THE YOGA OF SOUND IMMERSION
Tantra & Sound Healing
The Yoga of Sound Immersion offers a foundation in the four streams of sacred sound. Yoga practitioners, healers, therapists, Tantra practitioners, musicians, singers, and mantra chanters can discover the scope of sacred sound for healing and enlightenment through the core modules. “Yoga of Sound” is an umbrella term that features four distinct traditions and sacred sounds students learn in the four Core Modules. It is specially composed for the Centre for Tantra and contains as well online tutorials, support sessions as live gatherings.
This 6-month program introduces students to distinct streams of sacred sound developed in India within the Hindu spiritual tradition, namely the Vedic, Tantric, and Bhakti traditions. These streams are governed by speciﬁc rules that can help practitioners develop particular qualities in their voice and consciousness. A fourth stream, “Nada Yoga,” combines these three streams with sophistication and can be viewed as a form of advancement of the other three.
The online immersion provides students with tutorials accessible 24/7. The Core modules build the student from the ground upward, starting with simple and easy-to-understand methods. This approach is helpful to the student who is just beginning any of these streams of sacred sound (Vedic, Tantric, Bhakti) and for teachers, guides, and workshop leaders who may wish to use these streams in their work. The core modules comprehensively introduce each stream of sacred sound with easy-to-learn tutorials.
However, each stream is also a specialty that requires specialized training for skillful ability and application. Students wanting to develop far-reaching personal skills in any of the streams can choose their specialization after completing the 6-month Yoga of Sound Immersion.
Overwhelming clinical studies reveal that chanting, as well as certain kinds of music,
can stabilize heart-rate, reduce blood pressure, improve circulation,
produce endorphins (the body’s nature painkillers), and even nourish DNA.
Chanting in Sanskrit is a specially eﬃcacious because of the rich phonetic possibilities in the language.
Mantas are, quite literally, “Yoga Postures of the Tongue” that have direct health beneﬁts
because they stimulate important glands governing our immunity and well-being.
These modules are the foundation of this Yoga of Sound Immersion. Their main focus is helping the student develop a solid foundation in the four streams of the Vedic, Tantric, Bhakti, and Nada.
SEPTEMBER 2023: VEDIC SOUND AND ITS BENEFITS
The ﬁrst Yoga of Sound Immersion module introduces several easy-to-learn mantras that help tap the spirit of Vedic chanting. Unlike classic Vedic mantras, these mantras are somewhat lax on the precise tonal melodies required by tradition. Instead, they warm up to traditional Vedic chanting, a gentle approach to the precision of Vedic Sanskrit. These mantras also allow for musical accompaniment and are great for groups of yoga, mantra, meditation, and Tantra practitioners.
Students also learn an authentic Vedic mantra for daily morning practice to tap the beneﬁts of Vedic sound. A quick and easy approach to pronunciation is taught for these mantras. Students can also arrange the order of the mantras in diﬀerent ways for their daily practice. In other words, there is room for creativity.
Apart from the core tutorials on Vedic mantras, there are bonus tutorials on the advantages of Vedic mantras that also introduce important aspects of Vedic chanting, such as pronunciation. These tutorials are optional for study and meant only for those curious about traditional Vedic chanting.
The purpose of the Vedic stream module in the Yoga of Sound Immersion is to help students new to Vedic chanting and those who assume they know Vedic chanting to develop a foundation in Vedic mantras. Those who wish to advance in Vedic chanting should consider the Mastery of Mantra, a next-level program beyond the Yoga of Sound.
During the Yoga of Sound Immersion, some students may realize that they wish to learn to chant Vedic mantras properly as they need to speak more clearly and communicate more eﬀectively. Or perhaps they enjoy the sound of Vedic mantras immensely.
Others may be interested in the experience of spiritual enlightenment and ﬁnd Vedic mantras stimulating such states, which they do when we chant the mantras a certain way. For these students, a bonus module in the YOS Immersion oﬀers an introduction to the Mastery of Mantra.
OCTOBER 2023: TANTRIC SOUND AND ITS BENEFITS
In this module, students learn about Tantric sound and sound healing at the foundational level. The core of Tantric sound healing is through bīja mantras (seed syllables). Students will learn how bijas mantras are constructed. They will also learn the core bijas for the chakras and how to pronounce these syllables correctly.
Since Tantra involves mudras, students will learn mudras for each chakra. And they will also know each chakra's devata mantras (deity mantras). In this context, they will discover a way to construct Tantric mantras as the body of a deity in a way that simulates the human body.
There is also a module on getting started with Tantric sound and sound healing, showing how mudras are combined with mantras in Tantra. In particular, a mudra and mantra to remove fear are presented in this section.
Tantric sounds oﬀer a powerful way to release repressed and reactive energies while at the same time oﬀering powerful ways to infuse energy. We can, for instance, infuse energy into our chakras.
Finally, students also learn about primary sounds and their energy movement, which is helpful for therapists and Tantric practitioners new to sound yoga methods.
While this module on the Tantric stream of sacred sound helps students develop a foundation in this methodology, advancing in Tantric sound is developed in the Mastery of Tantra, a next-level program beyond the Yoga of Sound. At this stage, it is not about specialization or mastery but being able to know the diﬀerences between the four streams of sacred sound and being able to compare these streams side by side while at the same time developing a solid foundation in each of these sound streams.
NOVEMBER 2023: BHAKTI SOUND AND ITS BENEFITS
In this module, you learn six elements of devotion. Bhakti is devotion. The ﬁrst is understanding the diﬀerence between Japa mantras and Archana mantras. Since we are studying the Yoga of Sound from the Tantric perspective, this diﬀerence is quite signiﬁcant. Next, students will learn practices with each of these types of mantras for Bhakti.
Students will also learn the diﬀerence between kirtan and bhajan and how these two forms of musical vocal expression aid in the expression of bhakti. An example from each of these forms will be taught.
Finally, students will be introduced to Raga vidya and Rasa vidya. Ragas are musical scales. Rasa is feeling or sentiment. This process is quite involved, so we use just a few ragas to get started on this knowledge. Vidya means knowledge. In this context, students will learn the diﬀerence between mantras and ślokas. Ślokas are verses in praise. They are a quintessential form of Bhakti. And they are often expressed in ragas (musical modes).
The essence of Bhakti is beauty, which can be expressed through qualities of the voice, such as softness. Bhakti can also be expressed through vocal music. For those who are musical, Bhakti can be developed through vocal music expression. On the other hand, those who are non-musical can cultivate their sense of Bhakti through speaking mantras.
The purpose of this module is to expand the student's notion of Bhakti beyond kirtan, which is not Bhakti's only expression in India's sacred sound traditions.
DECEMBER 2023: NADA SOUND AND ITS BENEFITS
Nada Yoga means "sound-yoga." We begin this module with early forms of Nada Yoga that developed about 2000 years ago. Four practices are essential to learning for the authentic sense of Nada, which has a solid connection to yoga, pranayama, and meditation.
Shravana and Nadi Sodhana: Shravana is listening. And it involves learning to listen without thinking. Nadi Sodhana is a practice to purify the nadis, the psychic sound channels of the subtle body.
Shanmukhi and Brahamari: This practice, Shanmukhi, is a mudra practice associated with Nada Yoga's origins. Brahmari is a sounding practice related to the roots of Nada Yoga.
Those students who wish to advance in Nada Yoga can learn two more components: Swara Vidya and Tala Vidya. Swara is the musical note (the Do, re, mi). Students learn to use these mantric syllables to aﬀect the kundalini shakti, central to Tantra.
Tala is rhythm. In the ancient Carnatic music of South India, the hands and ﬁngers are used to keep time. This element brings the whole body into the music-making process, which is also a Tantric practice.
At this stage, the study of Nada Yoga is introductory but involved. For example, recognizing musical intervals and developing the ability to involve one's body in the sound-making process takes skill and coordination of the brain's hemispheres.
You can find a clear map, that provides comprehensive information about of the four streams, their historical reference, mental spiritual and therapeutic benefits and learning demands required for each stream here. Do not skip this, it is very informative!
Health, we are fast realizing, is not simply the absence of disease:
it is a condition of soul that invigorates our being enabling us to derive the most from life.
Today, as we look to holistic methods and spirituality to boost our immunity and raise our consciousness,
two powerful approaches to improved health and spiritual well-being have garnered enourmous credibility and attention:
Yoga on the one hand; music and chant on the other.
The Yoga of Sound bring the two together most effectively!
ADDITIONAL INSPIRATIONAL MODULES
These inspirational modules teach the student to integrate the four streams of sacred sound, which requires a lot of skill and knowledge. The student is not expected to learn or master the techniques in this section as the purpose is to inspire, not teach.
The integration of all four streams is oﬀered as a reference for energy healers and teachers who are musicians and vocalists who might aspire towards integrating the four streams, which is a considerable advancement.
Nevertheless, the practitioner is oﬀered an introduction to the connection between Nada Yoga and the Kundalini experience through the Group Intensive archived in this section. We suggest you begin with it.
Kundalini—Nada Yoga Group Intensive
Experience the power of our Tantric kula coming together for interactive training and perspective development. This section features a "Basic Raga Training" e-book Russill uses to train his students privately. A robust set of tutorials prepares you for the live, interactive sessions archived for your leisurely replay and systematic study. During the live training, you can witness Russill's innovative ear training and vocal training techniques ﬁrsthand.
Nada Yoga, Kundalini and Music
Students interested in using sacred sound, particularly vocal manipulation, to assist the Kundalini and Tantric practices will ﬁnd this module fascinating. While the opening lessons help the student understand and get started on the basics, this module is designed to inspire, not teach any advanced techniques. The additional tutorials demonstrate the scope of what one can aspire towards in the future, not achieve in the present.
Integrating The Four Sound Streams
Those who wish to gain a sense of advanced Nada Yoga practice will be able to view sample tutorials on how to combine all four streams of sacred sound, which is Nada Yoga Tantra. The essence of Nada is ﬂow, which is what the word means, apart from sound, tone, river, and channel. In Nada Yoga Tantra, the classic yoga experience comes alive with Tantra. Students begin this module with some simple tutorials that explore the relationship between the mantric syllables of the octave and the ﬂow of Shakti. Then, some exercises teach how to enhance the kundalini experience ﬂow in the chakras. Students also witness how to combine the musical experience of note ascent and descent with mantra chanting, Nada Yoga Tantra: a compelling combination.
The heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tuned with love.
These modules are for specialistic interests, that is, for energy healers and those teachers of mantra or Tantra who are also musicians and vocalists.
And they are provided as a reference, not as a training, for these special interest groups and individuals. We recommend them as a supplement to your study of the core modules and not as an agenda in themselves.
Bonus 1: Yoga of Sound Workshops
Learn how The Yoga of Sound is presented to the public integrating the sound streams thematically.
Workshop 1: HEALING POWER OF MANTRA focuses on the different sound streams for healing.
Workshop 2: THE AUTHENTICITY OF YOGA shows how mantric sounds add to one's yogic authenticity.
Workshop 3: MANTRAS AND MODERN LIFE shows how to integrate ancient mantras into contemporary living.
Workshop 4: THE POWER OF MANTRA explores the scope of sacred sound for spiritual awakening.
Bonus 2: Spiritual Voice Coaching
In March 2021, we invited students into the process of discovering their healing voice. Our goal was to examine the mantra's role in developing the voice.
This module presents the videos and lessons leading up to the live training session featured at the end with commentary.
In this module, you can learn how to use the streams of mantra (Vedic, Tantric, Bhakti) to develop aspects of the voice within spiritual coaching.
Bonus 3: Everyday Sound Healing
This section is based on Russill's everyday spiritual practice when he struggled to cope with traumatic memories.
Each episode reveals the quality of the voice before the process, the practice of sacred sound utilized, and the change in consciousness that resulted.
Here, you can observe how to use the power of sacred sound for therapeutic applications administered to oneself. This discovery helps in how we use sound to affect others.
Bonus 4: Guitar and Vocal Lessons
This section is designed especially for kirtan singers and musicians, and mantra chanters who play intruments.
It is also for those who wish to develop their vocal music capability in combination with an instrument.
We offer a set of lessons explaining the basics of South Indian ragas and their corresponding western scales.
Guitar players can learn these scales on their instruments and learn how to combine their vocal expression with fretboard support.
This section features dozens video lessons that offer a close up view of the instrument and vocal technique with high quality audio.
Bonus 5: Mastery of Mantra Introduction
For those wanting a glimpse into our Mastery of Mantra training, a separate program, we offer a general introduction to this spiritual process.
This bonus section also features six full-length webinars introducing various aspects of the Mastery of Mantra.
Finally, we present several ancient texts that students in our Yogic Mystery School study in various programs that require the foundation of the Mastery of Mantra.
NEXT LEVEL PROGRAMS
We assume that this immersion helps you develop a broad foundation of the diﬀerent streams within Yoga of Sound. And that you have discovered at ﬁrst the hand which ﬂows you feel most aﬃnity. Remember, this course is not about developing mastery but building a solid foundation in the four streams of sacred sound.
To develop skills, we recommend the Mastery of Mantra for improved knowledge and capabilities in Vedic chanting; and the Mastery of Tantra for abilities and knowledge concerning the Tantric stream of sacred sound, particularly the technology of bijas and sophisticated understanding of chakra sounds.