Sound Yoga Training – Interview with Jessica Caplan

Did you know that it is sound that creates the world? All the creation stories begin with sound – God spoke to create the world, “Om” is the sound of the Universe vibrating – sound is truly our most powerful tool for change.  Sound is where thought becomes action.  I was able to sit down with PYI’s resident Sound Healer and new mother Jessica Caplan to get the full scoop on how this alchemy works:

Dana: Hi Jess!  Please tell us about what led you to sound healing.

Jess: I’ve been a singer for my whole life, and a yoga teacher for over a decade. For the most part, those two parts of me were separate, and I had a strong desire to integrate them. I started to sing to my students in Savasana – usually improvised chants or melodies without English lyrics – and my students would often come up to me after and say how much my singing had helped them release and relax. Around the same time – and this is before this field became as popular as it is now – I started to hear the words “sound healing.” I started to research and read books on the subject. I quickly knew this was something I wanted to explore and practice. That led me to the wonderful year-long program at the Open Center, at the time supervised by Wendy Young. That was the beginning of my journey, and I am still exploring and learning so much. This subject is truly infinite.

D: I notice that many can reach a more meditative state using sound and music.  Why do you think this is?

J: Sound and music has such a profound impact upon us. It’s universal and it’s ancient. Sound works on the brain and body in real and measurable ways. For example, our brain waves entrain (fall in step with) sound waves, so certain sounds can actually shift our brain waves into the more meditative brain wave states of alpha and theta, and even delta (sleep). Sound can also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, helping us to relax and rest. In my experience, sound engages us in ways that can cut through the mental static and open us up to deeper parts of ourselves.

D: Sound Yoga Training often brings up the most delightful moments of the “school year” for me because you see people open up so easily.  What would you say to those who are a little hesitant to sign up because they aren’t “musical?”

J: I’d say that we are all inherently “musical”! What is sound, but vibration, and what are we, but vibrating atoms? This is another reason why sound has such a profound impact upon us: we are vibrational beings. Watch a baby explore her voice – she is totally free, playful and curious. Somewhere along the way, many of us have shut off our connection to the full range of our voice and our own musicality. Getting in touch with that part of ourselves is touching our essence. On a practical level, this training doesn’t require any previous musical experience – though musicians are always welcome. We’ll have plenty of instruments for beginners to explore playing (singing bowls, tuning forks, harmonium, shrutti box and more); all you need is an open, curious mind, and the ability to listen.

D: Awesome. What can we expect this May 10-12 from the training?

J:  A highly experiential weekend filled with exercises in deep listening, meditative sound and mantra, reconnection to our voices as an expression of our soul, and exploration of a wide range of traditional sound healing instruments. This is a get-your-hands-dirty immersion: less exposition, more experience. Like yoga, the magic of sound healing lies in the practice, not the theory. While students will come away with some understanding of the theory and science, what we really want them to leave with is a newfound connection to sound and music.

Ready to dive into the healing powers of sounds? Scroll down to download a free audio meditation track to help you let go.

Excerpts from My September Newsletter

Follow Your Bliss in the New “School” Year

Hey Om-y Homies!  I trust you had an amazing summer.  In Prema Yoga Therapeutics, we graduated 14 teachers from the Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Training Immersion, and still had time for a great vacation.  As we transition to fall and vata season, it seems the whole world is in transition as well.  Now is a time to empower our inner guide, and to seek outwardly what the heart inwardly desires.
In class,  we’re exploring the archetype of the eagle. Garudasana is commonly translated as “eagle pose,” but is named for a greater mythological creature named Garuda, the king of the eagles.  Garuda helps Vishnu – god of love and life – to see above the terrain and to go where he wishes to go.  Pursuing “garuda” energy means  developing one’s vision past your current drama, and honing in on just where your dharma (or truth) is meant to take you.
This coming year, I’m deeply pleased to join forces with some of the greatest “heart teachers” I know – all of them experts in their knowledge base – who follow their bliss with such a trailblazing presence that they light up the path for the rest of us.
I know that if I’m to ask you to follow for your bliss, I must do the same.  Each project is a true labor of love – come join us!

Follow Your Bliss  2015/2016

Yoga Sound Therapy Immersion with Jessica Caplan
Tulum Sweat & Surrender Retreat with Halle Becker
> Advanced Trainings at Yoga Vida and Ohra Yoga
> 200 Hour Teacher Training offerings with Drishti Yoga in Costa Rica and Three Sisters Yoga in Portland
And the granddaddy of them all….
> Medical Yoga Therapy Training with Dr. Chris Walling,  Dr. Loren Fishman, and Karen Nourizadeh.

Where is you bliss leading you?  I’m thrilled to see where our paths will connect this coming year!
Looking forward,

Yoga Sound Therapy Immersion:

With Jessica Caplan

Friday-Sunday Nov. 6-8 and Saturday Nov. 14

Pure West

Immerse yourself in the transformative healing of sound with Jessica and Dana. Learn how sound creates the world, and how to use mantra, music, vibration and rhythm for healing effect. Review the science of sound therapy, and how music can improve mental processing. Learn to chant, play harmonium, tuning forks and Tibetan bowls, and deepen strength of and connection to the voice. Apply classic Vedic, Hindu, and Tibetan mantras to group and one-on-one yoga sessions for a comprehensive list of ailments. Musical instruments are welcome – not required. All curious yogis, teachers, and wellness professionals are welcome to join!
Tulum Sweat & Surrender Retreat with Halle Becker:

Amansala Eco-Chic Resort in Tulum, Mexico

February 17-22, 2016

Indulge in a 6 day, 5 night Power Yoga retreat in paradise. Tag-team workshops twice per day with Halle & Dana, power beach walks, snorkeling, bike rides, and Mayan adventures fill your days for a retreat to strengthen your mind and your core.

Click here for more information!

Medical Yoga Therapy:

with Dr. Chris Walling, Dr. Loren Fishman and Karen Nourizadeh
February 5 – 28, 2016

Learn how the movement and meditation techniques of Yoga Therapy can powerfully compliment Western medicine. Practice evidence-based mindfulness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and breathing skills that can easily be incorporated into conventional treatment models for both behavioral medicine and chronic disease management. Dive into the literature on cutting-edge somatic psychological theory, and learn evidence based mind body interventions for chronic pain, depression, burnout, or anxiety. Practice assessment strategies to apply Yoga Therapy, and the appropriate indicators for referrals. Participants will also learn how to apply Motivational Interviewing skills – a proven peer coaching technique that can help overcome client resistance in promoting healthy choices in health and wellness practices. Learn how to use the HeartMath (TM) system to manage stress, increase resilience and more. Perfect for yoga teachers, therapists, mental health and allopathic medical providers alike.

Click here for more information!

Shop Prema Style!

Now introducing Prema Therapeutics’ new “Shopping” page! Shop for Hyde Organic Yoga Apparel and Banyan Botanicals here! When shopping with Hyde, be sure to use the code “Dana10”! I absolutely love the products these companies provide, and, most importantly, how they produce them. They have both positively influenced my yoga journey so much. Hyde is a locally-owned company that sources organic, breathable cotton from fair labor businesses. Banyan Botanicals is the leader in providing Ayurvedic products you can count on.