Good Vibrations

Written by on May 22, 2018 in Conscious Living, Meditation with 0 Comments

Today I want to talk about music, specifically how music makes people resonate together in a way that mirrors the essence of yoga. The the practice of yoga is to yoke body/mind/spirit individually on our way to understanding the way we belong to the entire universe. And whether we think of it as yoga or not, music is an incredible way of doing this.

I’ve been playing music since I was a kid. Some of the most profound and gratifying connections I’ve had with other people have been the result of playing music together. I used to play sax in a 9-piece soul band called the Soulistics. Nothing can describe the exhilaration of 9 great musicians all playing together with intricate precision and big emotion. In moments like this, individuality dissolves and we all feel part of some larger, more soulful, and undeniably funky organism. Bands share a brain and heart.

Sympathetic Vibration


A piano’s strings are made in a certain length and gauge so that when the hammer strikes the string, it’s predetermined to ring at a particular frequency. For this reason, every time I hit an “A” on the piano I get the same sound. Something really cool happens when I’m playing my sax in a room where there is also a piano, guitar, or bell—something else that is tuned to a certain frequency or note. For example, if I were to play an “A” on the a sax or another instrument, the “A” string on the piano, or guitar which is predetermined to vibrate at the same frequency, picks up the vibration of the sound wave of the sax and automatically starts to vibrate in tandem with the sound of the sax. It can’t help itself—it was made to sing that note. Pulling the sax out of my mouth, the sax is quiet but the string on the piano or guitar still sings its “ghost note.” This a cool phenomenon is called sympathetic vibration.

People Vibrate

People experience sympathetic vibration too. Just like instruments, people are strung to a certain frequency. You know, when someone says something that resonates with you, or you listen to music that mirrors your current emotion or you meet someone and the vibe is easy and natural? That’s sympathetic vibration. This sympathetic vibration happens continually in our political, religious, and cultural discourse. We experience sympathetic vibration when we read a great book, hear a moving speech, or watch a great movie. When we hear music and can’t help ourselves from dancing, we are just like the piano string which can’t help itself but to move in tandem with the vibration we share. Sympathetic vibration is perhaps the best way to describe falling in love. We simply resonate with someone.

Sometimes, what resonates with us is yet unknown to us. It’s only when we hear the note, the words, or the person that we begin to vibrate in a similar way. And that’s how we know it’s true, or right for us, because of that vibration.

Yoga Vibrates

When we practicing yoga or meditation, we experience presence in a way that is in line with our Divine Nature and something rings true inside of us. This Yoga and meditation are simply  listening stations where we can hear and remember the ways in which we were tuned. And after a while, we begin to notice everything around us harmonizing to our vibration in a symphony of our human experience.

Yoga’s goal, effectively, is to experience the sympathetic vibration between body, mind, and spirit. And just like playing in a band and feeling a part of some larger organism, there’s a unique and shared experience when we practice yoga or meditate as a group. Truly as a body of people resonate together with the same breath, intention, and pulse, we experience in very real terms the thrill of being part of a larger organism and “oneness” doesn’t seem so abstract or like some smarmy and insubstantial idea.

Also, we reduce the excess noise inherent in a busy life. Most importantly, we start to uncover the ways of being that are in line with our deepest nature. These are qualities like patience, discipline, gentleness with ourselves and others, softness, and happiness to name only a few.


Photo by Seneca Moore

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he's not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program


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