Yoga and Health Magazine (UK): Nada Yoga – Yoga and Sound

 
 

YOGA AND HEALTH MAGAZINE (UK) June 2013

NADA YOGA: YOGA AND SOUND

By Parvati Devi

YOGA IS EVERYWHERE

Yoga is not just a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected with that very life force.

We like to think one thing is spiritual and another is not. Our minds tend to judge, categorize and divide. In so doing, we miss seeing the fullness and the beauty of life. When we walk into a yoga studio, we may hope to find peacefulness and spirituality. We may find it. We may also find lots of egos stuck to their mats.

When we walk out onto the world, we may see rushing people and hear loud noises. What happened to the stillness we found in our yoga practice? Have we have lost the eternal quiet that exists perennially beneath the noise?

If we see only a yoga studio as serene and the world as noisy, we miss an opportunity to deepen our yoga practice and find the divine everywhere, even in things we find harder to like. The world is our studio, our body our temple and our yoga practice everywhere.

The practice of seeing yoga in that which you may feel is dark, stressful or unpleasant becomes a creative seedbed for the birth of new light. After all, out of the darkness of the womb, new life is born. In the blackness of the center of the cosmos, the eternal sound OM reverberates.

YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB AND NADA YOGA

The process of creating “Yoga In the Nightclub”, the title track of my new album “YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub”, was a yogic experience for me. A spontaneous, expansive and rooted arising from my soul, it expresses the celebration of merging with the divine while in human form.

“Yoga In the Nightclub” is not hatha yoga. It is a way for me as an artist and yogini to inspire and plant the seeds of possibility. The presence of expansion and spiritual transformation exist within the very fabric of sound.

The notion of art as a means to express our relationship with the divine is as ancient as the first people that walked this planet. From cave paintings to Bach, man has always felt moved to express love for the divine through art.

There is a yogic path recognized as a means to attain God-realization through music: Nadopasana – singing, playing and composing music as an expression of the divine. In this tradition, the divine is Nada Brahman, the embodiment of sound. All that has form was created by and is sustained by sound. ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…and the Word became flesh”, says the Bible (John 1). The ancient Hindu texts that predate the Bible say something similar: “In the beginning there was Brahman (God) with whom was the Word, and the Word is Brahman.” (Rig Veda) Interestingly some scholars trace the origin of the word Amen to the mantra OM.

The practice of Nada Vidya, music as spiritual practice, is considered a powerful form of yoga in which an aspirant may quickly realize underlying spiritual truths. There are said to be two kinds of sound: the sound that exists in the music of the spheres, and the sound that we create through our effort.

When a yogi sees music as a meditation, he begins to express a oneness relationship with the sound of the spheres, rather than expressing the noise of his chattering thoughts. To find and express from heartfelt stillness becomes a point of engaged, meditative focus for the Nada yogi. A quote from the Vedas expresses this succinctly: “I dwell not in…the hearts of yogins, nor in the sun, but where my devotees sing, there I will be.”

A Nada yogi understands that the purity of the soul desires to express, speak or sing. This stirs the mind. The mind activates the body. The body resonates with sound. The aim of Nada Yoga is to realize the essence that shines behind sound. Music is seen as a spiritual practice, which inspires us to experience the light of pure consciousness.

NADA YOGA EXERCISE

As you move through the stress of your busy life, see if you can meet the noise of the day by tuning into an underlying stillness and quiet. It is there. By engaging with noise, you feel noisy. But by focusing on the quiet, you become still. And in that stillness, you will open to greater possibility, feel more refreshed and energized. Allow the sound to remind you of stillness, and know that the still small voice, the peace within, is home.

 
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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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