While I was in my yoga teacher training course at the Sivananda Ashram, we discovered the power of music firsthand. This music was simple – chords played on a harmonium, radiating and humming in a silent room. And yet the reaction was extraordinary.
“Do you guys want to see something cool?” my Guru asked. We all nodded, already mesmerized by the power of his presence. He inhaled deeply, closed his eyes, and began pumping beautiful chords from his harmonium. I swear, the air was alive! Chills traveled up and down my spine and leaked out to my fingers and toes. I saw my neighbors shiver as they, too, experienced the reaction. I cried tears of bliss and sweet confusion. How was it that a few simple notes could radiate so harmoniously with my being?
After a few minutes, he explained, “There is a reason that we enjoy sounds like this. Our bodies are constantly emitting waves of frequency and tone. And these chords? These melodies? They vibrate along with our inner frequencies. Just as the sun hums and sings to the Earth. They speak to us in a cosmic language, on a cellular level. Let them heal you. Piece you back together, slowly. For they are within you, and without you. They are you.”
Music has been used as therapy for thousands of years. The ancient Romans used music to heal the sick, and Native tribes used drum circles to connect with the Divine. We use music today in medicine as well – it’s played for soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s played for the elderly to improve the effects of Alzheimer’s. It’s a simple fact – when we listen to pleasant music, we feel good. We feel calm. Centered. Healed.
So, turn on some music. Classical, instrumental, rhythmical, spiritual. Close your eyes, and be present. Let it exploit you. Flow into you, out of you. Move you, physically and emotionally. Be carried into the far depths of your being by sweet violins, brilliant cellos, fluid pianos, heartbeat drums. Listen to music in a foreign language, and admire its unfamiliarity. Feel it in your spine, your ribs, your skull. Feel it, feel it, feel it.
Some songs that heal me: “Starafluer” by Siqur Ros; “Birth of Rhythm” by Louie Gonnie; “Lovesong From the Mountains” by Deuter; “Gaia Nector” by Masood Ali Khan; “Intro” by the xx.
What songs heal you?