It was one hazy summer evening when a flyer came through the door, inviting me to take a yoga class at a local church hall, was I truly able experience and appreciate Kundalini Yoga.
That was the beginning of my metamorphosis as an individual going through a personal crisis and what disentangled was the most magical opportunity to explore feminine power, tapping into my creative source to align myself with my destiny, which took several years from then on. I did travel, taking the scenic route for while as 'being' was so much more important than 'doing', digging my heels in the white sands, soaking up the sun on my travels immersed in meditation and yoga practice at sunrise and sometimes even at sunset.
I was in my element, feeling happy, carefree, centred within myself and blissed out in authentic freedom. A few years later, having experienced the benefits of yoga, I trained to teach children yoga and more recently I was inspired to start Sohavi.com And although I had conceived these jewellery designs ideas as a teenager, I wasn't able to actually birth and launch Sohavi until many years later in my adult life. My knowledge and appreciation of spiritual symbols and their beautiful meanings came through returning to my breath and in my own heart space. But also aided profoundly by spiritual music called Kirtan.
Over time a regular practice of KY helped me to make space inside, it felt like a cleansing process, perhaps karmic cleansing even and listening to devotional mantra music for hours filled that empty space which I came to appreciate as Naad Yoga healing through sound. My dance with KY and sometimes Hatha yoga has been a deeply heart opening experience and at other times I've just dipped my toes for a quick fix, recharging my spiritual batteries. Grace has appeared even more visibly at every defining moment of my journey in spiritual and creative growth and I believe that both are intertwining and intrinsic.
Kundalini energy is raised in all types of yoga and has been written about in sacred ancient Vedic scriptures, described as a coiled serpent lying dormant at the base of the spine, awakened through yoga, chanting and spiritual practice or for some is awaked by a divine blessing or boon. It is said to uncoil naturally, ascending upwards to clear the chakras which correlate to the endocrine system within the body and a complete sense of wellbeing or oneness is experienced.
The practice of KY in particular is altogether different from other schools of yoga and gathering a much wider popularity in recent years. The breath work is intensive, detoxifying and with regular early morning practice one can benefit from razor sharp mental clarity, heightened intuition, bringing balance and harmony in daily life. It can be physically intense and keeping our eyes closed in a KY class creates inner calm with raised awareness of subtle energies which can also be tuned into whilst chanting or singing kirtan.
Mantra also pronounced mantar meaning mind tool is derived from the Sanskrit words Man meaning mind and Tra meaning tool. The purpose to mantras and chanting is to deliver the mind from illusion and material inclinations and to bring the mind back into focus on the present. For the mantra to be effective, there is an emphasis on correct pronounciation and to be preset in feeling and believing in the meanings. It will open the heart and throat chakra, resonating throughout the mind body and spirit.
Ancient wisdom has described listening to devotional chanting (the repetition of mantra) and kirtan as sound medicine. There is a certain comfort in hearing soulful chanting which activates the body’s natural intelligence to heal itself. It feels like the spirit just understands, regardless of the sophistication of the language or even pronunciation. Whether we are listening or making music it touches our hearts.
Ancient Mystics and Guru's guided us extensively to the power of repeating mantra such as Waheguru , Om and Allah to connect with and awaken a supreme spiritual energy that resides within us; our natural wisdom and divine intelligence. Science also explains the effects of listening to music with focus. Our brains fire symmetrically, a certain harmony and powerful balance is achieved when a part of our brain called the corpus callusom enlarges and connects the right and left brain together. Science has been exploring the effect of music and the vibration of sound, which activates certain regions of the brain releasing endorphins, creating wonderful mood changing effects.
It can reduce anxiety and really helps us to get in touch with our feelings, making us feel pleasure, joy and motivation.
As Rumi said 'When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you'. When we listen to music from heart and soul it feels like the sound current is moving through us like a river achieving a similar state of oneness experienced in meditation.
Deep meaningful devotional chants which originate from Sikh scriptures are often called Guru Mantar. Meaning the Gurus sacred word. Mantras have two components of primary importance - Meaning and Sound. First is the actual meaning of the word or words and the second is the effective sound (vibration) sends messages to our cells creating a shift in our physiology and it will open our heart chakra and our throat chakra when we chant with our whole being we feel like we are connected to and chanting to the vibration of our own spirit. Deepak Chopra explains that chanting opens the Vagus nerve.
We are proud to have the Sohavi featured in the May issue of British Vogue