01 Dec 2017

Music for meditation and relaxation for every day

Mirabai Ceiba

Music for meditation is not only a very broad concept, but also very controversial, and there are several views on this subject, including two completely opposite:

  • It is impossible to meditate under the musical accompaniment.

This opinion is held by a portion of those for whom mantras or breathing tracking are an integral part of the process. Some agree that music compositions are not acceptable at the beginning of the session, while others agree against the involvement of melodies for beginners, who cannot “leave everything superfluous”.

  • It is impossible to meditate without it.

However, a large number of people believe that relaxation is the main goal of the meditative process, but in fact the possibility of awareness is more important. Awareness does not seek to achieve any particular state, but studies reactions to what is happening in the surrounding and inner worlds. That is, listening to melodies during practice, you find out what is going on inside, you understand the reaction to it.

Melodies can significantly affect mood, plunging the brain into relaxed states, in which concentration and attention increase, the ability to cognition is revealed – a good atmosphere for tuning to deep, calm, productive sleep and mastering meditative techniques.

While the music adjusts the heart rate to its vibrations, increasing or decreasing the number of beats per minute, brain engagement is based on synchronization with certain musical frequencies measured in Hertz (Hz).

Specific frequencies cause different states in our brain:

  • Beta waves (14-40 Hz)

Effect: awakening, alertness, awareness

Example: active communication or participation in work

  • Alpha waves (8-14 Hz)

Effect: calmness, relaxation

Example: meditation, break in work

  • Theta waves (4-8 Hz)

Effect: comprehensive relaxation, mental images

Example: dreams

  • Delta waves (0-4 Hz)

Effect: deep sleep without dreams

Example: fast sleep phase

Contemporary audio and video tracks

There are several styles of music for yoga and meditation, some of which are ancient, and others have appeared quite recently.

  • Ambient (electronic, based on the manipulation of the sound timbre) is known for its ability to tune into sleep, relaxation and inner workings. These unobtrusive melodies contribute to calming down at a deep level.
  • Binaural beats and isochronous tones are designed for listening exclusively in headphones, work well for relaxation, good sleep and increased concentration.
  • Singing and mantras are ancient practices and are an integral part of many religions and spiritual paths. Rhythmic repetition of a song, prayer, words helps balance the nervous system and relieve stress or tension.
  • Instrumental: soothing, soft notes of flute, violin, piano, cello and other instruments can effectively soothe the mind and entice into a melodious journey.
  • The voices of nature (sounds of the forest, the sea, the sound of water, the singing of birds) is a serene and very favorable atmosphere for meditation. Without leaving the house you can listen to birds, stay by the ocean or stroll through the rainforest.
  • Sacred Music: is aimed at attending to the divine. In different religions and traditions, it is united by the goal of extolling the human soul.
  • Solfege frequencies are the tones used to raise spiritual vibrations. Six basic frequencies are used. Each tone creates vibrations that can affect the surrounding energy.
  • Healing sound therapy uses vibrations, introduces into a state of complete relaxation. Sources can be a human voice and various instruments, such as gongs and Tibetan singing bowls.

Top 10 authors of yoga music

For those who are just starting their yoga practice and are searching for “their melody for yoga,” we recommend starting with the list below of 10 popular artists whose audio albums do not lose their relevance over the years.

1) Snatam Kaur

Performer and poetess from the USA, performs Kirtan and religious music of India. Her compositions are beautiful and calm.

2) Mirabai Ceiba

A striking combination of the voices of Marcus and Angelica. Their rhythms sound mystical and pious.

3) MC Yogi

Ahead of the present, a person with a special musical flair, MC Yogi, combining rhythm and lyrics, creates works that will excite everyone.

4) Madi Das

Thanks to modern globalization, today we can enjoy a wonderful fusion: the fusion of kirtana and hip-hop, dubstep, rock, jazz and country music.

5) Julie Fowlis

A Scottish artist who plays several instruments! More recently, her work was heard in the Disney cartoon “Brave.” The songs evoke mystical, as well as energetic, dynamic feelings of dance and movement.

6) Nirinjan Kaur

Most of her peaceful and soothing meditations you will find in Spirit Voyage. If you are looking for a song that will help you to gain lightness in consciousness, relaxation during shavasana, her song “Vahe Guru” will certainly help to do this.

7) Jai-Jagdeesh

This blossoming Indian artist has many energetic, spiritual and graceful melodies.

8) Trevor Hall

Sincere reggae musician, hungry for unity, peace and love. Known on the soundtrack “Other ways” from the cartoon “Shrek 3”.

9) AtmAsfera

The word “atmosphere” consists of two “personality” + “environment” – the name of the group very subtly conveys the essence of their music, which is centered around the perception of man, his inner world. The compositions of the band are unsurpassed and unusual combinations of sounds of almost 20 instruments and beautiful voices.

10) Tina Malia

Her angelic airy voice (such a Celtic goddess appears) rises over soft melodies with folk elements, dream-pop, sacred songs of Indian, Jewish and Sikh traditions.

How to choose a musical track for classes?

It is interesting, what kind of musical series for practice do experts (Ukrainian yoga teachers) see?

Yuriy Sulyk:

Yuriy Sulyk
Yuriy Sulyk

“Sound is an excellent tool for working with attention, meditative and concentration techniques. We perceive the world through our channels of perception, and the sound, or auditory, has long been used in the east for psycho-practices. This refers to overtone instruments, such as “singing Tibetan bowls”, “gongs”, “bells”.

Personally, I actively and often use them in my practice, in particular in deep relaxation practices, like shavasana or yoga nidra. Sound is a vibration that acts in a certain way both on the body and on our consciousness. Certain sounds, while they can not always be pleasant, enter into biopsychic resonances, and this is a tool for purifying a person from various blocks. In individual practice, I use sound- vibrating massage with Tibetan bowls overlapping them on certain parts of the body. Thus, a direct influence of vibrations is achieved (the frequency is set individually) to this or that part of the body.

Tom Kenyon is the master of healing sound, which I can recommend for reference. A person who has been in the subject for more than 20 years, a researcher who has achieved extraordinary results in this field.”

Oxana Taran:

Oxana Taran
Oxana Taran

“Music during meditation is, of course, nice, but for deep meditation it is considered superfluous, because it is a fairly active support (concentration point), which does not allow consciousness to dive deeper.

If you take meditation in terms of relaxation, then, of course, you can do it under the pleasant music or the sounds of nature. Now in the world of mobile devices there are many good applications. I will not advise anything specific, because I myself do not listen to music during meditation. For myself I use the timer application on the iPhone “Samsara Timer”, with the sounds of various Tibetan bowls – their pleasant sound helps to smoothly exit the meditative session.”

Sergey Bychkovyak:

Sergey Bychkovyak
Sergey Bychkovyak

“Yes, I usually use music when it comes to the city. Outside the city, on nature in the forest or in the mountains, it is not needed, because nature is perfect and the music here sounds from everywhere)))

Not that I’m against, everyone picks up and looks for his own version. Passing the practice of “Vipassana” in India, we were taking everything away, all gadgets and even notebooks, so that we could stand alone with ourselves and examine ourselves more thoroughly. Therefore, I am for simplicity and minimalism: the less you use superfluous, the better.

Now there are separate yoga shops with whole sections for meditation (this pillow is used in such a way, and this bell or plaid lies wrong, so I cannot do anything)) …). This is all distracting. Learn to abstract yourself from unnecessary things and sounds. You are – and that is enough. But if the place is noisy, and it is not calm in the head, then why not include a good musical accompaniment…

Personally, I like the combination of tab and flute. Although I often experiment, I turn on a new one and observe the state: sometimes I stay on one for a long time, until I want to change to another. So I am here to offer you some, maybe you’ll like it. In general, now you can find many options for your soul, so enjoy and enjoy your dive!”

Deep and dynamic meditation, difference

We know quite different techniques, which differ significantly. The main types are:

  • Concentration: focusing on a specific object throughout the entire session. This point can be breathing, mantra, visual image, part of the body, an object from the outside, etc. As the practitioner progresses, his ability to keep the flow of attention at a selected point increases, and distractions become more and more short and less frequent.
  • Open observation: instead of focusing on one single object, it preserves its openness and freedom, observing all aspects of its experience without condemnation or attachment. All perceptions, both internal (thoughts, feelings, memory, etc.), and external (sound, smell, etc.) are recognized and fixed. This is a non-reactive monitoring of the passage from moment to moment.
  • Easy presence: this is a state where attention is not focused on anything specifically, but there is general assemblage – quiet, empty, calm and introverted. You can also call it “free awareness” or “pure being.”

Nevertheless, all these types share several common features:

  1. The need for privacy in a quiet place. It is not necessarily absolutely quiet, but the absence of sharp loud sounds will help to concentrate, especially for beginners.
  2. Accepting the pose. For deepest meditation, you need to stay in one pose throughout the entire session, so you need to fix the body position in such a way that it (the position) feels comfortable and relaxed. The most popular positions are sitting with crossed legs and lying on the back with hands on the sides of the trunk and palms facing up.
  3. Easy breath. It is recommended to avoid uneven, tense breathing, but to try to reach relaxed and complete one.
  4. Stay focused and return to the state of concentration as soon as the mind begins to wander.

But there is such a thing as “Osho’s dynamic meditation”, which contradicts all these requirements. It is aimed at eliminating in the unconscious person the limiting installations, hidden emotions and other blocks that pollute the energy environment and goes beyond the usual concept of the process.

It was created for a Westerner who finds it difficult to sit still, but he needs to release the accumulated negative. This is a kind of “breaking of patterns,” in which there is room for chaotic breathing, and crazy movements, and shouting at the limit.

Naturally, the list of compositions for it must be radically different – they are easy to find exactly by the appropriate request. In such collections are usually collected music tracks without words with greater rhythmicity, better suited to the nature of meditation, which is recommended to do in the morning, and not at night.

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