A friend of mine attended a live chant event I led last week, and gushed about how it felt like a sound bath to just listen to me singing, the bansuri flute playing, and hear the group singing along with the rāgas and mantras.
Normally, I try to get people to DO THE PRACTICE with us, because I figure it's like food... you get more out of it when you chew it and swallow it yourself vs. watching someone else eat. That's why I have (stubbornly) stuck to empowering people looking to really train in mantra and nada yoga with skills, techniques, and practices.
SO many people ask me how to learn traditional nāda yoga in India! There are a lot of confusing nada and mantra trainings out there, so I'll try to help you sort out what to look for. I went looking myself way back in 1997 and have gone down A LOT of unfruitful (even scary) roads before I found teachers I could trust, who led me on the mystical inner path of nada yoga!*
Unfortunately sexual misconduct by gurus is also all-too-common... almost every Western female who has gone to India to study nada yoga and mantra has a story (including me! several!)
So first of...
I shied away from using the term "sound healing" to describe what I do for over a decade, because I thought most people associated it with gong baths or crystal bowls. (That's not the type of sound healing I do or teach.)
However, the mantra and nada yoga courses we offer very definitely explore sound healing training in its most essential sense! It's my opinion that sound that comes from our own unique instrument - our voices - is the core of any sound healing practice for self growth.
Your voice is a one-of-a-kind, highly refined, infinitely sensitive healing...
In this interview by Jeff Greenwald for The Nine Gifts, Anandra speaks about the Healing Power of Voice.
We begin to control the sounds we make when we are babies—but when and why do we actually start singing?
That's a wonderful question—but not being a developmental child psychologist or child linguist, I can't answer that with any kind of authoritative stance. But I can answer from my own perspective.
When I was a child, my mother told me that I was humming to myself all the time. She would always ask me, "What are...
“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.
Looking for a mantra for sleep? Here's a simple mantra practice children and adults can do to help calm down and fall asleep! Counting sheep is great, but chanting...
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...
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.
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.
I LOVE helping people learn Sanskrit pronunciation - not because I want to be the "Sanskrit Police" but because I want mantra lovers, sound healers, people offering sound bath trainings, and folks learning to...
Tantra as we practice it in the Heart of Sound community can be summed up like this:
Total Embrace of Life
The penetrating vibrations of sound-based practices help us uncover our hidden patterning that has kept us locked in a dualistic fight with life. If we have subscribed to the very common cultural beliefs that heaven is separate from earth, or that spirit is superior to the body, opening ourselves up to an all-embracing Tantrik view can be radically healing and transformative.
Our approach to sound-based practice arises from a core Tantrik belief:
Life (and ALL of...
What is the practical end result of sustained sound-based yoga?
Sustained, embodied LOVE.
The great masters have always said that there is nothing wrong with the world. The only problem is with our perception. When we are pure, we see everything and everyone as pure.
That state is not far-fetched, it’s tantalizingly close!
I could beat around the bush, but in truth, the methods of sound-based yoga as we teach them in the Heart of Sound training bring us swiftly to the empowerment of that choice. And that is the real reason we developed the training.