We’ve all experienced the ways in which sound can impact how we feel: from a sudden, loud noise in the next room causing our heart rate to jump, to the soothing sound of ocean waves.
It is no surprise, then, that using sound therapy to achieve various physical and emotional healing outcomes is a practice that has been around for hundreds and even thousands of years by cultures across the world.
Sound Healing 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Practice
Every part of our physical and energetic body has its own unique resonant frequency – or vibratory rate – and, as Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary describes in her book, Sound Medicine.
“Together they make up a composite frequency for the body, as if they were each playing an instrument that, together, formed an orchestra.”
She goes on to say, “When one organ is out of tune, it affects the whole body. The goal of sound therapy is to use audible vibrations to bring the body back into harmony and achieve what we call its ‘prime resonance’ to restore health.”
Because it may seem overwhelming to think about needing to balance every organ and part of our body, we can approach achieving this harmony by looking through the lens of our Chakra system.
How Sound Impacts Our Yoga Practice + State of Being
How Do the Chakras Relate to Sound Therapy?
Our Chakras are energy centers that represent various physical and emotional aspects of our lives. When these energy centers are in balance, our mind, body and spirit feel at peace and healthy – and we can use a wide array of sound healing methods to accomplish this!
Want more info on the chakras before diving in? Read: Chakra 101: An Introduction to Your 7 Chakras
For the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the seven “main” Chakras located from the base of the spine to the top of the head.
It should be noted that every body is different and therefore has a unique resonant frequency that will vary in response to other frequencies.
By using the below sound therapy practices, you may achieve varying healing results depending on the day and what is happening in your life. If you don’t feel a strong energetic shift one day, you very well may the next!
Also, the notes of the C scale associated with each of the seven main Chakras below are not necessarily exact: the intention behind using each of those notes is the most important aspect of that practice. Feel free to improvise and explore what works best for you!
I also encourage you to place one or two hands directly on the chakra you’re working on to connect with it and tune into the way the sounds and frequencies are affecting that area of your body.
Here’s where you can place your hands to tune in:
- Root Chakra: at the very base of your back or on your hips
- Sacral Chakra: an inch or two below the belly button
- Solar Plexus Chakra: one or two inches above the belly button
- Heart Chakra: lower chest
- Throat Chakra: upper chest or back of the neck
- Third Eye Chakra: forehead
- Crown Chakra: top of the head or hovering just above the head
As you move through each of these, starting at the root and working your way up to your crown for the full treatment, you may physically feel the frequencies vibrating within your body.
Through exploring a sound therapy practice, you can really discover your own personal resonant frequencies to heal on a deeper level!
Your Guide to Chakra Balancing Through Sound Therapy
If you’d like to learn more information about each chakra, the previous section links to an informative overview for each of the seven main chakras.
1. Root Chakra
On the physical level, the Root Chakra is related to the legs, knees, feet and hips.
Spiritually and emotionally, the Root Chakra is connected to your sense of safety, groundedness, being provided for, and is influenced by your finances, job and home life.
When your root chakra is imbalanced, you might feel physical joint pain in those areas, ungrounded, unstable and fearful of the uncertainties around you.
Instruments: The Root Chakra is generally associated with deeper tones that can be most easily created by instruments like drums and gongs. Lower-tuned tibetan and crystal bowls can also help activate the Root Chakra.
Mantra: The mantras used to connect to the root chakra are “Lam” or “Nam Lam.” You can chant those mantras anywhere from three to eleven minutes while playing one of the above instruments, along with a recording of your choice or on your own.
Vocal Toning: To activate the root chakra, you can tone the voice using low hums and “ahhs”. This can be done for any amount of time you feel like you need: Let your body guide you!
Note on the C Scale: C
2. Sacral Chakra
On the physical level, the Sacral Chakra is related to the reproductive system and sensual organs.
Spiritually and emotionally, the Sacral Chakra is connected to your relationships, sexuality, creativity and sense of pleasure.
When your Sacral Chakra is out of balance, you might experience creative and sexual blocks and hormonal imbalances.
Instruments: To activate the Sacral Chakra, you can play drums and gongs as well as lower-toned tibetan and crystal bowls.
Mantra: The mantras used to connect with the Sacral Chakra are “Vam” or “Mam Vam”. Again, you can chant these mantras repeatedly while playing an instrument, listening to a recording or a capella.
Vocal Toning: To activate the sacral chakra, you can tone the voice using low “ohhs” and “oohs” for any duration of time that feels pleasant to you.
Don’t attach yourself to any specific notes, just allow your voice and breath to move your body through sounds and frequencies that feel connected to your Sacral Chakra.
Note on the C Scale: D
3. Solar Plexus Chakra
Our Solar Plexus Chakra is related to our stomach and digestive system on the physical level and our sense of power, self-worth, confidence and our boundaries on the emotional and spiritual side.
It’s also related to our gut-instincts and our intuitive center.
When imbalanced, you might have issues with digestion and lack confidence and self-worth.
Instruments: Mid-range crystal and tibetan singing bowls can be really great to help balance the Solar Plexus to brighten your energy as well as rattles.
Mantras: The mantras you can chant with music or solo for the Solar Plexus Chakra are “Ram” and “Sim Ram”.
Vocal Toning: More aggressive and quick sounds are great for activating the Solar Plexus Chakra such as “HA” and “HUD”.
To help make the most of these tones, placing your hands on your belly to really feel it expand and contract while you repeat them can be especially helpful and powerful!
Note on the C Scale: E
4. Heart Chakra
Of course, the Heart Chakra is related to our heart: love and emotional connections to ourselves and others.
It is responsible for our heart and lungs and when it’s out of balance, you may experience heartache, difficulty forgiving (yourself or others), difficulty releasing guilt, isolation, or shortness of breath.
Instruments: Higher-toned crystal and Tibetan singing bowls are great for activating the Heart Chakra as well as tuning forks (which you can play directly on your chest for a really powerful vibrational healing).
Mantras: The mantras associated with the Heart Chakra are “Yam” or “Vam Yam”.
Vocal Toning: Using our voice to open our hearts can be especially emotional, but because of that, it can be especially healing! Higher notes, “ohhs”, “ahhs” and “oohs” work really well in opening the heart energy center.
You can really feel which notes and tones create the biggest vibrations in your chest and ribcage while you move through toning exercises!
Note on the C Scale: F
5. Throat Chakra
Our Throat Chakra is our communication hub. Physically, it is responsible for our voice and vocal chords, thyroid and ears.
Emotionally and spiritually, our Throat Chakra controls our ability to speak our truth, communicate with and listen to others, being brave.
Instruments: Higher-pitched singing bowls and wind chimes are great instruments for the Throat Chakra.
Mantras: Of course, using your voice in any healing way is especially helpful for balancing the Throat Chakra. Repeating the mantras “Ham” or “Ham Yam” will help connect you to this energy center.
Vocal Toning: Again, you can use higher “ohhs”, “ahhs” and “oohs” here as well as “ees” to really open the Throat Chakra. You can also explore different whistles and blowing tones that sound like a soothing wind.
Note on the C Scale: G
6. Third Eye Chakra
Our Third Eye center is home to our intuition, higher wisdom and psychic abilities. When imbalanced, you may experience tension headaches, vision problems or neurosis.
Instruments: Bells, chimes and high-pitched singing bowls are great tools for activating the Third Eye.
Mantras: The mantras for opening the Third Eye are “Om” and “Shiva Om”.
Vocal Toning: You can tone high-pitched “ahhs” and “ees” for the Third Eye. Making more nasal sounds that you can really feel in your face and sinuses are also really great for this energy center.
Note on the C Scale: A
7. Crown Chakra
Our Crown Chakra is responsible for our connection with the spiritual realms and divine guidance and is located at the top of the head.
When our Crown Chakra is imbalanced, we may feel especially spacy, suffer from migraines or feel alone and disconnected from the earthly and spirit worlds.
Instruments: Instruments like chimes and tingshas are wonderful activators for the Crown Chakra.
Mantras: You can chant “Swaha” or, if you are chanting the chakra mantras from the root and upward in succession, you can also simply take a moment of silence to allow the previous mantras to integrate.
Vocal Toning: You can build off of the previous toning techniques for the Third Eye, continuing to raise the pitch (making sure you aren’t pushing your boundaries into painful areas!) to activate the Crown.
Note on the C Scale: B
Balance Your Chakras with Sound Therapy: The Takeaway
At the end of the day, you know your body best and should take liberties to improvise on all of the suggestions above to find the sound therapy practices that resonate most with you energetically and physically.
Exploring your body and the seven Chakras through healing sounds can be a really incredible way to connect with and learn more about yourself.
5 Ways to Incorporate Sound Healing Into Your Meditation Practice
An amazing resource for chanting the full Chakra Mantra is available on Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary’s website that you can find here.
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