Understanding nada yoga, the yoga of sound - Hindustan Times
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Understanding nada yoga, the yoga of sound

Jun 24, 2024 08:56 PM IST

Nada yoga guru Meenal Nigam explains how this mystic practice of deep listening and cultivating receptivity can help you stay physically and mentally healthy.

The International Day of Yoga and World Music Day just went by. And understanding the concept of nada yoga, which is all about approaching and responding to vibrations, could sound interesting to many. Nada yoga involves the understanding of the silent vibrations of the self, called anhata and the sound of music called ahata.

Nada Yoga
Nada Yoga

Nada Yoga Guru Meenal Nigam
Nada Yoga Guru Meenal Nigam

“Nada means sound or flow of consciousness. So, nada yoga is a mystic practice of deep listening and cultivating receptivity. It is a way to attain a higher state of consciousness by tuning into the cosmic sounds. Nada yoga is also known as Laya yoga in which the main aim is to learn harmonisation with the sound,” says nada yoga guru Meenal Nigam.

The health benefits

Nada yoga is the yoga of sound. It is the practice of generating and listening to healing, calming and uplifting sounds that initiate healing at physical, mental and emotional levels. It is known to be effective in reducing mental fluctuations, stress, anxiety and depression. “To be able to do this, one has to be in touch with our inner and higher sounds. The brain waves constantly direct us and give us signals to act, eat, rest, digest, etc. But with the distractions that surround us, we remain disconnected from these frequencies, and end up going against the cosmic flow. This, invariably, creates physical and mental disorders, diseases and imbalances in the form anxiety, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, etc. In today’s fast-paced world, these practices provide foundational stability and grounding to deal with stressors. Almost 90% of the nada yoga practitioners experience mental peace at the very onset of their daily sadhana. The simple act of listening to the binaural sounds of the brain and act in accordance with those waves brings harmony to the mind and body,” explains Nigam.

How soon do you benefit?

According to yoga guru Dr Rajesh Raj, a dedicated nada vidya practitioner starts entering the prarambhik stithi or the beginning stage of nada yoga within 21 days from the day of initiation. Between 21 to 66 days, the biorhythms start undergoing changes, leading to alleviation of many ailments and imbalances.

All about the sound

Nada yoga involves a deep listening to your body, to its inner sounds, acoustics and the sounds of Nature. There are four types of sounds that one needs to attune oneself to:

Baikhari

Baikhari is the spoken sound that is audible and can be physically produced. It is produced, for example, by rubbing or hitting two things against each other.

Madhyama

During nada meditation, we try to listen to the subtle sounds and while connecting deeply with those sounds, we try to attain a state of harmonisation with it. At this level, we focus on the inner sounds, for example the sound of breath, circulation, binaural sounds of the brain and sound of heartbeat.

Pashyanti

Pashyanti in Sanskrit means something that can be seen or visualised. It’s believed that mental sound is nearer to the mind than the ears, and it’s something that can’t be heard, but seen. For a nada yoga practitioner, intuitive knowledge comes at this state.

Para nada

It is the sound that is heard in the super conscious state. It is way beyond normal perception. The Upanishads call it Om and say its nature is jyoti (light). Ultimately, Om is silence and sounds having a very high frequency are transformed into silence. Para is the last stage of attainment for a nada yogi.

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