well. The same concept happens with music. When we listen to fast pace music our heart rate rises and when the sound is softer, our heart rate slows. A research paper by Doctors Janet and Hobart Landreth called “Effects of Music on Physiological Response” reported that heart rate changes were directly related to changes in tempo.”

Recently, I have been more aware of how important sound is now that I have been pregnant for nearly six months. To think that this little one inside of me is listening to not only my heart beat, but also my tummy growling, my respiration, and the outside sounds around me! (How crazy is that?!?) I find myself becoming more aware of what I say, the music I am listening to, the people I surround myself with, the conversations I have, the movies I watch, and even the thoughts that I have.

I am a lover of electronic music and it is often remarked by class-goers that my playlists makes people feel as if they are on the Burning Man playa in Black Rock City. However, I am not sure that my little one in utero is quite ready for that just yet. I have been finding softer versions of songs, and trading out dubstep for chillstep, Nine Inch Nails for the Rockabye Baby Lullaby version of Nine Inch Nails songs.

In his paper “On the Effects of Lullabies” Johannes Kneutgen reported on the soothing effects of lullabies played for infants and noted that breathing rhythms became synchronized with the rhythm of the music. Using the idea of Nada yoga connecting the outside vibration to the internal vibration I find it a beautiful way to not only find a deeper connection within myself, but also to this little Starr inside.


MANTRA: The Language of Divine Energy

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015 No Comments
by Alex Crow Alex Crow
For a Yoga practitioner in the Western world, singing out loud in the beginning or end of your yoga class might feel like the most terrifying thing you could do in your day. Perhaps you don’t find your voice to be that beautiful, or you don’t necessarily want to chant words in a language that you don’t yet understand. I remember those first few months practicing yoga at Laughing Lotus; I was skeptical of mantra chanting. Not only did it bring me back to semi-painful memories of singing hymns during Sunday Mass, but I also didn’t know what the words meant, so why would I sing them aloud? It wasn’t until my teacher at the time, Keith Borden, explained to us one morning, “Although Sanskrit is a ‘dead’ language, the vibration of each letter has a specific frequency; each sound vibrates with an aspect of the divine life source. The sounds are, in a sense, very much alive.” ummm… WHAT!? This may sound like some more of that fantastical, “woo woo” talk, but the fact is that the chanting of Sanskrit mantra is deeply rooted in the Yogic tradition that dates back thousands of years, and just as the practice of Yoga is a practical and scientific application, the practice of mantra is an aspect of the science of sound, or Nada Yoga. Russill Paul, in his text The Yoga of Sound, describes Nada Yoga as the sacred practice of using sound as a path to the divine. But what is sound and how is it beneficial to our lives? Sound as we receive it, is the reception of waves of vibration and the perception of said vibrations by the brain. More specifically, using mantra is particularly effective because both the palate and the inner ear function as “blueprints for the body’s nervous system”. Paul continues to say that the different mouth positions, length of breath and inflection of the voice all have an impact on the subtle body and brain, which in turn have their impact on the physical form and it’s well being. In fact, Sanskrit was constructed for the purpose of stimulating the higher consciousness available through verbal communication. “The rich phonetics employed in the language and the varying complexity of tongue placement stimulate a variety of energy frequencies. These ‘asanas of the tongue’ have direct health benefits because they serve to stimulate the pituitary gland located just millimeters away from the roof of the palate.” (russillpaul.com) From a less scientific approach, we can experience how releasing sound has a positive effect on our health. Whether it be the release of a sigh, the feeling of laughter in our bodies, or belting out to your favorite Beyonce track, we all know how good it can feel to let our voices free. It truly is a release, an expression of an internal experience. On the other side of the coin, we also know how heavy it can feel when we keep our voices tightly held inside, withholding the truth of expression. It has been said many times before, “the truth with set you free”, and while I do not condone preaching your truth all around town, I do support behaving from a place of healthy authenticity, allowing oneself to speak honestly, while also making room for silence. For it is in silence where true listening can be experienced. For instance, when I allow myself to be truly present and receptive with a friend, or even an animal, I can hear and feel into the more subtle vibrations of what they are truly saying. It is in the silence and spaciousness of the present moment where the divine energy can truly be heard. Everything in this physical world is vibrating all of the time. From the subtlest humming of plants, to the enormous rhythms of planets, everything buzzes to it’s own tune, including you and I! When you feel attracted to something or someone, you are resonating with that. Of course the opposite is also true, that when you feel resistant or repulsed, there is a lack of resonance–in essence, the frequencies aren’t matching…yet. In this sense, we can gather information about ourselves, and how we are vibrating, by kindly observing what we are or are not attracted to, as well as who or what is attracted (or not) to us. We can ask ourselves, how do I want to move through the world? What do I wish to resonate with? Most importantly, how do I come into harmony with the truth of who I am? The practices of Yoga each act like tuning forks, each vibrating at different frequencies, bringing us into harmony and resonance with our own bodies, minds, breath, emotion, and most essentially our divine nature, or as some phrase it, “the truth of who you are.” Mantra, to put it simply, is another tool to help us along our spiritual path towards internal resonance and harmony with the Divine. Mantras to try: 1. OM: the primordial sound. The sound of Brahman (the Divine Source/Mystery). Calling out the sound of OM for an extended period of time has been shown to calm the mind, lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety/depression. In India, we chanted OM for thirty minutes every morning as the sun rose on the ashram…a beautiful practice, but we are not in India. If you can’t fit 30 minutes of OM Chanting into your daily practice, try 5 minutes of focused chanting; it doesn’t matter how long you practice, but how intentional you are. 2. Om Nama Shivaya: “I bow down and honor the teacher within myself.” This is a well-known Sanskrit phrase that has much power and resonance. Shiva is known as many things including meditator and destroyer of ignorance, but I like to see him as the dancer…he who dances through life with ease and fierce grace. Shiva reveals that which is sometimes hidden, shedding light through ignorance, teaching us and guiding us back home into union. He is the teacher that we find within ourselves. 3. Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering.” This mantra is painted outside the walls of Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in SF, and I find this to be a mantra for the heart, as it aids in our connection and compassion for others. This mantra chanted at any time of day carries lightness with it, helping us to release stress and any feelings of separateness or isolation. Hari Om!

Take a class with Alex, check out our class schedule… View Schedule


Nada Yoga

Posted on: June 25th, 2014 2 Comments

by Astrud Castillo Astrud Chanting
NAMAH SIVAYA GURAVE NADA-BINDU KALATMANE, NIRANJANA-PADAM YATI NITYAM YATRA PARAYANAH
Salutations to the Nadam, which is the inner guide and the inner life the dispenser of happiness to all! It is the inner Guru appearing as Nada, the inner music, obtains the highest bliss.
-Hatha Yoga Pradipika IV.1

Translated by Shri Brahmananda Saravati
The Nadam is the inner current, light
and the dance that occurs, in us as us.
It urges us to listen with the ear of the heart!

I recently returned from Hawaii and Big Sur, where the purest form of sound was to be heard both inside and out—the sound of the ocean, the birds and the wind. I fell asleep each night to what at first was the sound of the tide rolling in and out, and at some point, there was no separation—there was no beginning, no end-just the sonorous sound of the water itself, which evolved into the eternal hum or sound of Om.

I also recognized this powerful sound inside the sound while I was observing large birds flying in unison over me, flapping their extremely large wings.The sound was filled with effort and had a rhythm all of its own. Then they would rest their wings in mid air, and you would only hear the power-FULL silence of the wind, the breath inside the breath. The reason the silence is so powerful and healing is it creates a vibration inside of us that then reverberates through each one of our cells—awakens consciousness and dissolves and breaks down any obstructions in the body and mind.
Nada Yoga reminds us that when “Entertainment” leads to “Innertainment,” music then becomes Yoga. The most powerful moment in Nada Yoga is when the music stops!

There is said to be two sources of sound. The AAHATA NADA (struck sound, that which is played using instruments) and the ANAATHA NADA, which is the uncreated sound—the sound of silence, the cosmos it is the sound of the void.
The sound of the Cosmos dissolves into the seed sound of all sounds, the sound of OM.

AUM is broken down into simple terms for us.
A-manifestation, creation and is symbolized by the SUN and waking consciousness.
U-growth, preservation,and the MOON is represented here as the dream state.
M-completion, destruction, perfection it is the sphere of FIRE as well as deep sleep.

You are encouraged to explore the sounds of nature—take a walk in the forest, by the ocean and listen to the sound inside the sound. Pick up an instrument and play or turn on some good dance music and explore the movement that naturally happens. Then pause and feel the vibrations.

Find some Kirtan in your community and chant the names of gods and goddesses and bathe in the sacred sounds and their power—before during and after the music.

“Enjoy the Silence” -Depeche Mode
“Great is the intoxication of money, of physical power and strength, of the relative world. But far greater still is the infinite bliss of Anahata Nadam which, takes one beyond time and space and makes all temporal intoxications fade away, useless.”
-Kabir

Om……

Astrud Castillo is a Senior Teacher at Laughing Lotus of 12 years. Her teaching encourages us to uncover and discover the depths of who we are through the profound intimacy of breath. She is devoted to the nadam, the inner music, which is so beautifully expressed through yoga asana. Astrud is committed to making yoga accessible to all, in group classes as well as one-on-one.

Astrud leads Morning Mantras every Thursday from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m., Morning Flow at 7:00 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and Lotus Flow 1/2 at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. (Sign Up!) Her Kirtan Band, Astrud and the Cosmic Caravan, will be filling the Lotus walls with devotional, ecstatic sound on Saturday, July 12th.


Nada Yoga – The Yoga of Sound

Posted on: June 4th, 2013 No Comments

Theme of the Month for June: Nada Yoga
by Katharine Otis

conchshell

now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened.
-e.e. cummings

There is an inherent beauty when the outer world of Nature is brought into harmony with the inner world of the Self.  Not only is this harmony the very definition of Yoga, it is also a birthright of every being on the planet and a key to living a happy and healthy life.  The traditions of Yoga offer a multitude of ways of bringing about this harmony of sense perception to that which perceives it. One such tradition is the practice of Nada Yoga or the Yoga of Sound.  How often at the beach have you picked up a shell and placed it to your ear, only to hear the sound of the ocean contained inside?  What if that were the sound of God, or simply the sound of blood pumping, or what if they were the same thing?  Nada Yogis of ancient times and today use sound vibrations of the world to awaken the ability to listen, and even more subtly draw the anatomical ear to the innermost ear, listening deeply to the mystery of the universe contained within.

The modern world is dominated by the visual sense.  The eyes focus singularly on a computer screen, the road, a book, moving in linear and angular starts and stops.  The auditory sense on the other hand, accepts through the ears sound vibration in a smooth spiral of descent, where many sounds are perceived at the same time on a multitude of levels.  The Rishis of ancient India heard the sound of the planets and created the language of Sanskrit through deep meditative listening.  These great Yogis believed sound was the primordial reality existing even before there were ears to receive it.  Science supports this belief in revealing that sound is the first sense to come to a fetus in the womb and the last sense to go in death.  How then can sound exist without a world?  What is the innermost ear? And how can the sense of sound bring harmony with the Self?  The answer lies in the difference between hearing and listening.

The ear may have the function of perceiving sounds perfectly, but until the mind links to the perceived tone with awareness, the sound lies unabsorbed and will not affect one’s consciousness.  However, when the mind becomes captivated by a sound, one’s consciousness can become clear and expansive.  Listening is therefore the receptive state of hearing.  There is no end to how deeply one can listen.  Nada Yogis listen not only to the music outer of the world or struck sound (“ahata”), but listen to the inner music of the Self or unstruck sound (“anahata”).  This type of listening is as if the outer ear were listening to the inner ear, and what is heard leads the practitioner toward peace, bliss, and harmony.   Just keep listening.

Join us for yoga practice at Laughing Lotus, as classes for the month of June offer insight on the theme of Nada Yoga. Katharine studied Sound, Voice & Music Healing at California Institute of Integral Studies. She recommends The Yoga of Sound by Russill Paul for anyone who would like to learn more.