The Winter Solstice falls on Saturday June 21, and KMYOGA will be hosting a special WINTER SOLSTICE KUNDALINI YOGA & SOUND CELEBRATION from 6.00pm - 8.30pm In this blog, KMYOGA Founder, Author and renowned Opera Singer, Kathryn McCusker explores the meaning of the Winter Solstice. Following this is another KMYOGA blog about the Power of Sound Healing:
THE WINTER SOLSTICE:
Kathryn McCusker, KMYOGA Founder
The term Solstice means "sun stands still". In the southern hemisphere it occurs in the middle of the year and represents the start of Winter.
It is the time when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky, making Winter Solstice the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
During the winter solstice the sun hugs closer to the horizon than at any other time during the year, giving way to the least amount of daylight annually. On the bright side, the day after the winter solstice marks the beginning of lengthening days leading up to the summer solstice.
This event had deep spiritual meaning in many cultures and in many cases Winter Solstice was associated with the birth of the Sun, meaning the birth of the god or goddess.It would seem that many ancient cultures had a similar spiritual meaning for Winter Solstice, suggesting humanity always cared about the rebirth of light.
This is a poignant time to stop and listen, to harmonize our energy and reassess our connection to our spirit and life’s purpose.
It is a powerful time of re-birth and transformation - to acknowledge our shadow, heal our wounds, release old thought patterns and align with our light to illuminate our highest destiny.
Winter Solstice is an opportunity to come together with your community in celebration of hope, peace and the rebirth of light.
Join Kathryn, Maya, Mandeep and Josh for an evening of transformative and balancing Kundalini kriyas, meditations for manifestation as well as the regenerative, healing sounds of the gong, crystal bowls and the didgeridoo!
Saturday June 21, 6.00pm - 8.30pm at KMYOGA. Open to everyone. $40 pre-book online (at www/kmyoga.com/pages/events) or $50 at the door.
Yogi Bhajan said "Revolve your life around summer and winter solstice and everything will be taken care of.’
KMYOGA Founder, Author and Singer
THE POWER OF SOUND HEALING
There is a magic and power of sound which sets it apart from all the other sensory perceptions. Sound penetrates through our physicality in the purest sense of vibration.
I can touch your hand and we will feel each other and connect. The boundary of skin however, in an impenetrable fortress. Sound vibration moves through our outer layers, and can actually resonate in such a way that our own molecular structure follows.
“Music [and sound] can have a powerful salutary effect on our cardio-vascular, immune, and nervous systems, not to mention our emotional and spiritual selves.”
- Dr. Mitchell Gaynor (The Sounds of Healing)
This is the power of sound.
The Science of Sound and Hearing
Sound is defined as vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s ear. Sound can propagate through solids as well. It is carried through movements (vibrations) of air molecules. In the air, the sound is in the form of acoustical energy.
When the sound comes in contact with the tympanic membrane (better known as the ear drum) or the middle ear, it gets converted to mechanical energy.
The mechanical energy then goes through the inner ear through cochlea, and it is converted to electronic energy by the hair cells and is transmitted to the brain to “hear” the sound.
How does sound heal?
Sounds affect us physiologically. They trigger hormonal responses such as fight or flight, and our internal organs also fall into sync with rhythms and vibrations. Every part of our body is energetically pulsating at it’s own frequency, and we can use sound consciously to alter these if we so desire. Julian Treasure presented a wonderful TED talk on 4 Ways Sound Affects Us (please see below)
Sound or ‘Frequency’ healing as it is sometimes referred too, has been studied intensely and broken down Hz by Hz. Every frequency “range” has a specific, non-random effect. For instance, 1.0 Hz impacts the pituitary, stimulating the production of growth hormones, while 111 Hz will increase beta endorphins and stimulate cell regeneration*.
Sound healing has been effective in relieving pain and in the treatment of stress-related afflictions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, insomnia, pain and depression. Mainstream medical teaching facilities in America** have added programs that link body, mind, and spirit to the treatment of cancer. Cancer prevention centres are utilizing sound as a vital part of the healing process for patients with astounding results.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor has been using sound, including Tibetan / Himalayan Singing Bowls, crystal bowls and chanting in work with cancer patients for many years. The medical director of the Deepak Chopra Center in California, Dr. David Simon, found that both chanting and the sound from Tibetan / Himalayan Bowls are chemically metabolized into ‘endogenous opiates,’ that act on the body as internal painkillers and healing agents**.
The Power of Sound and Kundalini
The Mantras we practice in Kundalini awaken the life forces of the human soul. The Sanskrit word ‘Mantra’ means ‘mental liberation’. This sound, or combination of sounds sets the mind free from its worldly conditioning and limitations, though we can chant in any language, anything that our heart desires.
The most sublime instrument of the Yogi is the Gong. It is a musical instrument, a healing tool for the nervous system and a cauldron in which you can create alchemical blends of qualities that open and develop the Inner Self. Yogi Bhajan has asked that each ashram and yoga centre have a gong and play it regularly. He said it would help repair the ravages of drugs in the nervous system. The sound of the gong creates deep relaxation, releases you from the torrent of thoughts and stimulates the glandular system to a higher level of functioning. Each student of kundalini yoga is encouraged to become familiar with the basic idea, use and experience of the gong***.
“The gong is the sound of Creativity itself. One who plays the gong plays the Universe. The gong is a beautiful reinforced vibration. It is like a multitude of strings, as if you played with a million strings. The gong is the only tool with which you can produce this combination of space vibrations.” Yogi Bhajan
The gong is really an engine of power more than a musical instrument. The energy that comes through the gong is not just a fundamental tone, but all the tones combined to create a wall of sound – rather like a tsunami, a great wave. It is really like a delivering of pranic healing… The universal gong sound is based upon the musical principle that all tones of equal amplitude keep resonating, adding to themselves, to produce cumulative offspring, so to speak. This phenomenon is unique to gongs and replicates exactly what happens in the building of the human physical, mental emotional and spiritual bodies.” Don Conreaux
“Gong therapy relieves stress and has a profound, revitalising effect on the immune and nervous systems. When you bathe in the healing tones of the sacred gong the wave of total sound is both heard with the ears and felt as a powerful vibration sweeping over and penetrating deeply into the body – cleansing, releasing, healing and harmonising on all levels.” Guru Ram Kaur
Other healing instruments…
“Crystal bowls are quartz devices that by friction emit powerful, pure harmonic sound waves. Neuroscience explains that physical exposure to these harmonic frequencies stimulates the whole body creating instantly changes in the electro-chemical activity of the brain affecting at a cellular level the central nervous system, endocrine system, tissues and blood circulation through the body.
Thoughts are emanation of waves so when a thought form interacts with a crystal sound wave, those thoughts patterns are re-organized naturally to a more coherent structure manifesting immediately alterations in awareness.
These mental and physical changes reset the body to a natural state of relaxation, deep meditation and regeneration, where negativity and mental chaos are dissolved, pain & resistance are cleared. Re-balancing and re-establishing the body’s natural synchrony, rhythms & well being.
The power of positive intention or affirmation combined with the use of crystal sound therapy provides remarkable physical and emotional healing results.” Claudia Echeverria
“The subtleties of sound and vibration of the yidaki (didgeridoo) have the power to strip away any ‘baggage’ you carry from your day, week, month, year or even a lifetime. When these energies are dislodged, there lies a clean slate for fresh, new energy to arrive and creatively serve you inthis lifetime. The Yidaki is also very relaxing and meditative and can
activate various energy centres of the body.” Josh Oshlack
How to elevate your vibrations with sound?
Simply being aware of the subtleties and acknowledging sound around you is a beautiful place to begin. Most of us already use music and songs to connect ourselves to each other and to express the universal emotions and archetypal stories we live day in, year out.
In meditation we become still and reflect on external sounds, a bird outside for example, then move into our own sound of breath. Through chanting mantras we are harnessing the power of not only our breath, but also our own vocal resonance. Instruments such as the Gong, Crystal Bowls and Yidaki (Didgeridoo) encompass a spectrum of frequencies beyond the human voice, but within the range of our physicality.
If you would like to experience the power of sound join us at KMYOGA’S WINTER SOLSTICE KUNDALINI YOGA AND SOUND CELEBRATION on 21.06.14 for an evening of Kundalini Yoga, Meditation and Mantra with Kathryn McCusker, Gong – Maya Stange, Crystal Bowls – Claudia Echeverria and Yidaki (Didgeridoo) – Josh Oshlack.
(L-R: Maya, Mandeep, Kathryn, Josh)
Kathryn McCusker is one of Australia's most experienced Kundalini Yoga Teachers and founder of KMYOGA, the premier Kundalini Yoga Studio in Sydney, an oasis in the heart of Bondi Junction, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. If you want Sydney Yoga Classes in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, visit us at www.kmyoga.com.
Kathryn's first book, KUNDALINI MEDITATION - the path to personal transformation and creativity - is published by Watkins and has already been released printed in four languages. The book and accompanying CD, Kundalini Mantra Meditations, is also available online through the the KMYOGA store at www.kmyoga.com/pages/store.