Our breath is the most palpable link between the manifest reality of our physical existence and the unknown world of the spirit. When we observe the breath, we realize that it is not something we own, neither is it something we do. Our breathing also gives us the totality of the present moment as an eternal now.
Yoga is a spiritual practice that works with our energy bodies; it incorporates techniques to enhance the flow between the dense material elements of existence and the more subtle energies of consciousness. We are not dealing with two essences that are opposed to one other but with a continuum between the slower, deeper vibration of matter and the faster, lighter vibration of spirit.
The seven main chakras or energy points in the body have become associated with the “scale” of elements as they rise up the spine. The element of air has the highest vibration of the visible sensory elements (earth, water, fire, air) and it is the heart chakra, the Anahatta Chakra that is of particular interest to Sound Yoga. Following the ascending scale of vibration it is this point at which a key alchemical transformation takes place -where energy ceases to be visible.
The name Anahatta translates as the “unstruck”, as opposed to audible “ahat” sound, it is sound vibration on the threshold of manifestation in the physical world. The esoteric practices of Nada Yoga seek to develop the internal listening, to find sounds perceivable by inward meditative listening and identifying fundamental sounds.
A part of the preparation for this internal listening is to focus on the sounds of natural world and the subtleties of reframing the senses to enable the perception of tone and harmony in natural sound facilitates an opening of ones being.
Within yoga practice such as Hatha yoga or pranayama we are using physical and meditative techniques to transform energy; to allow the baser material energy to transform into higher vibrating energy. We can do this in very physical way such as the use of mudras to channel energy upwards but we can also focus attention on the internal vibrations of the body – the unstruck sounds of energy in the body as well as allowing ourselves to truly listen to the world around us.