Sitting in the temple for evening prayers last night, new words came to express the answer to the question I’ve been asking myself… Why mantra and nada yoga?
(After 3 years away from India and a rest from the intensity of my previous personal practice, I’m looking through different eyes and discerning anew my lifelong love affair with learning mantra and nada yoga in India.)
There's a look of love when we chant that I've tried to capture during our 200hr sound and mantra teacher trainings. Here's dear Sita immersed in mantra meditation along the Ganges...
There are many indigenous languages which serve the same purpose, but the detail-oriented, systems-loving perfectionist in me gets hot and bothered at the brilliance, totality, and complexity that has been developed, tried, tested, and proven consistently effective in India.
That’s why I am drawn to these practices over and over again, despite the other features I don’t enjoy. (Stubborn patriarchal hierarchy and misogyny, caste racism, growing far right nationalism… all the same problems my home country of America faces. The sense of romantic idealism about “exotic India” I had 25 years ago has long since been replaced by a real, complex, long term committed relationship. I can love and work towards embodying the ideals, while acknowledging the painful contradictions, just like I do with my American culture.)
Now, getting the opportunity to come back and saturate in the daily prayers and devotional songs is reminding me all over again why I love mantra and nada yoga! Seeing an old love through fresh eyes is always a treat!
Sound can be so healing, especially through a system as thorough as nada yoga tradition. It's my honor and privilege to carry out the wishes of my gurus and share the skills and knowledge I've collected in our sound healing yoga certification courses, in person and online.
If you're drawn to explore the power of sound, we humbly invite you to join us and explore the magic! (With fresh eyes that seek to dismantle the patriarchal, hierarchical, nationalistic overlays often unfortunately pressed upon the pure joy of making love-communion with the sound.)
Our approach is pretty uniquely embodied, Tantrik, trauma informed, nuanced, evidence-based, and dogma-free, and we're continually striving to improve to become more aware, inclusive and JOYFUL. If that sounds like music to your ears, we hope to see you soon!
About the photo of me doing nāda yoga meditation with the tanpura:
My friend Mandi Nelson snapped this photo a few years back. I love the early morning hour on the Ganga. It's something very special to chant and commune with the sounds of the river and the forest in the same way millions of yogis have done for thousands of years! That's what we do daily in Rishikesh, when we gather for retreat. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter if you'd like to join us sometime!