Call it Sounding Yoga, Yoga and Sound, Yoga and Vibrational Healing, Yoga and Voice Sound Vibration, Yoga and Sonic Meditation.
In my opinion there is no punchy title to describe this fascinating experience, but I opt to call it Sounding Yoga for simplicity!
What exactly is it? Well I’m going to talk you through this morning’s Sounding Yoga online Workshop and by the end you should have an idea. But you really have to try to get it.
So, we started the Workshop with a bit of chat, checking in with my current and past yogis who were attending the workshop, catching up on their news and what they have been up to, and most importantly how they were feeling that morning, what mood they were in and if they had any pain, tension or discomfort in their body, or emotionally. This is pretty standard in my workshops as well as my regular classes, we must be conscious of how we are feeling before we start our practice.
Next we do some gentle warm-up movements and stretches for the joints and muscles (similar to the below), checking in with each part of the body as we go – awareness as well as warming up. Again, pretty standard stuff.
Then we get into the magical stuff of sounding!
There are 7 main chakras:
- Solar Plexus
- Third Eye
And we have 7 sounds, one for each of the 7 chakras.
So we breathe, deeply, as we would in any normal yoga practice. But then we begin to chant or sound, calling out the sound for the root chakra several times, it’s a low tone, a lower sound frequency, we sound as low as we can without creating discomfort. After sounding the root chakra several times, we pause, to feel the vibration of the silence.
We repeat this process for each of the 7 chakras, breathing, sounding, creating sound vibrations within our bodies, sounding a higher tone and a lower tone, playing around with it to see how it feels and where in the body we can feel it. We try to hit the tone that creates the vibration in the area of the body related to the chakra and observe if it feels easy, or if we come across any trouble areas, anywhere that makes our voice crack, that makes us want to stop, that causes a physical reaction – pain, tension, frowning, slouching, for example. Really interesting stuff can happen here, as we sound through each of the chakras, ‘chanting’ the sound related to each chakra, at a slightly higher tone each time we move up to the next chakra. As we sound a higher tone or note (you’ll have to excuse me, I’m not musically trained, so forgive me if I’m using the terms incorrectly) we feel the vibration in a higher part of the body, until we reach the crown chakra and we are belting out high pitched sounds that cause me to giggle – for me the ‘higher’ chakras feel so light and free and I giggle a lot when I sound them.
After this process, we move onto our yoga practice. So here’s where the real magic happens! As we move through our asanas, holding the poses for several breaths and sounding as we go, very, very interesting things can happen, and it’s very individual. No two people will experience the same emotions, the same sense of the vibrations in their body, the same expansion of their body as the muscles stretch deeper than they do without sounding.
During the workshop I felt myself being pulled towards my sacral chakra a lot. Even while performing a back bending asana that I know logically relates to the heart and throat, for example, I just couldn’t hold the higher note for those chakras. Almost like a higher power, or maybe my own body, was just pulling me back to my sacral chakra. This is where you need to be today Aideen, come back, come back to the sacral sound.
The silence between the sounds is also very powerful, and we play with that too. We use our intuition a lot and I encourage my yogis to do the same, always. So, to practice what I preach, I allow myself to breath in silence in child’s pose. And in that silence I can physically feel something happening around the area of my sacral chakra (near the sacral bone in the pelvis). I hear it loud and clear in the silence! Sacral needs my attention. Perhaps something is trapped there, something is blocked, something is ready to be released or needs action from me in order to be healed.
One of my yogis also felt drawn to root and sacral chakra a lot during the practice, which makes perfect sense to me, as we’ve discussed in the past how we both need to make a conscious effort to ground ourselves. It doesn’t come so naturally. Root and sacral are areas of focus for both of us.
Another of my yogis has physical pain coming up in her shoulders when we sound the throat chakra and a tonne of discomfort in her sinuses when we sound the third eye. Very relevant to her and showing her where she needs more healing, more releasing, something in throat and third eye needs to be addressed. Throat is related to expression and communication, be it verbal or artistic. And third eye is all about intuition and vision.
So you can see that it’s a very individual experience. And powerful too. So so powerful.
I had planned a bit more asana practice, but I felt intuitively that that the practice so far was particularly effective. With so much being released, we became tired more quickly. I felt it, so I checked in my yogis to see how they were feeling, and they too had reached a point where they’d had enough, the effect was strong, it was time to slow it down now. So that’s what we did.
After discussing what everyone experienced, we took a few minutes to sit in the silence. The vibration of the silence is almost palpable after all the sounding, it feels amazing.
And we finish the experience with sonic meditation (sounding through each of the chakras as we rest in corpse pose). The beauty of doing this online is that I can gently drop off-line, end the session and allow everyone to take as much time as they want to rest, to continue with meditation or simply to rest and process.
And I check in by whatsapp a few hours later, and again 2 days later. Everyone found it very powerful and needed a nap afterwards. Always a sign of powerful healing when you feel physically tired afterwards and need to sleep. I too slept for 3 or 4 hours after enjoying silence for half an hour while nibbling some fruit and sipping on water. The feeling of presence, of being in this present moment, with no thoughts about what’s come before or what’s happening later. None of that, just presence, it’s the only way I can describe it right now. But of course I’m still processing, maybe I’ll find other words in the days to come. And I’ve been feeling some weird, mild aching around the area of my sacral, there’s definitely something shifting. Over the next two days I feel different, my perspective on certain areas of my life is shifting, I’m seeing certain things (including myself) in a slightly different light. And it’s really beautiful, it feels very transformative.
I’ll continue to check in on my yogis and offer guidance where required, and it seems it will be required, as the experience was powerful for all of us.
I’ll be journalling and processing and clearing and healing and being present for the next few days. It feels like another layer of the onion has been peeled back, another layer of conditioning, another layer of self-limiting beliefs. It’s really, really beautiful and I’m already looking forward to the next Workshop. In fact, I’m going to schedule it right now!
If you’d like to be added to the contact list for the next Sounding Yoga Workshop just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or a WhatsApp +353851528969, or message me via my website contact page.
Keep raising your vibrations and I look forward to seeing you on the mat!