Photo: greenprak. Art Direction: The Magazine of Yoga
Music Makes the People Come Together
Finks to Krishna Das: Om Namah Shivaya
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST EMMANUELLE LAMBERT
This will probably be me stating the obvious, but the power of music is endless.
Have you ever danced your heart away, alone in your living room, music blasting from the speakers, and let all the tension, emotions, pressure, melt away as you felt what can only be described as pure bliss? Have you ever danced and made friends with people you didn’t know in a networking workshop using music as a tool?
Have you ever seen deaf people dancing to music they couldn’t hear but could literally feel?
Yes, dear reader. I am not making that up, check for yourself:
Hang up your phone and take it off the hook
Music is such a powerful tool to connect people, better than Nokia if you ask me.
I have always been amazed at how quickly cliques and clans bond and form over a band or a singer, cementing a friendship that could last forever, especially when you are a teenager. At this tender age you make music such a part of your identity that it defines you, and you cling to it in yourself in others, after all it means you are not alone.
Even a so-called rebel likes to hang out with people one can deem their friends, and what’s better than music to keep everything in place and shape.
True, too: powerful personal moments with music
However I do believe that while music is fantastic to share, its true power is revealed when you are on your own, listening to a song you love. Music has always been present in our life, from the heartbeat we hear in our mother’s womb to the song we hum when we wash the dishes.
I realize now that music has been, for most of my life, a means to connect with my true self.
I remember when I was this teenager, I would listen to music reflecting my state of mind – still do – with lyrics I could relate to as if they had been written and sung for me, and only then could I allow myself to be what I believed was weak, only then could I express my true feelings, only then could I dance like no one was watching (full disclosure: you can bet I made sure no one was watching), only then could I experience a true connection with my clumsy chubby, or so I thought, body.
And somehow then, I would feel graceful and free.
Yoga and the groove that hooks you up – with you
Now hang on a minute: feeling graceful and free, connecting with my true self, my body, doesn’t that ring a bell? Didn’t T.K.V. Desikachar say that yoga was to link oneself with something significant, and it could be a link with the breath, a link with the body?
I can definitely say I’m not a teenager anymore – although some might argue with that but they’re not going to read anyway so humor me – and all I need now is a yoga mat, or a pair of running shoes. Now my neighbors won’t argue with that, because it means I’m not singing at the top of my lungs – but then again, I’m not sure hearing me chanting “Om Namah Shivaya” at the top of my filled-with-yogic-breath yoga lungs to a video of Krishna Das on YouTube is their idea of fun too, but that’s a whole other story.
Paschimo mo mo
The mind-body-self connection found in music is also found in yoga. Which is why I will now take a stand here and write black on white that yes, I do enjoy music in yoga classes.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a yoga class without music, but I feel that, when carefully chosen, well balanced and sequenced, music enhances the effect, physical and emotional, of most poses, and helps cultivate awareness. It energizes in standing sequences, and increases the reflective and grounding action of seated poses (think paschimottanasana after deep back bends, and play Fink’s “Sort of Revolution” right there – I’m obsessed).
The most vivid memory I have is breaking down in savasana to the Beatles playing “Let It Be”, after a particularly emotional yoga workshop. Then I allowed myself to be weak, then I allowed myself to let go because I understood for the first time the meaning of “letting go”, I allowed my true self to reveal itself and shed some pieces of the suit of armor I had been wearing for a long time.
Music makes the people come together, but above all music makes the people come together with themselves.
This, is the true power of music, so enjoy and go with the sound and flow!
Find Emmanuelle here on The Magazine every month in Music Matters. But don’t lose touch with her great style of living real – read her smart, hip and honest blog Plans on a Comet.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.