Music is powerful.
We have all experienced music’s ability to move and heal us in one way or another. We have felt music call up feelings and memories from remote corners of our minds and instantly transport us to another time and place and state of mind. Music creates communities and brings people together.
But what makes music so powerful? And how can we harness that power to help deepen our practice, improve our experience of life and perhaps to even expand our own power to create ourselves and our lives in a way that we love? Can we harness that power to perhaps even heal the world? Big words, I know. But give me a minute.
I have worked in music from my first job ever singing on a cruise ship in 1992 and I have seen firsthand the powerful effect music has on people who listen to it and who create it. I have been around the world singing and deejaying and I have seen music work it’s magic on people of every culture, gender, religion and level of education in every community and country I have ever performed in.
More recently, when I have deejayed live yoga classes I have experienced the profound effects music has had on students, helping deepen and inspire their practice. I have started to become very curious about why and about how music affects us.
So, I started studying and doing research and this is what came up:
Music is a human universal. There are no cultures discovered on the planet that do not have a form of music as a part of their traditions.
Music is a language of the soul that has the power to instantly take you out of your mind chatter and into your heart.
The reason that music can be such a powerful tool for peace and healing is that all conflict on the planet comes from a sense of limited identity and systems of thought (i.e. religious identity, national identity, racial identity, gender identity). Music taps into the part of your soul that is one with all that is.
When there is no separation and no limited identity, there is no room for conflict because we have a deep understanding that we are all one- humans, animals, nature. Of course music can be used to incite violence and call people to war because our souls also have a dark side but if we use celebratory, beautiful, joyful, peaceful music to affect our state of consciousness, it can put us in a powerful and limitless state.
Another reason that music is such an amazing tool is that it calls up deep and intense feelings in people. Neuroscientists and endocrinologists have found that when we experience certain feelings, our brain chemistry changes. Music neuroscientists have also discovered that the heart’s electromagnetic waves are 60 times greater in amplitude than brain waves and that the magnetic component of the heart’s field is approximately 5000 times stronger than that produced by the brain.
Many of us have heard the saying that a problem cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness from which it was created so when music is used to put a person in a different state of consciousness, it is a potent force for transformation.
This is reflected in my personal experience with yoga. My introduction to yoga was through Bikram. I fell in love with it and practiced Bikram yoga exclusively for 10 years. Whatever city I went to around the world, I always found a Bikram studio to practice in.
Eventually, I was forced to try other types of yoga when I was doing a five month contract playing music in Hong Kong and there were no Bikram studios there. I needed yoga. I couldn’t spend five months without practicing, especially since I was playing and singing six nights a week. I found an awesome studio with amazing teachers, a strong community of dedicated yogis, wonderful workshops and advanced classes and it offered a heated vinyasa flow. I was in!
It was also my first time ever practicing yoga with music and I was totally hooked! Immediately I could feel the music in my heart, just pulling me right out of the mind chatter and right into the flow. I found myself experiencing a deeper, more inspired practice than ever.
To this day, the music creates a powerful experience for me. It brings me straight into the now and into my heart which is where power and truth reside.
It stands to reason then, that combining tools and technologies as powerful and accessible as music and other art forms with yoga and meditation, can only magnify their power to heal and transform us and our world. It inspires me to think that we can use these tools to create limitless possibilities for peace, healing and joy on the planet and to help us live from our hearts.
Like elephant yoga of Facebook.
Assist Ed: Melissa Petty/Ed: Bryonie Wise