Demystifying Chanting and Sound Therapy
Sound. Have you ever wondered why you can be in a grumpy mood when your favorite song comes on the radio and immediately your mood lifts? Or you’re going about your day feeling fine and a sentimental song comes on, or better yet-a commercial, and suddenly you’re in tears? It’s all about them vibrations! EVERTHING is vibration. Thoughts, words, colors, food, everything. Our moods carry a specific vibration as well as songs. Sometimes it’s the intention behind the song that invokes the emotion but sometimes, unknowingly to the artist, it’s the vibration of the note not the words that create the emotional response. We’ve talked before about our chakras and how those hold a vibration as do the sound that resonate in each chakra. I could go on and on but I think you’re getting the point. It’s all vibration. But here’s the thing, vibration can cultivate light or heaviness, healing or unease. It’s important to be aware of what you’re surrounding yourself with-the vibrations. Are you cultivating healing and health? Or heaviness and *dis-ease?
There are countless studies touting the healing benefits of music and chanting on our physiological system. In the Yoga world, this isn’t new. The ancients have been teaching and passing down this wisdom for centuries. This is a subject that I find myself drawn to because of my intrinsic primal reaction to things like crystal bowls and the sound of the didgeridoo. I literally feel like I take a quantum leap into another dimension when I hear these instruments. So powerful and profound.
Just a few facts on what chanting and sound therapy does for our body and mind:
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Boosts our immune system
- Cultivates compassion
- Increases intuition
- Benefits the cardiovascular system as we chant and focus on breath
Let’s take a look at a couple ways to bathe yourself in sound therapy.
Chanting and Mantras
Even modern science and the Bible agree on the fact that the initial creation of the Universe was sound (and sound is vibration!). Scientists call it ‘The Big Bang’ and view it as vibration. The Bible states, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh.” And what is spoken word? Sound and vibration! In Yoga we learn that the Divine Universal sound of the Universe is AUM and chanting the sound AUM aligns your energy to the energy of the Universe allowing you to feel a deeper connection to all that is.
But Aum is not the only chant. There are countless words and phrases you can chant and each hold a specific vibration and intention. Whether you’re looking to cultivate healing, inspiration, or connection find a mantra or chant that resonates with you and practice daily. Then take a few moments after to witness the vibrational shift in your physical, mental, and energetic body. Amazing!
Seek out what resonates and inspires you! Take some time listening to different instruments, bells, crystal bowls, metal bowls, rain sticks, didgeridoo, etc. You’ll know the moment you hear an instrument if it increases your vibration and aligns you with Source. It’s not something that I can easily explain, you just have to feel it. But when you find the vibration that resonates with yours, the feeling is incredibly powerful and is also useful in meditation. When I listen to the instruments that resonate with me in my meditation, I find that I slip into the gap almost immediately. I mean, it makes sense! Our bodies carry a unique vibration so when we find a tool (song or instrument) that is harmonious to our intrinsic vibration, it increases and intensifies our vibration. So cool!
Bathe in sound
Here’s the really cool thing, you don’t have to sing or chant in order to benefit from sound therapy. You receive the healing benefits of sound just by being in its presence. Good news for those who feel a little self-conscious about chanting or are new to it but I would encourage you to do it anyway. Release the ego in that moment and just sing, chant, move, and allow your breath to guide you. When I first started chanting I was incredibly self-conscious because I can’t carry a tune to save my life! But I let that go sh*t go and I can’t tell you how freeing and healing it is to be carefree singing and chanting with like-minded souls.
Of course, there are many forms of sound therapy and tools you can use to help you feel grounded, at peace, and cultivate healing but the couple listed above are pretty powerful ones to begin with. I continue to be amazed by how much sound and vibration play a pivotal role in our health and well-being. Whether you choose to believe it or not, it’s happening every second of every day. Everything you watch, listen to, say, think, surround yourself with is either increasing or decreasing your unique vibration. Just sit with that and observe. Don’t try to change anything right away. Simply observe how you feel as you go through a normal day within your surroundings. Then, over time, begin to make changes that serve your highest good.
What’s your favorite song or instrument to listen to? Do you have a spiritual experience with sound? Share it with us here!
*The word dis-ease is not being used as a medical term or diagnosis. It simply means being out of balance and not in union.