Many of India's spiritual practices have been introduced to the West in the body of teachings known as yoga. These include rhythmic breathing, rhythmic chanting of sacred sounds, and the practice of physical postures that unify the mind and body psychologically and spiritually.
The study of the influence of rhythm and tuning on consciousness is known as nada yoga. This yoga evolved from the concept that ultimate reality emanates from the primordial “first sound”—the sound behind all sounds, the imperceptible vibration that gives rise to the universe. From this perspective, our physical world is a materialized form of the different frequencies of this root vibrational energy. Human beings are also emanations of this vibration and subject to the laws of sound.
The nada—the universal pulse of life and creation—manifests within us as the sound of our own heart beating. For thousands of years, this primal beat has been represented by the sound of the drum. Chanting sacred sounds to the rhythms of the drum is one of the oldest practices for developing consciousness. Through rhythmic repetition of ritual sounds, the body, brain, and nervous system—as well as the elemental energies known as chakras—are revitalized and transformed.
Chanting the traditional sounds associated with each chakra, accompanied by specific drumbeats, can have surprising effects. As the two hemispheres of the brain begin to resonate to a single rhythm, a sense of clarity and heightened awareness arises. The mind becomes sharper, more lucid, synthesizing much more rapidly than normal. Emotions are easier to understand and transform. The conscious and unconscious levels of the mind interface and integrate more easily. Insight quickens and creative intuition flourishes, giving one the ability to visualize and bring ideas into manifestation. An expanded, more complete, and integrated state of consciousness comes into existence.