What does it mean to “raise the vibration”? Interviews with Suzanne Sterling & Tiffany Cruikshank

Via Chelsea Roff
on Jun 27, 2011
get elephant's newsletter

What does “raise the vibration” really mean?

I so enjoyed getting a chance to talk to two fabulous yoga teachers about what it really means to “raise the vibration” at the inaugural Hanuman Festival last week in Boulder, CO.

To read more about Tiffany Cruikshank and how she brings the Eastern and Western perspectives together in workshops and teachings, check out her website here.

Suzanne Sterling is a contemporary musical priestess and co-founder of Off the Mat into the World. For more information about Suzanne’s music, retreats, and workshops, visit her website here.

We’ve got many interviews from teachers at the Hanuman and Wanderlust festivals up on the blog and even more coming soon at Yoga Modern. I’ll post the highlights here on Elephant Journal, but to stay up to date on the latest subscribe to the blog or stay up to date on the Yoga Modern Facebook or Twitter.


About Chelsea Roff

Chelsea Roff is a nationally-recognized author and speaker, and the Founder of Yoga for Eating Disorders. In September 2013, Chelsea raised $50,000 on the crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to kickstart her non-profit, Yoga for Eating Disorders. The program is currently being offered in treatment centers and yoga studios around the country at no charge, and she is working with researchers at UC San Diego to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in treatment. Chelsea is known for her intelligent, inspiring, and tell-it-like-it-is speaking style, and for weaving together profound personal experiences with her scientific background to deliver deeply moving insights. After nearly losing her life to anorexia and a subsequent stroke when she was 15, she has became a national advocate for community-based mental health interventions. Her work was recently showcased by Sanjay Gupta on CNN, and she’s been keynote speaker at 92nd Street Y, The Omega Institute, and at various universities and conferences around the country. Chelsea currently lives in Venice, California, where she can be found cartwheeling across the beach, hiking in the mountains, and practicing yoga poses on her little pink scooter.


4 Responses to “What does it mean to “raise the vibration”? Interviews with Suzanne Sterling & Tiffany Cruikshank”

  1. […] communion with the world, all we need is to let our experience rush in and fill us up – to live richly in all the details and textures. The innate joy in the fullness of your presence is there, waiting […]

  2. yogijulian says:

    love that you interviewed these two smart powerful ladies (and suzanne is one of my best loved friends) – glad you asked the question.

    for me personally, i think perhaps phrases like "raise the vibration" tend to be unnecessarily vague and woo woo sounding – and will tend to put off people who are more grounded and rational, and tend to give more loopy people permission to be more ungrounded!

    i like suzanne's blend of music, physics and chakra schtick in her answer, but i think where she starts to hit the money is when she says we are literally changing our brain chemistry…..

    i feel like what helps with this kinda stuff is to talk about it from a subjective and an objective point of view – as much as that is possible of course; some of the objective will be speculative….. but perhaps my point will shine through.

    what if we were to say something about how when we all get together and sing and dance and breathe and do yoga etc we feel a sense of unity and belonging and we amplify feelings of well being, and we dial into one another by getting more emotionally open because the environment/context feels safe, and we become more empathic and trusting and intuitive and it feels good…. and that good feeling is subjectively described as a kind of "higher vibration" because our lower brain preoccupations with safety and protection and survival and vigilance kinda fade away – and our focus on compassion and idealism and meaning and beauty starts to dominate our attention and creates further feelings of profundity and pleasure, getting our needs met and feeling connected to eachother….

    because what we are perhaps really trying to talk about has more to do with biochemistry than physics – "good vibes" literally refers rather to the oxytocin and serotonin and dopamine we are all giving off and breathing in and amplifying through our positive parasympathetic nervous system feedback loops as a result of the "uplifting" practices – than to a literal explainable-via-physics construct.

    i think sometimes too the word "energy" ( as much as i use it myself all the time) can create an unskillful dualism and mystification of something entirely natural that is innate to our biochemical, neurophysiological being.

    developing a poetic explanatory model that draws on the mirror neurons, neuroplasticity and the psychological phenomenon of shared experience and expanding/further evolving our sense of tribal affiliation to all of humanity seems more cogent here to me.

    i think when we do a more nuanced job of clarifying the relationship between the subjective and objective aspects of spiritual experience we can then avoid extrapolating in a way that literalizes the metaphor.

    what do i mean?

    well i think a lot of us spiritual types have a fantasy that if we just go to enough festivals and "raise the vibration" enough it will have some kind of lasting effect on the astral plane, it will hasten the coming of the age of aquarius, it will magically heal the suffering of the world, it will emanate outward and call in the big changes of 2012 etc… it's like this flavor of faith in mystical physics that to me is oddly one dimensional and lacking in the juicy depth of embodied consciousness and personal journey.

    i am so glad none of the three super bright teachers in the videos above said this – but i think too we do well to make distinctions between these kinds of fallacious inflations based in literalized metaphorical pseudoscience on the one hand, and more reasonable assessments of the beauty, power and efficacy of transformative practices on the other….

    love of course that suzanne mentioned getting down lower so as to integrate – but for me i always feel a bit uncomfortable when statements like "there is a liberation energy current and a grounding energy current" are spoken as if they are simply facts rather than metaphorical constructs.

    i think also the familiar distinction between western (scientific rational) and eastern (feeling the vibe man) modes of knowing is an unfortunate fallacy that we would do better to move beyond. aren't we really trying to talk about the powerful subjective initiatory experiences of yoga in relationship to contemporary ways of proposing what may be happening objectively?

    there is really just one "thing" happening – and we can talk about it from objective, subjective and intersubjective perspectives – AND when we find the sweet spots where there is more and more overlap i think that is the jackpot! i don't think the physics metaphor gets us there very well.

  3. […] oh why wasn’t my vibration getting lifted as […]

  4. Johnetta says:

    Deep thought! Thanks for contruibintg.