Friday, June 12, 2009

The Practice Of Nadayoga

"By one who is desirous of attaining perfection in yoga,Nada alone has got to be closely heard(meditated upon)having abandoned all thoughts and with a clear mind."(Adi Sankaracharya-Yoga -Taravali).

Nadayoga through deep and absolute involvement in the music one can sing or play on an instrument, is similar to Bhakthi yoga.Nadayoga that contains the stages of yama,niyama,asana,pranayama,pratyahara,dharana,dhyana and samadhi is similar to Raja yoga .People who are not into any singing or playing an instrument can adapt the following methods in their spiritual journey.

For starters,Nadanusandhana asana should be practised.Nadanusandhana Asana:-A-kara,U-kara,M-kara,AUM.Sitting in vajrasana or sukhasana,inhale slowly and completely.First stage:Adopt chinmudra and while exhaling chant 'AAA' in a low pitch.Feeling the resonance in the abdomen and the lower parts of the body,repeat 9 times.Second stage:Adopting the previous mudra and breathing mode,chant 'UUU' feeling the resonance in the chest and the middle region of the body,repeat 9 times.Third stage:Same posture and breathing as the previous two stages,but adopt Adi Mudra-[Place palms on the thighs in vajrasana with the tip of the thumb at the base of the little finger and closing all the fingers over the thumb in a fist.Concentrate on the vishudha chakra(throat region)].Chant 'MMM' and feel the resonance in the entire head region,repeat 9 times.Final stage:Sitting in any meditative posture,adopt Brahma Mudra[Sit in any comfortable yogic posture.Sitting with the spine erct,move the face to the right by turning only the neck,chin coming in line with the right shoulder to whatever extent possible,with gaze directed to the right.Remain in this position for 3 or 5 breaths and get back to the original position.Next,turn the face to the left so that the chin moves towards the left shoulder and the gaze turns towards the left.Remain this way for 3 to 5 breaths and come back to original position.Relax muscles of the neck, and tilt the head back.Relaxing the neck in this manner,let the head come down as far down as possible under gravity,turn the gaze towards the eyebrows.Maintain posture for 3 to 5 breaths and return to original posture.In the fourth stage,the chin drops to the chest level,breathing reduces.In all stages it is essential to maintain concious breathing.All the four levels constitute one Brahma Mudra.Always turn the gaze in the direction of the face whenever the Mudra is attained and released.
Brahma Mudra has to be learnt under the guidance of a proper yoga teacher,For that matter all the above postures and mudras maybe done under the guidance of an experienced yoga practitioner.
Swami Satyananda who was born in 1923 in Almora took up sanyasa at the age of 19 from Swami Sivananda at the Sivananda Ashram,Rishikesh.He had practised and preached nadayoga extensively.
The following are excerpts from his preachings about nadayoga:-
Sittng in nadanusandhana asana,close your eyes and relax your whole body and mind.Feel at total peace.Inhale deeply and exhale with a humming sound like a bee.Keep the teeth seperated slightly and mouth closed.Feel the bee-like sound vibrate throughout the head region,starting from the throat pit.Do this for 30 seconds.Continue repeating this humming sound for 5 minutes.Apply your mind to the humming sounds.After a while,stop making the humming sounds and try to hear subtle sound manifestations.Try to pick up any sound and go on listening.You will find that one particular sound will become clearer and clearer;feel its intensity and purity.Concentrate totally on this sound and listen very carefully.If your hearing is sufficiently sensitive you may find that you can hear another sound in the background of the present predominant sound.It maybe very faint,but perceivable.Leave the first sound and concentrate on the new sound emerging behind it.Transcend the first sound;try to experience the fullness of the new or second sound.Prolong this way.Again with practice and if you have developed your sensitivity,you maybe able to hear another sound emerging.It will be faintly perceptible behind the louder second sound.Direct your awareness to this new sound.The more subtle the sound you perceive,the deeper you will delve into the depths of the mind.With practice this technique will lead you to meditation.If you cannot detect any subtle sound in your first attempt itself,don't despair;with practice you will surely make progress.
You will develop the knack of transcending first the external sound and then the progressively more subtle sounds.The sounds heard by the practitioner resemble those of bells,a lute,a bird chirping,veena,mridangam and so on.
This is a powerful yet simple method of revealing the experiences of your innermost being."
"Sitting down to meditation,one must close his/her ears,with either index fingers or thumbs.Practising ujjayi with closed eyes;one should forget everything and keep breathing in and out in ujjayi in the spinal chord region.One should go on practising ujjayi with even greater concentration.
Plugging the ears,one must produce the sound of a humming bee and while producing the sound of a humming bee,one should mentally chant Om Om Om ..........
To understand the process better,1.first of all one should close their ears2.inhale in the form of ujjayi from the bottom to the top;3.then produce the sound of a humming bee-hummmmm....which should be continuous;4.while producing the sound,mentally chant Om Om Om...;5.practice the humming sound in exhalation;6.while inhaling it goes all the way up in the spinal chord in the form of ujjayi.
Inbetween if one is tired,he may rest his hands on his knees,but practice could continue even with ears open.
The important point to note is that the inhaling has to be done through ujjayi (via spinal chord).Secondly,with ears closed while one is producing humming bee-like sound (in exhalation),he has to mentally chant Om Om Om....If there is any other mantra one prefers to Om chanting,they could do the same,but the rule is to do it rhythmically.
After repeating the above process for many times,one has to stop humming and producing the sound.One must listen very carefully searchjing for internal sounds.One may listen to a second sound in the background of the first sound.It could be the sound of a bee;or a motor or the sound of ocean waves.But whatever may be the second sound,one should get tuned to it,letting go of the first sound.Again a new sound will emrge,it could be the first sound emerging or a new one altogether.Letting go of the first 2 sounds, one must concentrate on the third sound totally and absolutely.Like this one must go on for atleast 5 minutes.Each time a new sound emerges,one should concentrate on that.
Now,one should take his hands from his ears back to meditative position.Holding the body very still one should maintain the posture with eyes closed.This method is known as nadayoga;it brings down the nervous excitement and after this one can meditate on any form.Meditation is to be done within the inner walls of the forehead.The image or form which one wants to meditate is drawn on the inner wall of the forehead,as if it were a blackboard.Drawing the image,one has to concentrate on it fully.
The above process is also said to de-stress and rejuvenate a person,apart from being the practice of nadayoga.


Unknown said...

Gayathri ji,
Interesting. If I understood this correctly:
- the objective of nadayoga (all the breathing techniques, asanas etc. described in your post) is to be able to listen to the 'anahata' nada.
- Vocalists/intrumentalists could achieve the same through practice of music ('ahata' sabda as mentioned in an earlier post).
Music Lover

Veenaagayathri said...

Exactly,the easiest and most beautiful method to tap anahatha nada is through rendering of classical/carnatic music(due to its alienation from human senses and direct access to soul) on instruments (significantly on vedic instruments like veena,flute,etc.) or vocal music.Thank you,Gayathri

Anonymous said...


what is the use?what benefits ll get if learn nadayoga?

Veenaagayathri said...

Please go through the article to know the use and benefits of Nadayoga.

Notes said...

Hello Jasmine Strings,
You have a very interesting blog with a lot of information on Nada Yoga. I appreciate it.

I have some questions: Some say one should focus on the heart, some say on the third eye. What do you think? I find it easiest to focus on the third eye, but lately it starts to throb and almost hurt. My body has only once managed to listen with nada in the heart. Do you think I should attempt to draw the Sounds down to the heart or let the sounds decide. In a Taoist book for women I've read its unhealthy to focus exclusively on the 3rd eye... but I read to many books.

I almost always hear many sounds at the same time. It is difficult to know which to put my attention to. Are all sounds equal? Isn't deciding which sound to focus on like trying to control the Nada? Controlling God, basically.

Is it common to hear the Nada sounds? I have listened to 8 of the different sounds, but I don't think the Silent, or unstruck sound. Why do some hear the Nada even if we didn't work for it? Is it a gift? a demand from God? a natural consequence of certain actions?

I've read somewhere that if you hear the Naad when not meditating (just going about one's everyday life), that you're doing something wrong... like wrong diet or something. Do you think that is true? Other books say you should listen to the Naad at all times.

A lot of confusion from a random Norwegian girl.



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