Sound is powerful. It can be soothing, healing, emotional, transformative. Sound can help us connect and tune in to our deeper selves, peeling away layers of thought, clearing the mind and making space for us to BE in the moment.
Sound can awaken memories and boost brain function, research has demonstrated that listening music or singing can give behavioural and emotional benefits to people with dementia. Listening to music or singing can be a balm for the soul lets us drop out of our busy head space and connect to our hearts. Its been shown in studies to boost endorphins and oxytocin - the “love” hormone, reducing stress and easing depression. It can even lower your blood pressure!
Take a look below for some of my favourite hidden powers of sound...
1) Its a natural high
Who loves singing along to their favourite songs? Or popping on some tunes whilst you work? Maybe you love playing an instrument, or going out dancing. Studies have shown that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases a “feel-good” cheminal, dopamine, boosting your sense of happiness and wellbeing.
2) Sound is healing
So we know music helps makes us happy. Did you know that happiness is good for your health!? The hormal boosts encourged by listening to music, sounds we enjoy or singing decrease the cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system, decreasing chronic stress and the ill effects it produces in the body. Did you know up to 60% of illnesses and diseases are caused by or increased by stress? More music = more happiness = less stress = healthier you!
3) Music and soothing sound improve sleep
Listening to relaxing classical music before going to sleep can encourage significantly better quality sleep. Give it a try!
4) It makes you smarter and slows aging
Yep, listening to or playing music can help make you smarter. There have been lots of studies over the years that demostrate a link between certain kinds of music or sound and improved cognitive function. You've probably heard tips such as classical music helping to boost the brain when studying. One facinating study carried out by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) looked at the inclusion of Kirtan - yogic devotional chanting - and found that including daily practice along with mat based yoga "activated significant anatomical areas of the brain" AND "increased telomerase, the rejuvenating enzyme that slows cell aging,by 43%, the largest increase ever recorded"!
5) It takes you straight to the heart
We spend so much time in our heads, thinking, analysing, problem solving, that sometimes we forget ourselves and lose sight of what truely and deeply matters. We lose sight of who and what we are. And what are we? Love. We are limitless potential for love and compassion. We are the way for the universe to know and love itself. And music has the power to take us straight back to the heart.
I'm sure you can think of more!
We feature regular sound based events at Sarvanga Yoga Studio, including monthly Kirtan with Francesca and sound baths featuring the soothing and transformational power of gong, singing bowls and many more beautiful instruments. Please feel welcome to take a look and to join us soon!