We can return to the study of the gong in order to understand how the different processes involved in Sound Yoga may be brought together and experienced for dynamic yoga practice as well as meditation and relaxation.
Kundalini Yoga maps the subtle energy body onto the surface of the gong – if first of all we imagine the gong as a giant sun we may envisage it as having a hot core of energy at the centre with the periphery being faster vibrating and more mutable. We can see the centre of the gong as its heart chakra with the three lower chakras moving down and the highest, the Sahasrara being at the top.
In yogic practice we are looking for the energy to move up to the highest level but we also need to be aware that in order for that to happen blocks lower down need to be opened. This chakra model coupled with the direction of the mallet strike allow us to direct energy up and down; to ground or elevate and whether using the gong in a dynamic or meditation setting it is important is to facilitate the flow of energy.
This effect of the resonance of the gong can be understood in terms of the yogic modeling of the energy body – the Koshas. The energy body is layered into the physical/Annamaya Kosha, the energetic/Pranamaya Kosha, the emotional/Manamayar Kosha, knowledge Vijnanamaya Kosha and Bliss/Anandamaya Kosha. Sound Yoga is a profoundly effective tool for enhancing the asanas, pranayamas and mudras associated with activating and integrating these energy bodies.
The association of sound with yogic practice can be very specific to the practice such that speed, rhythm and volume of gong play can be used to enhance a particular asana or even to skillfully allow energy to prepare the transformation between langhana asanas which have a cooling and relaxing effect on the body and brimhana asanas which are warm and activating.
Sound Yoga follows the path of all Yoga, it offers a route to experience an integrated self, a sense of oneness that for some may be something akin to Samadhi or self-realisation. The incorporation of sound in this journey is profoundly powerful as it involves the use of pure vibrational energy to directly break down negative patterns, open the flow of energy for relaxation and meditation and to create a whole and healing space.