Yoga – mudras and music
Some clinics and rehabilitation centers use music as a component of routine therapy. We all know the healing effect of music, as a number of books have been published on the subject. But music is also good for healthy people who are occasionally plagued by weakness or physical imbalances. Since the music used for therapy plays anywhere from three to twelve minutes, and this amount of time corresponds to how long one holds a mudra, it is obvious that mudras and music can have a wonderful influence on each other.
Tension—either physical or mental-emotional— can be relieved by listening to the right kind of music. The right kind of music has a calming and relaxing effect, possibly even taking a person into a state of deep relaxation. Stress and tension can also lead to an acute or a chronic state of exhaustion that can be positively influenced by music.
If you pay attention to the following points, you can get a lot from using music with your mudras:
• Consider your own taste in music;
• Determine how long the playing time should be;
• Listen to the same piece at the same time for at least three days in row;
• Listen consciously, and immediately let go of any thoughts that may arise.
Which music pieces are best suited for this purpose? Helen Bonny, who developed GIM (Guided Imagery Music), writes: “Tranquilizing and relaxing music is oriented to the human heart, on a calm and relaxed pulse. Overall, tranquilizing music is distinctly calm and more harmonious, with lightly flowing melodies. A person doesn’t have to immediately fall asleep to it, but this music promotes specific feelings, such as an inner calm, relaxation, and contentment.”7 According to the opinion of the GIM trainer, classical music is particularly suited for healing and relaxing, and solo concerts have a stronger
effect than symphonies. There is a special power in slow movements— andante, adagio, and largo. For a relaxation effect, the most suitable instrument is the oboe, followed by the piano, the cello, the violin, the clarinet, and the organ. Vocals are less suited for promoting relaxation. The following keys are the most effective: C major, D major, B major, and F major. In summary, it can be said that many low and few high frequencies lead to relaxation. High frequency, “airy” music tends to be more suited for
a light, elevating mood. With these guidelines, you can now put together your own appropriate and individual music pharmacy. It is worthwhile to find out which music especially appeals to you so
you can become more conscious of your own individuality in this respect. For example, some relaxation music has precisely the opposite effect on me—it gets on my nerves, and even makes me feel aggressive.
Incidentally, if you have trouble taking the time to do chores around the house, try playing some snappy marches or hot rock music, or even techno, to bring fresh momentum into this bothersome situation!