Interview with Guest Teacher: Prosad
Anahata Yoga Retreat is excited to announce that Prosad -international multi-instrumentalist and singer- will be offering The Yoga of Sound Retreat in mid-March. This weekend retreat equips you with tools to transform your life using mantra, music & sound. Read on to learn more about this Anahata guest teacher & the Yoga of Sound.
Tell us a little bit about the magic of combining yoga & sound?
Prosad: The spiritual lineage that I come from is based on Shabd Surat Yoga, which means “when conscious and sound become one”. My teacher of over twenty years, Maestro Tulshi Sen, has taught me many meditation practices and also certain musical frequencies which help us realize the oneness of sound and consciousness within. I will be sharing many of these teachings and principles in the workshop.
The ancient Vedic scriptures of India proclaim that “Sound is the Creator” (Nada Brahma). This great truth is more than a mere philosophy, it is also a teaching that we must embody and realize in our being; the reality that everything in the universe is made up of vibration and vibration is sound.
What we normally describe as sound are those vibrations that we can hear with our ears (from about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz), but all vibration in a medium is a form of sound. Sound not only affects the environment around itself, but actually shapes it. Through the emerging field of cymatics are we are able to see how sound shapes our environment. We can see fractal patterns and shapes that sometimes take the appearance of mandalas and at other times even the shapes of human cells, sea creatures or DNA solely through the vibration of sound. We are beginning to see that there is so much more to the ancient teachings that sound and vibration form the basis of creation. Sound is creative power, so when we master sound, we master ourselves as well as our environment.
To be of “sound” mind and body, means to be in a state of harmony, health and well-being. By using sound, we can heal our bodies and align our energy field to bring it back into harmony with itself and with nature. In this workshop we will see examples of how sound shapes the environment and how it affects our bodies. We will learn how to use this vibrational power to heal our bodies and to bring peace to the mind. The best instrument is the voice; by intoning notes, mantras and other sacred sounds we can evoke states of healing and well being in the body.
Beyond this, the next stage is to understand that the mind is a more subtle form of sound energy and that sound is the bridge between matter, energy and consciousness. Sound can profoundly influence our consciousness. It can create altered states and states of raised awareness. It can help us to reach higher states of consciousness where our ability to create and hold a vision becomes exponentially more powerful. It can bring peace and well-being to the mind and awaken profound creativity and energy in our nervous system (known in yoga as “Kundalini” energy).
In our workshop we will be learning about many simple yet profound tools that we can use to awaken this spiritual energy.
How does mantra, music & sound work to transform lives? How do these practises enhance emotional wellbeing?
Prosad: By now, most people agree that our thoughts affect our reality and that thinking positive and forming a vision are instrumental skills necessary in changing the quality of both our inner and outer lives. But what most people don’t talk about as much is just exactly “how” to take control over our thought process. It is one thing to want to try think positive, but haven’t we all had the experience where anxiety overcomes us, or fear and doubt quickly sabotage a new vision? I know that I have had this experience many times and I also know the antidote – the antidote is meditation and some of the most powerful meditation that we can do is with sound, mantra and music. The mind is like an elastic band that always wants to stretch back to its habits, tendencies, conditioning and programming. We try to use willpower to hold the mind in a stretched position, but it will usually snap back to old habits when we become tired and our willpower wanes. Meditation and the yoga of sound help to re-program the subconscious and give us the power to create a new “set point” for the elastic, or in other words, a new vision and belief level for what we believe and know is possible. It gives us the power to create a new vision, hold positive emotional states and raise our belief level. It is the antidote to fear and doubt.
When warriors would go into battle, they would use the drum, trumpets and other instruments to gain the courage to face fears. Music and sound can fill us with courage, it can transform us from a state of fear and limitation to a state of courage and power. It gives us the power to hold visions, to concentrate of what we want rather that what we are afraid of. Sound has the power to heal the body and mind and it has an equal power to disturb and create imbalance. That is why it is important to understand what kind of sound creates healing and growth. Sound and music can put us into deep states of meditation and trance. Mantras and powerful affirmations have the ability to actually re-program the sub-conscious mind. Mantras also have the ability to accelerate our evolution on the spiritual path and even to speed up the process of dissolving karma and samskaras.
I personally find that when I am constantly playing sacred music, it is difficult to think a negative thought! Beyond this, I have more energy and need less sleep. The power of sound and music has too many benefits to list, especially the ancient mantras and raga music which we will be experiencing in this workshop.
It takes time and repetition, but if you do the work, you can transform your thinking, reprogram your subconscious mind and literally transform your “beingness” bringing it into the highest vision of who you are meant to be. It can truly transform lives.
Can you tell us a little about the history of Yoga utilizing sound for healing purposes?
Prosad: The ancient sacred texts of India stretch back as far as 3000 years and quite likely even farther as they came from an aural tradition. The Vedas were recorded and written in the ancient vibrational language of Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a unique language in that it was revealed to the ancient Rishes (Saints) in India as an “energetic” language – that is to say that the sound of the words also carries the vibrational meaning of the word to the unconscious mind. This means that even if one does not consciously understand the language, their body and unconsciousness mind will still respond to and understand the meaning of the vibrations. As such, mantras or words of power were developed for all manner of things. By repeating these mantras, one can create an energized state of consciousness which can attract all the things you want into your life as well as awaken your energy and consciousness to higher states of being.
The raga system of music in India was also tied to the aural recitation of the Vedas. The aural memorization of thousands of verses of holy text was aided by the use of music. Slowly over time, this music evolved into a system that we now know as the raga system. Raga means “that which colours the mind”. Ragas are melodies and scales with very specific melodic phrases that were scientifically designed to affect the nervous system in certain ways (evoking specific feelings and emotions) as well as used for healing and reaching states of attunement with the Divine.
Through Mantras, Kirtan (devotional singing used as a form of “Bhakti Yoga”) and the raga system of music, spiritual aspirants were able to heal their bodies, tune their minds and raise their consciousness to higher states which allowed them realise their oneness with all of creation.
What tools will one take away from this upcoming retreat?
Prosad: We will learn powerful mantras for raising consciousness as taught by Maestro Tulshi Sen, author of Ancient Secrets of Success. We will learn traditional mantras from the Vedic and the yogic tradition. We will experience powerful “sitar meditations” – using the power of raga music to achieve deep states of meditation. We will learn to develop the power of our voice to be able to apply sound healing to our own bodies and create a powerful vibrational energy with our voice.
We will experience the practice of Kirtan or devotional singing. The practice of singing together has been shown scientifically to release the hormone oxytocin, which is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone”. This is the hormone that is released when we hug people, or feel closeness with others such as the experience of kindness or a loving touch or a hug. In ancient cultures this effect was used to bond members of a tribe together and create a feeling of unity. In our modern culture, the experience of this love is universal. The power generated by this practice is multiplied by the fact that we are not just singing together, but we are singing powerful vibrational words in Sanskrit -this adds adds to the consciousness raising effect. Kirtan and devotional singing is part of the Bhakti Yoga tradition or the yoga of devotional and love. Spiritual teachers have always told us that the practice of Bhakti Yoga is the quickest and easiest way to feel the love of the divine within our own hearts, besides that it feels amazing! I know from experience, how much joy and happiness this practice can generate.
We will also look at new music that was created by my Teacher, Tulshi Sen. I had the honour of working directly with him on the creation of this incredible music. For the first time, a powerful music of 22 notes has been revealed which is based on the system of Kabbalah and on Pythagorean sacred geometry – this music speaks directly to our subconscious mind and helps us remember our divine creative power. There is also a system of 7 notes, which is designed to awaken the chakras.
We will also look at spiritual practices which deepen the creative process, awaken imagination and help us to form a powerful vision for our lives. We will then learn about the tools which will help us to build a strong mindset and raise our consciousness so that we will have the power to manifest these visions.
Who would you recommend this retreat to?
Prosad: I would recommend this retreat to anyone who is looking to make a powerful and positive shift in their lives. Anyone who would like to learn ancient tools that will build strong mental, emotional and physical health. Anyone who is looking for more purpose and also more joy. Anyone who feels like there might be a way to follow their dream in life, but who don’t know exactly where to start. I would recommend it to anyone who is dedicated to personal growth and self-transformation. Musicians and non-musicians alike would both benefit as there is room to explore sound healing in depth, but no prior musical knowledge is required. This retreat is for anyone who is interested in gaining energy, power, health and tools to deepen their meditation practice. It is for anyone who would like to deepen their ability to create and manifest visions using spiritual principals. Besides all of these benefits, it is going to be fun and full of beautiful music and high vibrations. All are welcome!
Click here to learn more about the Yoga of Sound retreat.