Sound and Sensation for Your SOULstice
I’m sitting in my kitchen on a rainy December day polishing a silver bell I spotted at a puja shop in India. The bell was tarnished; it had been pushed to the back of the others, forgotten behind the glow of shiny distractions. Now as I rub the cloth back and forth, the bell begins to reveal itself.
I’d thought that bells were used in ceremonies to call the gods, but in India I was taught the opposite: the bells are used to announce our presence. This shifted my thinking. Now I used the bell at the beginning of my practice to remind myself to be Be Here Now. This seems important during the hectic holiday season when my personal well-being gets pushed to the back, possibly generating a little symbolic tarnish. The sound of the bell reminds me to become present, to be still and to listen inward. Then I realized, this revelation isn’t new, sound is an ancient tool for helping us pause, reconnect and heal.
Ever heard of psychoacoustics? It’s the study of the effects of sound on the human nervous system. Joshua Leeds is an expert in the field and in his book, The Power of Sound, he says, “In the future, what we think of as sound healing will be called frequency medicine.” This medicine may address stress, cognition, pain, memory and more.
If that seems like a tall order, imagine the sound frequencies that allow opera singers to shatter glass, and you have a mental demonstration that sound alters matter. And all matter – like the sun, the seasons and our bodies – is made of energy vibrating at different frequencies.
Atlanta sound healer Margo Gomes says, “Think of your body like an orchestra that can be tuned and made healthy with sound. When a portion of the body is vibrating out of harmony, or out of ease, the result can be disease. But sound has extraordinary power to heal and transform aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment, enhancing our well being, heightening our consciousness and bringing harmony into our daily lives, thereby restoring us to wholeness.”
Similarly, the practice of Yin yoga is meant to move our vital life energy (known as chi or prana), flushing whatever may be stuck or disharmonious, and restoring ease or homeostasis. The practices of gentle yin sensation and relaxing sound vibrations are a productive combination, one practice amplifying the other to create a state of deep meditative rest in which the nervous system finds balance, and the body naturally sources it’s own innate healing capacity.
We’ll apply this frequency medicine to the solstice, winter’s longest night. It’s a time to relax deeply as the dark half of the year is overtaken by lighter days. Just as the cosmic darkness gives way to the light, our practice is meant to inspire, to illuminate and to help you connect to the source of your vitality. Margo and I are delighted to share this practice with you December 16. Come hear the bells, the bowl, the gong. Come be Present.
About the author: Inspired by the Kripalu and Pranakriya traditions, Amanda’s teaching style is breath-centered, focused on an inner awareness of our experiences. Amanda found yoga at age 40 while searching for a level of healing beyond what doctors could offer. Her belief in self-health led to inquiries around nourishing the Self on many levels. She considers the yogic journey a path of compassionate inquiry and endless unlearning.
Join Amanda for Sonic Solstice – December 16, 2017, 6 – 7:30pm.