Naad Yoga in the tradition of Guru Nanak

Gaviyai suniyai man rakhiyai bhao ǁ
Sing, and listen, and let your mind be filled with love.
Guru Nanak

Naad Yoga is a system developed and proven over thousands of years, in which sounds have been categorised according to their emotional properties in order to combine their qualities into effective compositions. These compositions can express, support or change specific mental and emotional states through their finely balanced melodies and rhythms. In this sense, Naad Yoga can be understood as sound psychology, as a path to self-knowledge and as a conscious composition of life.

Guru Nanak, one of the greatest Naad Yogis in history, was born in Panjab in northwest India in 1469 and grew to become an enlightened teacher through his deep devotion to the mysteries of life. The music system Gurmat Sangeet (‘Guru’s sound path’), which goes back to Guru Nanak and the nine gurus who followed him, comprises 60 different Raags (musical moods). 28 of them were derived from the existing music system of ancient India, 32 of them were created by the Sikh Gurus themselves. The 60 Raags were canonised in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib as a yogic curriculum of 60 elementary emotional states.

The path of Naad Yoga is the path of communication. Instead of trying to silence the mind, Naad Yoga uses the sound of our voice and special instruments to open an honest and loving conversation between mind and soul. The moods of the Raags support the conscious interplay of expression and listening. By deepening the connection to our individual nature through singing and listening, life starts to become a conscious creative process. The goal in Guru Nanak’s philosophy is the experience of Anhad, the realm beyond sound, that can only be entered through the path of communication.

Different mechanisms of emotional suppression which are common in our society can lead to inner imbalance, stress, burnout, depression and anxiety on the individual level. Here Naad Yoga offers a unique way to consciously feel our emotions and to express them in a healthy way. It initiates a special process in which stress and problems are transformed into inner strength in the furnace of communication. Thanks to this transformation, it is then possible to contribute to society in authenticity and freedom.

The development of one’s own vocal expression and listening skills are basic elements in the practice of Naad Yoga. These skills also increase our ability to truly communicate with others. Reconnecting with the variety and vividness of sensory perception and inner emotional drives enables a deeper experience of life in all aspects. The conscious experience of our own emotional world and our own natural rhythm strengthens our inner balance and give us a healthy and happy life.