Singing Bowls make a great addition to any yoga practice. As we all know that yoga covers eight limbs and is aimed at achieving higher states of meditation. In other words, the mind becomes more balanced with yoga practice. The sound vibrations, as described in Nada Yoga practices, help us achieve calmer states of the mind. Some initial ideas are captured below but do not limit yourself to these ideas only ! You can learn the basics and based on that leverage the sound vibrations to further enhance your own yoga practice or therapy.
- Use of 3 bowls: Usually, the large (the lower frequency) bowl works at the lower energy enters (e.g. lower 3 chakras), the higher frequency bowl works on upper chakras and the middle frequency bowl on the middle chakra (e.g. Hearth Charkra). Please use your intuition and common sense based on these principles. If you do not have 3 bowls, you can manage with 1 or 2 bowls as well.
- Use Nada Yoga concepts: Use the large bowl for “aa” kara, medium size bowl for “maa” kara and smaller size bowl for “oo”kara. Start with the large bowl and “aa kara followed by medium bowl with “oo” kara and small bowl for “maa” kara. Once the sound vibrations have dissipated, repeat the same process without hitting the bowl (anahata) and achieve same states of relaxation and vibrations inside the body and the mind.
- Integrate with pranayama practice:
- For self practice, strike the bowl (any size is alright with the correct intentions!) with left hand when you begin the round of alternate nostrils pranayama. Exhale through the left nostril as you strike the bowl with the left hand and continue your practice till the vibrations dissipate. A good bowl will easily provide you 30 seconds long vibrations. Integrate this into your pranayama rhythm.
- Add bowl vibrations to your brahmari practice too (similar process). If you are conducting the class, add bowl vibrations during the silence between the two rounds.
- You can also do this process with 3 bowls and integrate into full yogic breathing.
- Posture: Usually, each yoga posture has a focus on a particular chakra or part of the body. Add the bowl vibrations as you achieve the final poster (ideally with support of someone or during your 1:1 therapy) and bring all the attention to that chakra and feel the sound vibrations around that chakra. The bowl sound can also be used to achieve specific length of the final pose (e.g. stay till the sound vibrations dissipate in the final posture position !). As you practice more, you can explore (only for a specific postures while practising “safe” methods learnt from an experienced sound healer) keeping the bowl on the body too ! Use guidelines in the table for the selection of the bowl or use your intention with single bowl.
- Relaxation and Yoga Nidra: You can just use the sound vibrations (with varying intensity) along with guided instructions. Sound vibrations help in achieving very deep relaxation along with creative visualisation. I have often used singing bowls during 1:1 therapy session (e.g. NLP or Hypnotherapy sessions).
Would love to get your feedback !
Gunjan Trivedi (firstname.lastname@example.org)