BY MELISSA GOODMAN
Most of us are familiar with the physical practice of yoga, but yoga reaches beyond the physical to help restore balance through all levels of the being. Japa yoga is one avenue to help bring the body into homeostasis. Japa yoga uses sound to transform and increase the vibration at a cellular level.
Let’s look at how vibration can create harmony or destruction to gain a deeper understanding. Everything in the universe is energy vibrating at different rates or frequency and these frequencies effect our mood, choices and health among other things. One of the best examples of this was performed by Dr. Emoto in The Hidden Messages in Water. Dr. Emoto found that water can transform its shape into beautiful crystals when surrounded by high vibrational frequencies which include either words or sounds of love, harmony, peace, wisdom, Japa yoga, etc. On the other end of his experiment when the water crystals were exposed to lower frequencies the crystals became distorted. The sounds or words associated with lower frequencies included but not limited to hate, fear, evil, heavy metal music. How are water crystal relevant? The human body is made up of 75-80% water. Every thought, word and action can create beautiful water crystals within the body or has the potential to create imbalances and disease at a cellular structure. Allow us to integrate this knowledge with Japa yoga.
Japa yoga is the use of a mantra to create a shift in consciousness. The mantra might be a word, phrase or sentence which is concentrated on as it is repeated. One of the most widely used mantras in yoga is OM. This is a great place to start, an easy to learn mantra with a big impact. OM is the sound of the universe, when chanting OM we are aligning ourselves with the frequency of the universe which helps center us, giving temporary relief from the constant stream of thoughts allowing for harmony within. Our consciousness expands as we reunite ourselves with the ebb and flow of life. We are literally changing ourselves at a cellular level, increasing the vibration of our body so the cells can communicate with ease. Some benefits that come from this include slowing down the nervous system bringing us into a state of meditation, blood pressure decreases which helps heart health.
When chanting OM there are four parts. The first starts at the back of the throat, “awe”. Feel this vibration in the chest. Moving the sounds forward to the upper palate, “oo”, vibrating the throat, which massages the vocal cords. The third part comes behind the teeth, “mmm”, feeling this throughout the mouth. The final part is the stillness and silence that follows, the Infinite.
When incorporating any new practice it is best to slowing increase the duration. Whether applying this into your physical practice or a practice on its own spend a few minutes sitting, being fully present as the vibrations penetrate every cell of your being.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti (OM Peace Peace Peace)