Yoga, in Sanskrit, literally means union. Historically, yoga is not a term used to refer to physical postures, but a complete spiritual path of union, including breathwork, meditation and lifestyle.
A central difficulty in yoga is the effect of the wandering mind, and in that, the corresponding intolerance some may have to the discomfort of the postures. Yoga does naturally relax the mind. As we are forced to just focus on the movements of yoga, and as a natural consequence of stretching, our mind comes into the present moment, and away from external judgments. As muscles are stretched, and worked, and the breath is activated, heat is generated and tension is released, leading to a body that feels more relaxed and generally happier.
At the same time though, a key difficulty of yoga is how the mind may wander. Thoughts about external realities can be difficult to let go of if they are empowered by our intentions and emotions, taking attention away from the yoga postures, and making them more difficult. These could be judgments about oneself, about others, about life situations or even memories of the past.
Sound benefits yoga by vibrationally bypassing the thinking the mind, affecting our brain at an emotional level. Sound Healing can be defined as the intentional use of sound to create a vibrational environment which becomes a catalyst for healing in the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual aspects of our being. When attention is given to the sound, it is simple to allow one’s attention to be enveloped by the vibration and the felt sense of the vibration, opening up space to be more clearly focused. In creating an intentional environment of vibration, sound may help participants then focus more fully on breathing in rhythm with yoga postures, inspect their bodies, inspect their minds, and be an observer of their reality. With sound as the background of the experience, yoga practitioners would then experience a greater ease in the process, with a greater sense of focus, relaxation, release and physical well being. Thus, whether playing crystal singing bowls, singing wine glass, metal singing bowls, a harmonium or drumming, these sounds and yoga are natural pairings.