Firstly, I would like to thank and honour my teachers, Chloe Goodchild of the Naked Voice (www.thenakedvoice.com) and Masashi Minagawa, Shintaido Master Instructor, for this combined teaching. It is much loved by literally thousands – and a joy to share!
Sa – Re – Ga – Ma – Pa – Dha – Ni- Sa
These Seven Sounds or saptak (seven steps) are a journey through your body, mind, and heart enabling you to connect more fully with your soul or true self.
Combined with meditative movements and hand gestures devised by Shintaido master instructor Masashi Minagawa, these sounds bring you to a place of inner stillness, stability, substance, self-confidence, and presence in all your communications. (Chloe Goodchild, Your Naked Voice. Sounds True)
We travel from the root chakra to the crown, energising the whole body and voice, which in turn awakens your true, authentic sound-self.
But what does that mean exactly? To “awaken your true, authentic self?” Throughout life we are conditioned by our upbringing and family culture, our community, school experiences, life events…we are conditioned to behave, think, believe and speak in certain ways. And we have to pause and ask ourselves “Does this serve me?” “Does this represent who I truly am? Or am I afraid to step out of the conditioning that, originally, perhaps kept me ‘safe’? We all have blind spots, and so we often do not see ourselves with clear insight – blind to our fears and the beliefs that continue to feed them; blind to our potential to be far more than our upbringing or life has suggested; blind to our inner beauty and soul-self.
For me the “soul self” is our innate being; in various traditions and philosophies, we are not this body, not these thoughts, not these beliefs…but far, far more. We are nature Herself – made of the earth, air, water, fire (and metal and wood in the Chinese tradition). Our blood and plasma are the water element. Bone and muscle earth. The breath is air. And digestive acids the fire. If we are not the body, nor our thoughts or beliefs or actions – then WHO are we? Our true, soul-self, is part of the greater Whole, the Source of all Life…different words suit different people.
The Octave of Consciousness – also called the Seven Sounds of Love – give you a sound and movement practice that takes you on a magical, inspiring journey through all the layers of yourself (koshas in the yogic tradition). They create a ‘field’ of resonance both within and around you, and when practiced alongside the Bija Sounds, create an energetic axis (with the throat being the connecting centre) surrounding you, on all dimensions, with a vibratory healing, protective force.
These Sanskrit sounds move us from One Love to an Awakening Love – to Instinctual, Devotional, Companionable, Compassionate, Ecstatic Love…and finally being open to, and connecting with Universal Love. The movements and hand gestures that accompany the “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Da Nhi Sa” scale embody these different forms of Love in quite a profound way. During my Sound of Grace programme (and on workshops), there is a resounding “YES!” when people have first experienced this. An immediate upliftment, smiles, “ooh!” People who don’t sing (and no singing ability is required), or who have little if any experience of healing chant – all fall in Love with this sound journey.
Once learned, this combination of simple, single syllable sounds with movement creates a flowing practice that is both meditative and uplifting at the same time.
Sound Mind – Sound Body- a one day workshop exploring The Octave of Consciousness, healing chant and more…
I am next teaching this, and other healing chants, in the “Sound Mind – Sound Body” workshop being run for the British Wheel of Yoga (open to all, not just yoga teachers) on Saturday 26th October, 10am – 4pm. Taking place near Cheddar, in Somerset, I am joined my friend and colleague, Steph Hiller, an experienced musician and sound healer, Steph will offer a hands on exploration into the uses of Himalayan singing bowls used for healing and relaxation, plus a deeply relaxing and healing Sound Bath to finish our day. Here’s a link to the BWY Event.