This week’s post comes from Scott in Conneticut, a student this weekend at my Bhakti Yoga Festival class in Joshua Tree, CA.
He asked me how to deal with profound sadness. His heart felt heavy and sad. He knew why. He just didn’t know what to do about it. His question was perfectly timed, considering we were at a Kirtan (singing/chanting) and Yoga festival in the desert.
For those of you who may not be familiar with yoga, there are many different schools of yoga – each specifically designed to address the various aspects of Self. Hatha Yoga is the physical practice of yoga (asanas) to keep the body open, strong and clear. Meditation and self-study is called Jnana Yoga – and works to train the mind to focus and choose thoughts wisely.
Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of the heart or emotional realm. Bhakti Yoga is known as the yoga of devotion – devotion to whatever you authentically feel tied to as your higher power, inner power, deepest truth or the source of unconditional love.
Bhakti Yoga consists of singing, chanting, ritual (puja) and prayer – generally praising Spirit in a joyful, heartfelt way. Every religion and spiritual tradition has it’s own version of Bhakti–coming together in ritual and celebrating.
Known as the quickest way to pierce the heart, transform sadness and uplift one’s mood immediately – SINGING – is the linchpin of Bhakti.
If you want to change your mood, be happy, heal grief, sadness, heartache, heartbreak or disappointment – I’ve got one word for you – SING!
Yes…turn on some tunes, open your mouth, take a deep breath and belt it out!
Music is medicine. Best to choose songs that have an uplifting tone and theme (as in all manifestation – there is great power in the word, so choose words that are empowering, affirming and positive) and then let it rip!
If you are like many of us and think you have a terrible singing voice (which is probably not true and definitely does NOT matter) – go at it alone in the comfort of your own home or car…just sing (the louder the better – and with a smile!).
Getting the voice moving actually has a scientific, physical impact on the literal heart and surrounding heart center (anahata). When you sing, you have to begin pumping the lungs to get enough breath to carry a tune. The lungs are the wings of the heart – literally filling the heart with oxygen like a bellows pumping air onto a fire. You begin to increase your 02 and lung capacity and circulate more energy and blood into the heart center. Because of this increased flow, the heart is nourished, strengthened and relieved. The heart then carries this energy (oxygenated blood) to the rest of the body – flooding it with uplifting vibrations and love.
Regardless of the science…just try it! You are your own experiment. Just notice if you feel better after or worse after singing. That’s all. Don’t just play a song or listen to it….SING IT!
Watch the video above for my own personal serenade to you!
Give it a try and every day this week…sing yourself a little song.
Please leave a comment. Let us know how you think and definitely send us your questions for next week.
Fa la la la la…la la….la la.