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Completing the Stress Cycle - Burnout & Emotional Digestion

In their book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, twin sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski (sex therapist and singer, respectively) brilliantly cite evidence-based research on stress.

One of the key points they elaborate on is the difference between eliminating a stressor and completing the stress cycle. Completing the stress cycle means letting it run all the way to the end so it’s not getting trapped in your body. 

Shoutout to yogīs who have thousands of years worth of "existing data"! Yogīs already know that “the issues are...
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Resilience Recipe: Magic Mung Soup

 
With life being pretty full on right now, I want my immunity and mental and emotional health to stay in tip-top shape so I have more quality presence to give.
 
Whenever I’m feeling a little sluggish, I do a few days of mung soup. It’s a warm, oily, and fulfilling way to clear the accumulated sludge!
 
I find the warm, slightly spicy soup to be great for my nervous system and because it's great for my digestion, it improves my overall vitality, which is great for my vocal health too! Sort of like panchakarma in a bowl, except it only costs...
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Buying a Harmonium: Where, How, and What to Look Out For!

Almost no two harmoniums are alike! Your harmonium might become your new best friend for your chanting practice, but they can also be tricky to buy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to buy a harmonium.

Method of Purchase: Online or In Person?

  1. It's always best to play the instrument first to be sure you enjoy it's "voice." Without getting into too much technical detail, let's just say there are many different construction factors that can change the harmonium's sound. Look and ask around in your local area to see if someone has a harmonium for...
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Is the Yoga of Sound Relevant for Today's World?

Between pandemic-related uncertainty, the deep unraveling of the racist patriarchal status quo through the #BLM and #metoo movements, the rise of "conspirituality" dividing the global wellness community, and more... we're in an unprecedented opportunity to cultivate a musical response.

Holding an empathetic space of deep listening in the midst of life's dissonant tension points might just be the superpower of the decade!

At a time when most of us are undergoing profound change, our Heart of Sound family is applying the sound-based yoga skills right where they...

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Sleep Mantra for Kids (and Anxious Adults)

 

“Dear Anandra, can I have my own mantra please. Can my mantra be for lots of sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep. And so I can take a nap if I’m tired.”

(From Vida, age 7, former magician, currently exploring meditation)

Yes Vida, and adults who are also anxious and tired. Here is one mantra you can sing, and one you can say silently when you don’t feel like singing. Love you.

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How do I find a good mantra teacher?

If you’re looking to learn Sanskrit mantra, I highly recommend studying with someone who reads and writes in Devanagari (the script of Sanskrit). Because the letter forms in Devanagari are different for different tongue placements and aspirated/non-aspirated letters, it would indicate that the teacher is making the distinctions.

At the least, you’ll want to learn from someone who uses diacritical marks in the transliteration system when teaching (dots under and above certain consonants, and dashes above certain vowels, as in the example above). If...

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Sound & Mantra Research Links

When I read the research summaries offered in the links below, my personal experience corroborates a resounding “YES!” to the many benefits they describe. I’m grateful to have discovered the healing effects of sound, singing, mantra, group singing, and prayer long before medical science confirmed their value, and I’m sure it’s just the beginning. Many medical experts and visionaries agree that sound is the medicine of the future, as it has been an integral part of healing and rejuvenation in Ayurveda for millennia.

Links Connecting...

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Sanskrit, Mantra & Harmonium Resource List

After reading my free e-book on mantra yoga or taking one of my mantra courses, you’ve probably decided you want to make precise Sanskrit a part of your chanting practice. Then what!? MOST of the mantra information online is frustratingly not accurate.

Here is a precious list of resources I’ve collected for you. Over the years this post has become a catch-all for other commonly asked questions, like "How do I type in transliterated Sanskrit?" and "What harmoniums do you recommend?" We'll keep updating it for you as we can.

SANSKRIT RESOURCES

Here’s...

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3 Easy Steps to Better Sanskrit Mantra Pronunciation

If you don't know what you don't know, how can you learn?

This list is far from exhaustive, but can point you in the direction of learning more about mantras and their beautiful Sanskrit sounds. Since mispronunciation of mantra is widespread, the first step for most yogāsana teachers, mantra lovers, and kīrtan leaders is to learn where our own blind spots are.

Please contact me if you have a great resource to add here!

3 Easy Steps to Better Sanskrit Pronunciation:
1. Here is the least you need to know in 7 minutes…
https://youtu.be/dgvN7e6cT_E

2. Next, learn...

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The Sound Body: Remembering Wholeness through Nāda Yoga

Musings on the practical transformation I've experienced through my sound-based yoga practice... written while gazing out at the Himālayan range during a 2017 pilgrimage.

Ordinarily our awareness is limited to the sensations within the body. However, when we consciously enter sound, our awareness expands into the space within and surrounding our physical body. This vibratory sphere becomes our “sound body,” if you will, and gives us a visceral sense of transcendence. The dimensional quality is multi-directional; we can go within, to the point of...

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