“Nada” (sanskr.) means “sound, tones, cry, noise” and “yoga” simply means “union, connection”. On the path of yoga one unites the material body with the spiritual dimension of being.
If one practices “Hatha Yoga”, this union takes place by means of special physical exercises.
If one practices “Nada Yoga”, this union takes place through sound and tones.
The Rishis (= seers or mystical wise men in Hinduism) knew the power of sounds very well. They kept their knowledge encoded in the Vedas, the oldest known writings of mankind. There is reported of a technique to experience highest enlightenment through tones and sound. This technique was called Nada Yoga.
In the practice of Nada Yoga, five essential components are brought into harmony: voice, frequency, consciousness, rhythm and breath. Sound is always brought into direct contact with the physical body, which requires knowledge of the practitioner’s personal basic tone. Only in this way can the full effect of Nada Yoga unfold.
Nada Yoga is based on self-produced sounds that can be experienced on the body. The sound is produced either in “Ahata” (Sanskrit = “to make sound”), i.e. in the voiced state, or in “Anahata” (Sanskrit = “not struck, inner sound”), in an outwardly inaudible, but inwardly perceptible state.
The instrument of Nada Yoga is the human voice, called the “queen of all instruments” in Indian music. In this way, a practitioner is able to achieve exactly the level of tone and intensity that is acceptable to him – not too much and not too little. Any form of “foreign influence” on the body by means of attached instruments (tuning forks, singing bowls, monochord, etc.) can exceed or fall short of this measure and its effect cannot therefore be precisely dosed.
Nada Yoga differs from many other possibilities of sound healing by its frequency accuracy. It is not simply “any” tones that are used arbitrarily. There are used exactly those frequencies, which the personal basic tone determined in the context of an individual basic tone determination gives individually for each person. The teaching about the sounding structure of the human being is a central component of Nada Yoga.
One of the essential components that a “Nadopasaka” (= one who worships the sound) should include in his Nada Yoga practice is consciousness. According to the law “The energy follows the attention”, in an act of high concentration tones are directed to certain body points by means of consciousness. The vocally generated frequency unites with the natural frequency at these body points and thus increases the intensity of the tones. In this way we can directly feel the tones on the body and experience how they work.
As in every form of yoga practice, breath is a central component of Nada Yoga. The Indian philosophy assumes that our entire body with all its surrounding energy bodies is traversed by subtle channels, which the Indians call “Nadis”. With each breath we absorb prana energy = life force, which is distributed throughout the body in a system of 72,000 nadis. By means of certain breathing exercises, called “pranayama” in yoga, one tries to gain control over this life energy. However, a “Nadi” is also the channel for “Nada”, the sound. Tones produced with the voice open and activate the nadis through vibration in the body, so that Prana can flow through them unhindered.
The teaching of rhythm, always kept secret in ancient times, is the fifth of the pillars on which the practice of Nada Yoga rests. Dealing with the rhythm elements promotes our ability to logical consequence: just as nested rhythms can be logically dissolved again, so also specific ways out of crisis situations can be found. Rhythm exercises demand a high degree of concentration, distract from emotional sensations and thus clarify our mind. Rhythm exercises make it easier to harmonize mood swings and unconsciously and easily solve “knots” in thinking.
Nada Yoga forms a stable foundation for a healthy personality development – help for self-help (lat. “personare” = to sound through). It is a simple and always available method to harmonize body, mind and soul: Like an instrument, the practitioner can “tune” himself anywhere and at any time to quickly and uncomplicatedly “come to his center”, i.e. to create a balanced and natural state of mind. The strengths of a personality come more and more to the fore with constant practice, while weaknesses are increasingly softened up to the complete disappearance of blockades and old disturbance patterns.