This confirms everything all the shamans,
yogis, and Sufis have reported in their own
meditative experiences. Through sacred
ecstasy, they experience the sense that all
things are one. Through Yoga, they reached
the experience of ultimate unity. With the
research, others can see it is not just an illusion, what they are experiencing is actually
SM: How does this relate to the practice of
YR: It is important to teach in a way that
the spiritual part of Yoga is not left aside. In
the West, the danger is that Yoga can just be
an aerobic physical exercise to lose weight,
or it can be practiced just for fun or to meet
your next date since people go to Yoga classes like they go to clubs or bars.
It’s essential to concentrate on teaching
people to be aware and fluent in the spiritual
side of Yoga and to remember that Yoga is a
SM: Do you suggest a specific type of music
in Yoga practice?
YR: I think Yoga teachers need to discuss
the effects of music. There have been times
when the same teacher teaches the same
class but one class feels better. Often, the difference isn’t the teacher but the soundrack.
Music used in a Yoga class can hinder the
benefits of the breath from the teacher and
the students. When you have loud music in
the class the teacher may not hear who is
breathing properly. The breath must be synchronized to the movement. There is even a
clinical study shows that when people synchronize breathing with movement their immune system and health improves.
The yogis knew this because they did the
research on themselves. The people who
created Yoga obviously didn’t have an iPod
and a stereo system playing. But—did they
practice with live music with musicians who
were tuned into the yogis? That is a question that needs to be discussed. At the same
time, there are sacred music practices from
around the world that did—and do—use
music, so we know that music can be very
powerful if used the right way.
For more information about Yuval
Ron’s music, performance, and teaching,
including an upcoming workshop on
Yoga and music at Rising Lotus in Sherman
Oaks , visit: Yuvalron.com
Selah Michelle is a Sivananda-trained yogi who has been
part of the LA Yoga team for nearly a year.
This article is a companion piece to
this month’s Yoga Therapy (pg 36) by
composer and yogi Frank Fitzpatrick
who explores the sacred alchemy of
Yoga and music.
We have a passion for music and as the
use of music is on the rise within the Yoga
community, it seems to be here to stay.
As Yuval Ron says, this is nothing new,
at least not when it comes to movement,
such as dance or ritual. Then the question
becomes: How to considering the application
of adding a soundtrack to Yoga? It’s a
question that promises to spark a long –
and hopefully harmonious – discussion.