5 Reasons Why Sound Healers Need Better Training in Mantra & Nāda Yoga

Ok, it's time for what feels like (another) big announcement:
 I'm (finally) open to using the term "sound healing" in association with my work training teachers in mantra + nāda yoga.

My long-time friends and colleagues are heavily divided on whether or not I should tackle training sound healers. Some think it's great. Others say they'd run the other way if they didn't know me and the quality of my professional integrity already, once they saw the words "sound healing" on my mantra & nāda yoga courses! 😯

I WAS WRONG. I'M SORRY: I've been on a high horse about it, not wanting to get involved in or be associated with a new-agey woo woo field with a wide range of quality standards and a fair amount of questionable integrity. But that has been a mistake led by my own arrogance, as I'll explain later. First...

5 Reasons Why Sound Healers Need Training in Mantra + Nāda Yoga:

  1. Way too many sound baths are offered by trained, certified sound healers (and sound healing trainers themselves!) who butcher the Sanskrit mantras. They're not alone - most kīrtan leaders, yoga teachers, and mantra music artists do the same... but just because inaccurrate pronunciation is common doesn't mean it's OK. There is so much healing power in the vibrations of the Sanskrit; without precise sounds, we not only miss the healing potential, we disrespect the tradition.

  2. Many sound healers play a bunch of groovy instruments as they're inspired, but they don't have a musical sense of synthesis to offer a cohesive, composed, whole-being integrated experience.

  3. Many sound baths use instruments not tuned to one another... creating discord and dissonance that irritates at best, or gong sounds like what one friend, Devī Bhaktānanda calls "howling dogs at the gates of hell" and triggers trauma at worst. With musical training and basic knowledge of scales and rāgas (moods within music), instrument selection could be complementary and supportive.

  4. Some sound healers lead an experience that is more musical performance than healing. There's value in laying down, listening to music and being inspired, for sure... but there are specific leadership techniques that can maximize a participants sense of self-awareness, self-connection, and safety to be able to explore their own potential.

  5. Many sound baths borrow superficially from a hodge-podge of traditions, when they could offer participants a deep dive with reverence into one. The Indian tradition of sound medicine is thousands of years old and is perhaps the most comprehensive system in the world. 

A lot of these issues are so ubiquitous, I'm going to have to be quite careful about how to approach training sound healers in mantra & nāda yoga.

But much like I did 15 years ago when I was shocked at how commonplace bad Sanskrit was, and I was one of a very few teachers out there evangelizing in the global yoga & kīrtan community about the power of Sanskrit mantra pronunciation, I am officially announcing that I'm ready to dig in the trenches of the sound healing community and help.

I am adapting my training materials to include their professional  needs and concerns.

Because I think sound is the medicine of the future, and WE CAN DO BETTER!

I want the sound healing trainers, the sound healing practitioners,  and the recipients of sound healing, sound baths, etc. to enjoy the  most: nuanced, refined, harmonious, resonant, deliberate, masterful,  attuned, aware, trauma-informed experience possible!

I've trained plenty of folks who do sound healing with sound baths  with gongs, tuning forks, crystal bowls and the like... Many of the  400+ graduates of our sound yoga teacher training from 60+  countries make their living offering sound healing sessions and  facilitating sound healing workshops.

There are clear systems within the yoga of sound that can help bring cohesion, clarity, purpose, and professionalism into the field of sound healing. Our course combines:

  • Nāda yoga
  • Sanskrit mantra
  • Ayurvedic psychology
  • Tantrik philosophy
Empathetic listening

Our sound healing training (through the world's first and only 200-500hr yoga teacher training certification program focused entirely on the transformational power of sound) focuses on a deep dive into the systems of mantra and nāda yoga. There are plenty of free sound and mantra training options and free sound baths or chant experiences to get you acquainted with our approach. Welcome. :)

Check out a free mantra sound bath format I'm developing, on our heartofsound.in youtube channel:


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