Inviting Transformation with Sound
We know the power of sound and how music can energize, or calm us. We know how good it feels to laugh, cry, and to feel the vibrations we make with our own voices resonating deeply within our own chest or throat or head. Science tells us these vibrations stimulate the vagus nerve, that nerve that wanders throughout our organ systems, and regulates our internal energy systems. This has a positive effect on our physical and energetic structures.
We also know the power of thoughts. Thoughts lead to emotions, actions, behaviors, habits, values, and destiny. If our background thoughts are not positive, they color our perception of our world, our relationships and ourselves. Replacing those faulty background thoughts with intentional chant or mantra can bring transformation, and help us bring life-giving clarity to ourselves and our world. This clarifying effect on our mind and character enables us to realize the bliss that is at the core of our being, deep within our heart.
We can bring these two threads, the physical/energetic effect of sound and the clarifying intention of chant or mantra on our mind and character, into our regular practice. In the yoga tradition, there are many chants that help place the person, the true self, in healthy relationship to others and to the world. One such chant is the Laghu Nyasa, juxtaposing the cosmos and the individual. Internalizing this chant places us in healthy relationship to ourselves, others, and the world. This Sanskrit mantra makes a beautiful sound, and resonates throughout the physical and energetic body. It’s meaning resonates in our mind as it changes our character and connects us to the universe. The refrain to this chant can be translated as:
“My heart is my true Self.
My true Self is immortal and one with Universal Consciousness”
The person who lives with this mantra becomes open-hearted, capable, and sees unity in all that is.
Jay Coldwell,FSA, MAAA, RYT-200, is certified as a 200 hour Viniyoga Wellness Instructor from the River Flow Yoga Teacher Training School and the American Viniyoga Institute. He is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200 hour level with Yoga Alliance. He has studied at the Vedic Chant Institute, where he continues to take regular lessons. Jay is also studying Kirtan leadership with Mike Cohen.