A Harmonious Connection
Yoga, sound, and women's health - By Kelsey Taylor
Reading time: 3 minutes
You are probably aware of the many benefits that practicing yoga brings to the mind, body, and spirit. For those of you that want to take your practice a little deeper you may wish to engage in the use of sound, chanting and mantras. Beyond enhancing our yoga experience, these ancient practices establish a profound connection between our voices, nervous and endocrine systems, and surprisingly, the pelvic floor.
Sound and the nervous system
Yogic sound practices extend their benefits beyond the physical. These practices possess a soothing power over the nervous system. The rhythmic vibrations generated during these sessions calm the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response, this is where the body operates when stressed. The vibrations also activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and restoration, often referred to as ‘rest and digest’. Sound can be a powerful tool to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Sound, chakras, and the endocrine system
Sound has been used for many hundreds of years to open and balance the energy wheels of the body known as chakras. Chakras can also be linked to the energy and the location of the endocrine system which produces and regulates the body's hormones. The use of sound from singing bowls is a lovely way to encourage vibrations to stimulate the chakras and the endocrine system, bringing them back into balance.
Within the sacred practice of yoga, the body is viewed as a holistic instrument where every part is interconnected. The subtle yet powerful link between our vocal cords and the pelvic floor is unveiled through chanting. As we engage in vocalisation, creating sound, we activate and strengthen our throat and vocal cords.
Simultaneously, a downward force of pressure permeates the respiratory system and abdominal cavity. The resulting vibrations travel downward, gently massaging and toning the pelvic floor — an intricate set of muscles crucial for reproductive health and core strength. This connection offers profound benefits for women's health, addressing issues like pelvic pain, incontinence, and overall reproductive wellbeing.
The So-Hum meditation
An easy practice to try yourself is the SoHum meditation which translates to "I am that." In a quiet, comfortable space, close your eyes, sit in a relaxed posture, and take a few grounding breaths. Allow the natural sound of your breath to become a mantra, syncing “So” with inhalations and “Hum” with exhalations. Feel the harmonious vibrations gently bringing life to every cell in the body and balance to the mind, body and spirit. Continue for five minutes.
Kelsey Taylor is a senior yoga teacher and teacher trainer passionate about women’s health. She teaches in-person in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and runs online courses and training. Visit: flowwomenswellness.com