When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simply auditory functioning. Music stimulates the nucleus accumbens in your brain, a part of brain that releases the feel good chemical dopamine.
Music origin can be traced back to Vedic period. Vedic religion was based on performing sacrifices in order to propitiate the gods. Music formed an important part of the rituals, in fact, singing, instrumental music and dance were described as divine in Vedic literature; it was believed that they propitiated deities. But these historical evidences should not limit music to be simply a religious tool.
Music draws a significant coherence with Yoga. An analogy can be drawn between the two practices by taking a due consideration of the benefits they offer to human race. Both these practices have evolved as a therapy to counter the effects of the burdening lifestyle.
Music is involved in both emotional and intellectual centres of your brain and it also has the ability to connect us to one another. A concrete example of music’s power is a study which shows that music relieves anxiety far better than drugs and so is the case of Yoga. Yoga and music is capable of a number of health benefits including lowering stress levels, raising states of consciousness, changing moods, accessing different states of mind, developing the brain and is useful in meditation - which has a ton of health benefits. Some of these are listed as below-
1) Improves visual & verbal skills
Several studies have shown that music education at an early age stimulates the child’s brain in a number of ways that helps to improve verbal skills, communication skills and visual skills.
Even children as young as one year old who participated in interactive music lessons with their parents had a greater ability to communicate, smiled more frequently and were showing greater signs of sophisticated brain responses to music.
These benefits are not just limited to infants but can also be applicable to adults. Under stress individuals tend to lose interest in self and get entangled in the materialistic needs of the modern society. Similar to music, Yoga rescues the individual from the grip of production centred itinerary and carries him to phase of eternal bliss.
2) Keeps an aging brain healthy
Research has shown that having musical training and listening to or playing music in old age can help keep the brain healthy especially as it ages. Since listening to music is like exercising the brain, one can expect the benefits of better memory and mental sharpness as they age. Yoga’s role in ageing human body is incomparable to any other practice.
3) Music Makes You Happier
As mentioned before, music has the power to do so much. It can make you feel happy, sad, excited or even pumped up. Listening to music that hits you in a special way causes your brain to release dopamine which is known as a feel good chemical. It causes us to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, joy, etc. Listening to music provides us with the same burst of happiness that we would get from eating a piece of chocolate or performing any other activity you like.
On the other hand Yoga offers you a slightly different path where it connects you with the true happiness of life and makes you capable of expressing your emotions freely rather than shaping them.
4) Heartbeat, Pulse Rate & Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that music strengthens the heart and improves the recovery time of patients who were suffering from heart disease.
Regardless of the genre of music, listening to your favourite music releases endorphins in the brain that help to improve vascular health. It has been seen that both men and women who listened to music soon after cardiac surgery were much less anxious and even reported having less pain as opposed to those who rested quietly.
The benefits Yoga offers to heart are pretty more interesting. From lowering of stress, inflammation to lowered blood pressure and promoting physical activity it has vast benefits.
5) Improves Sleep Quality
Some of the most common things to interfere with sleep are stress and anxiety (heart rates). Since music has the ability to affect both in a positive way, research has found that listening to music at various times promotes better sleep.
Several researches have proved that practicing Yoga improves your sleep.
6) Boosts Your Immune System & Reduces Pain
Research has shown that music is capable of reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for weakening the immune system, increasing risk of heart disease, interfering with learning and memory, lowering bone density, blood pressure, etc.
Role of Yoga in boosting Immune system and pain reduction can be understood from the fact that it focuses on everything unlike other forms of exercise that focus only on certain parts of the body.
7) Reduces Depression & Anxiety
People who listened to music witnessed a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods. Music can have positive effects on the psyche, mood, pain and quality of life as well.
Yoga plays a significant and outstanding role in reducing stress, depression and anxiety.
The list of benefits provided by Music and Yoga is endless, and the associative nature of the two is also seeing several structures of the two therapies.
HIMALAYAN IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE