I was in one of those big transformational phases of life when I started feeling called toward Kundalini Yoga. I didn’t quite know what I was in for, spiritual work was new territory for me, which made me a little nervous, but I decided to give it a go.
The class began with a chant that set a powerful tone which shaped the entire experience. Mantra was weaved into each practice, which made my whole body feel like it was buzzing. The class ended with a long gong bath which took me out of my body and into the cosmos, inspiring a deep sense of oneness with all.
By the time we came out of Shavasana I felt completely transformed, relaxed and at ease.
The experience wasn’t a complete surprise, knowing how easily music can shift us out of a bad mood and into a place of joy. But using sound as an intentional tool for healing and transformation was a new concept that blew my mind and completely peaked my curiosity.
It lead me down a path of inquiry that opened into the world of sound as a therapy, sound as a science, and sound as a mystical art form.
Here’s what I discovered…
My all-time favourite benefits of Sound Healing
1. Reduced stress and anxiety
Our ears are directly connected to our nervous system. Every vibration that enters the eardrum affects our sympathetic and parasympathetic response (by essentially informing our body of external stressors). The frequencies of sound healing instruments such as the gong and singing bowls create harmonies; mathematical patterns that inspire coherence and relaxation. When we entrain to these sounds we bring their coherent state into our inner worlds, restoring energetic harmony, balance to our mind, body and emotions. And a healthy vibrational rhythm in our biology.
2. A deep sense of calm
As we entrain to the frequencies of healing instruments, our brain moves from Beta (busy mind) to Alpha brain wave (a more relaxed and meditative state). This slower brainwave causes our bodies to relax. From Alpha we move into Theta brain wave (which feels like lucid dreaming), this is a deeply creative state that has one foot in wakefulness and one in sleep. Experiencing these state consciously informs our bodies that it’s possible to be deeply relaxed while awake. It also gets our creative juices flowing, because we let go of the busy mind and open to new states and possibilities. Some of us move into the Delta state (deep sleep), in which our central nervous systems takes over and begins its job of restoring and repairing.
3. Brain health
Our brain uses two areas to process speech, the Broca and Wernicke areas. However, listening to/or making music (ie singing and playing) requires a whole brain response. Meaning that interacting with music awakens the corpus colosseum, activates areas across its hemispheres, and gets synapses firing between a multitude of neural pathways. This is like a brain work out! Music can strengthens the mental muscles, balance the brain, activate unused parts, bring fresh blood and nutrients to more areas, create flexibility and coordination, and ultimately improve brain health and mental clarity.
4. Achieving higher states of consciousness
The Sufi’s say that ‘music is the language of the soul’, and I believe each soul has it’s own song made up of a symphony of vibrations. On an esoteric level (made popular by quantum physics) it is understood that all is sound, that everything vibrates at its own frequency. It is also understood that we can align to different frequencies through resonance and entrainment. Effectively shifting, elevating, or reducing our own. So as we practice entraining to frequencies that elevate us we begin to expand our consciousness.
Pythagoras spoke of the ‘music of the spheres’, a reference to the sounds that the planets of our solar system make. He taught his students to produce those sounds so they can draw upon the qualities of each planet and connect to the wisdom of the solar system.
Tibetan singing bowls are a technology made of the seven metals that represent each of the visible planets. They have been crafted for centuries, by monks who chant mantra as they shape the metal into form. These bowls (among other instruments) have been used in meditation pro the purpose of exploring consciousness, enter altered states, and transcending into mystical experiences.When we are exposed to the frequencies these technologies are made to reach, we not only have access to the higher levels of consciousness that they were crafted from but also to the energy created by the lineage of people who used these technologies, for their own advancement and spiritual growth.
Research shows that the Theta brainwave is the most creative and potent state for manifesting. This is the brain wave that the athletes, mystics and artists are in when they are successfully visualising their wins, having experiences of transcendence, and drawing upon divine inspiration.
Exposure to sound healing instruments, or as we say bathing in the frequencies of sound, takes us into the Theta brain wave with more ease than we can usually get into in our regular waking state. Helping us achieve the level of consciousness necessary to successfully manifest, create, and inform our unconscious of what it is we want to bring into physical form.
This means that if we practice visualisation techniques in a sound healing experience we are boosting our manifesting potential!
Working with sound offers benefits in subtle and gross ways, on multiple levels, including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Its transformational powers can help us by first, bring balance and harmony to our inner world, and second, offering us a tool to transcend and alter our reality.
In my experience I’ve found sound healing to be the most effective practice for quieting the mind and dropping into a mediative state. It’s in this state that magic happens.
Because in a quiet and calm inner landscape we can allow our imaginations to explore beyond our perceived limits, and our minds to reach for new states of being.
When we align our hearts, minds and bodies with what we want to create we begin to see subtle shifts in our external worlds.
With love and light,