NĀDA YOGA CLASSES
DISCOVER THE ANCIENT ART OF UNION THROUGH SOUND
TONING AND CHANTING
Each class includes some form of toning – the repetition of vowels and basic syllables – or chanting. Toning and chanting are for everyone. They do not require any singing ability or a “good” voice. They are simple, gentle and direct ways to experience how sound can enhance our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We explore chanting techniques to balance and energise our chakras and help us develop a more resonant physical body. Toning and chanting also connect each of us to our own Svara – our unique tone or signature sound, our self-shining voice that is perfect as it is.
The mantras we chant have a different effect depending on the type of mantra and the way we chant them. Bīja (seed) mantras from the Tantrik tradition carry pure consciousness, rather than linguistic meaning. Vedic mantras in Sanskrit carry vibrations of peace, awareness and statements of ultimate truth. We practice mantra in the form of Japa Yoga – the repetition of a mantra either aloud or inwardly. We also chant mantras in the classic Vedic style and we sing them, with heartfelt devotion, as modern Kirtan.
Hindustanī classical music is founded upon the principles of Nāda Yoga. Whilst it takes a lifetime or longer to master Indian music, even non-musicians can benefit from incorporating aspects of it into their own practice. We study the basics of Tāla, (rhythm), Sargam (scales) and simple Rāga – not to become Indian musicians, but as a foundation for heightening our own connection to the ever-flowing stream of sacred sound and music.
“If you listen, you can hear the sound of Om inherent in and underlying all sound. It resonates in the rushing waters of a stream, it roars in the thunder, whispers in the rain and tugs at one’s heart in the cry of a loon.”2
Listening is a fundamental aspect of Nāda Yoga. We use a variety of sound sources, including vocal, musical and natural sounds, as a focus of our listening, aiming to expand our experience of sound and deepen consciousness.
The concentrated listening that we practice in Nāda Yoga is a form of meditation through sound. Sound is an accessible tool of meditation for many people, as our minds find it relatively easy to concentrate upon and become absorbed by sound. We begin with Passive Meditation, which involves focussing on the external sound of a bell, gong or singing bowl.
Over time, concentrated meditative listening to outer (āhata or “struck”) sound prepares us to become conscious of the inner (anāhata or “unstuck”) sound. Inner Listening is also known as Shabd, Surat Shabd, Laya Yoga, or meditation on the sound current. These forms of yoga aim to absorb the mind in discerning and listening to the “inaudible” sound that lies within audible sound. Thus we come to hear and ultimately merge with the primal Nāda sound of creation.
Our classes are suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners. No other form of yoga practice is needed. Any level of fitness is welcome.
Our classes may not be suitable for people who are hearing-impaired, who suffer from tinnitus, misophonia (decreased tolerance to specific sounds) or hyperacusis (auditory hyper-sensitivity). However, people differ on a case by case basis, so please feel welcome to contact me to discuss your individual situation and together we can discern the suitability of the classes for you.
Classes Resuming Soon…
In the meantime
1Girish, in Music and Mantras: The Yoga of Mindful Singing for Health, Happiness, Peace and Prosperity, 2016
2Divya Prabha, Kirtan in The Art & Ecstasy of Chanting, 2015