Ten Reasons to Drum
for Your Health:
Join Our Restorative Yoga with Shamanic Drumming on Sunday 10th December!
1. Drumming is for everyone
Drumming does not require advanced physical abilities or specialized talents. It does not require participants to read music or understand music theory. Drumming, even a simple pattern, offers benefits to a huge range of people. Drumming is a universal language. It transcends gender, race, age, and nationality. In fact, nearly every culture on earth has some form of drumming tradition.
Furthermore, group drumming and drum therapy is currently being used for people with brain injuries or impairment, physical injuries, arthritis, addictions, and more. Studies are finding numerous health benefits from drumming for people with these conditions.
2. Drumming reduces stress and boosts the immune system
Studies have shown that drumming lowers both blood pressure and stress hormones. The active component of drumming helps reduce stress in a number of ways. It’s fun, it’s physical, and it’s a great diversion from other stress-filled activities. If you need to vent, what better way than to hit something?
Drumming is also meditative, inducing relaxed mental states that reduce anxiety and tension. Drumming combined with deep breathing and visualization techniques offers even more stress reduction benefits. “We know that stress takes a toll on the immune system,” says Ann Webster, PhD. “When you’re under stress, blood levels of stress hormones go up and your body is no longer able to make killer cells and other cells of the immune system in the amounts it normally would, and that can lead to disease progression. Reducing stress is very restorative. It gets the system back in balance.”
A recent medical research study indicates that drumming does boost the immune system. According to cancer expert Barry Bittman, MD, the study demonstrates that group drumming actually increases cancer killing cells, which help the body fight cancer and other viruses.
3. Drumming produces deeper self-awareness by inducing synchronous brain activity (Hemispheric Coordination) and promoting alpha waves
Studies of the human mind have found that the two sides of a human brain often work at different levels and at different rates. Drumming activates both sides of the brain and can help the mind achieve hemispheric coordination, a situation where both halves of the brain are active and brain waves are synchronized. This coordination can lead to integrative modes of consciousness, which may include greater insight or creativity.
Drumming also can increase alpha waves in the brain. The increased alpha activity can help drummers and others to calm their minds or even achieve a meditative state. Group drumming and its effect on alpha waves are now being used to help people with addictive personalities and people who are ‘hypervigilant’.
4. Drumming helps to releases negative feelings and emotional trauma
Drum therapy has successfully been used with patients and others suffering from emotional traumas including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Drumming can help people express and address emotional issues. The physical stimulation of drumming also removes blockages and produces emotional release. Sound vibrations resonate through every cell in the body, stimulating the release of negative cellular memories. “Drumming emphasizes self-expression, teaches how to rebuild emotional health, and addresses issues of violence and conflict through expression and integration of emotions,” says Music Educator Ed Mikenas.
5. Drumming helps us to connect with self and others
Group drumming creates a sense of community and a powerful shared experience. It has been used as a successful team building experience to teach groups to work together, to listen to each other, and to achieve common goals. Group drumming discourages isolation, and self-centeredness and promotes communication and involvement with the group. On a personal level, a drum circle also provides an opportunity to connect with one’s own spirit at a deeper level. People who are sick, addicted, or afflicted with other conditions are out of sync with themselves. By putting these people in sync with themselves and with healthy individuals it is possible for them to feel and enjoy a healthier state of being.
6. Drumming helps us connect to the natural rhythms all around us
Rhythm is all around us though we are often unaware of it. The sun, moon, and the seasons follow regular rhythms. Our bodies have natural rhythms, which are a part of us every day. Natural rhythms rule us, even on a cellular level. Recent scientific ‘string’ theories even suggest that on a subatomic level, the smallest particle of the universe, that which makes up all things, is nothing more than tiny vibrating ‘strings’ and that their vibration, or rhythm, is what makes things what they are. Under this theory, everything is rhythm, literally.
Drumming connects us to rhythm, puts us in touch with natural cycles, and makes us aware of rhythm all around us.
7. Drumming provides a path by which we may access a higher power
Drumming produces a sense of spirituality, connectedness and community, integrating body, mind and spirit. By allowing participants to achieve a more relaxed, meditative mental state, drumming allows people to enter states of higher consciousness. Drumming can coordinate the brain’s two hemispheres and synchronize the lower and frontal areas of the brain, which can lead to feelings of greater understanding and insight, which is often the basis for a person’s connection to a higher power.
8. Drumming grounds us in the present moment
Drumming is interactive. It’s about timing and coordination, both of which force participants to be in the present moment. This helps a person to be grounded in the present moment: When a person is firmly grounded in the present, stressful situations in the past are forgotten and worries of the future are minimized.
9. Drumming helps us to reach a state of self-realization
Drumming is a great form of self-expression. A drummer beats the drum and immediately receives feedback from the drum. This immediate feedback loop helps drummers achieve self-expression and self-realization. Drumming provides a method by which people can hear and be heard, a non-verbal language by which they can express themselves. The drummer is at once a useful part of the group and a unique individual.
10. Drumming is fun
Drumming releases endorphins in the human brain that cause feelings of happiness and euphoria. It’s a great reason to gather with other people, to share in a common experience, and to do something enjoyable. A participant in a drum circle is part of a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts, and drumming is accessible to an extremely wide range of people. Drumming is fun and that’s the bottom line.
(Copyright 2010, David Robertson)
You are always, always loved and protected!
You are good enough!
You deserve to live a wonderful life and so it is…
10 Ways to Love Yourself (Louise Hay)
Think for a moment about the words you use when scolding yourself or some of the phrases you hear when you were small: stupid, bad boy, bad girl, useless, careless, dumb, ugly, worthless, sloppy, dirty, etc. Are these the same words you use now when describing yourself?
There is a tremendous need to build self-worth and value in ourselves, because when we feel not good enough, we find ways to keep ourselves miserable. We create illness or pain in our bodies; we procrastinate about things that would benefit us.
We are all insecure in some ways because we are human. Let release the need to be perfect. Having to be perfect only puts immense pressure on ourselves, & it prevents us from looking at areas of our lives that need healing. Instead, we could discover our creative distinctions, our individualities, & appreciate ourselves for the qualities that makes us unique.
2. Stop scaring yourself:
Many of us terrorize ourselves with frightful thoughts & make situations worse than they are. We take a small problem and make it into a big monster. It's a terrible way to live, always expecting the worst out of life.
Examples: Someone makes a remark at work, and you begin to think you're going to be fired. You build these paralyzing thoughts in your mind. Remember, these frightening thoughts are negative affirmations. OR, people who are ill often visualize the worst or they are immediately planning their funerals. OR, someone doesn't call you immediately, and you decide that you are totally unlovable and you'll never have another relationship again, feeling abandoned and rejected.
If you find yourself habitually reviewing a negative thought or situation in your mind, find an image of something you really would like to replace it with. It could be a beautiful view, or a sunset, or flowers, a sport, or anything you love. Use that image as your switch-to image every time you find that you are scaring yourself. Say to yourself, "No, I'm not going to think about that anymore. I'm going to think about sunsets, roses, Paris, yachts or waterfalls, or whatever your image is." If you keep doing this, eventually you will break the habit.
3. Be gentle and kind and patient with yourself:
Impatience is a resistance to learning. We want the answers without learning the lesson or doing the steps that are necessary. Think of your mind as if it were a garden. If you take loving care and attention to this garden, it gradually keeps improving and will blossom. The same with your mind, you select nurtured thoughts & with patience they grow and contribute to creating the garden of experiences you want."
4. Be kind to your mind:
Let's not hate ourselves for having negative thoughts. We can think of our thoughts as building us up rather than beating us up. We don't have to blame ourselves for negative experiences, but can learn from these experiences. Being kind to ourselves means we stop all blame, all guilt, all punishment, and all pain. Relaxation is absolutely necessary for tapping into the Power within, because if you are tense & frightened, you shut off your energy. As you become tense, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and release whatever tension you are carrying. As you exhale, become centered & say to yourself silently: "I love you. All is Well." You will then notice how much calmer you feel.
5. Praise yourself:
Criticism breaks down the inner spirit, and praise builds it up. When you berate yourself, you belittle the Power that created you. Praise yourself often!
6. Loving yourself means supporting yourself: Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. You really are being strong when you ask for help when you need it. Caring friends and Support groups are there to help you.
7. Love your negatives:
No matter what negative situation you are in, it's there for a reason. Think on it as a lesson to improve your being. Trust that it will resolve beautifully for your own benefit
8. Take care of your body:
Drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, and smoking are just some of the substances we take into our bodies to numb out the pain, and deal with life better. But, the sad fact is that it doesn't help make it better. Take care of yourself, exercise regularly so your body can help support you in whatever comes your way.
9. Mirror work:
In order to find out the cause of an issue that keeps us from loving ourselves. Try looking in the mirror the first thing in the morning and say, "I love you. What can I do for you today? How can I make you happy?" Listen to your inner voice, and start following through with what you hear. Then, if something unpleasant happens to you during the day, go to the mirror and say: "I love you anyway."
Affirmations performed in front of a mirror are advantageous because you learn the truth of your existence. When you do an affirmation and you immediately hear a negative response such as, "Who are you kidding? It can't be true. You don't deserve that", that is a gift you can use. You cannot make the changes you want until you are willing to see what is holding you back. The negative response you have just discovered is like a gift in that it becomes the key to freedom. Turn that negative response into a positive affirmation such as: "I now deserve all good. I allow good experiences to fill my life." Repeat the new affirmation until it does become a new part of your life.
10. "Finally, love yourself now!
Don't wait until you get it right. Dissatisfaction with yourself is a habit pattern. If you can be satisfied with yourself now, if you can love and approve of yourself now, then when good comes into your life, you will be able to enjoy it. Once you learn to love yourself, you can begin to love and accept other people. We can't change other people, so leave them alone."
Writing and Working on your affirmations today:
The effects of a chakra-based practice can have a tangible, empowering ripple effect on your life.
(Join us in our Restorative Yoga and Chakra Meditation Workshops to learn how to get in touch with your energy system and how to activate and balance your chakras for a better, more satisfying life)
According to yoga tradition, the subtle body is a part of you that you can’t see or touch—it’s where your energy flows, which is why it’s also referred to as the energy body. There are seven key points in the subtle body that are thought to be vortexes of energy, known as chakras.
When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalances that manifest in symptoms such as anxiety, lethargy, or poor digestion.
A well-tuned asana practice can free up energy and stimulate an imbalanced chakra, paving the way for that wonderful internal shift for which yoga is known.
With just a little bit of coaching, you can tap into the chakras as a potent way of harnessing and shifting your energy in the direction you want it to go.
Here's our quick summary:
1. Root Chakra — Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
Location: Base of spine in tailbone area – Color Red
The root centre governs your family ties and feelings of survival, belonging, and guardedness. Your earliest memories are stored here, including whether or not your basic needs were met. When it is blocked or out of balance, you can become needy, have low self-esteem, or have self-destructive behaviors. When this chakra is in balance, you feel strong and confident; you can stand up on your own two feet and take care of yourself.
2. Sacral Chakra — Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in – Color Orange
This chakra corresponds with your reproductive and sexual organs, and represents fluidity, creativity, and fertility. You can take a literal interpretation of this, or associate this chakra with whether or not you feel deserving of a pleasurable, abundant, creative life. When it’s out of balance, you can feel emotionally unstable, guilty, or hard on yourself. When it is in balance, you feel creative, positive, and receptive to change—like the ocean and its tides, you’re in the flow.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra — Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.
Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area – Color Yellow
You’ve heard the expression “firing on all cylinders.” When it is in balance, you feel alive and have the self-esteem and confidence to take action and be productive. When it’s blocked, you lack courage, have low self-esteem, and feel stagnant and inert.
By working on this chakra, you can awaken your true personal inner power and work through your fear of taking risks.
4. Heart Chakra — Our ability to love.
Location: Center of chest just above the heart – Color Green
Awaken to the power of unconditional love within you through compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When the heart chakra is blocked, you become possessive and codependent, and may form dysfunctional relationships. You may also stay isolated for fear of rejection. When you stimulate the heart chakra, you can heal past wounds by reopening your heart, learn to love unconditionally, and form healthy relationships.
5. Throat Chakra — Our ability to communicate.
Location: Throat – Color Blue
When it is blocked, you may feel like you can’t find your voice or your truth. You may also be overly talkative and not listen to others. When this chakra is open and stimulated, your voice moves through space to help you communicate your emotions in healthy ways. You also become better at listening to others and honoring their personal truths without judgment.
6. Third Eye Chakra — Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra) – Color Indigo
This chakra is associated with your intuition, or sixth sense, and governs how the rest of the chakras function. When this chakra is functioning well, you have insight, and you trust your inner wisdom to face life’s challenges and choices. When it’s blocked, you feel close-minded, too attached to logic, untrusting, and cynical. Working on the sixth chakra opens your mind to the bigger picture and different perspectives, and it helps you receive the wisdom that cannot be seen or heard by ordinary senses.
7. Crown Chakra — The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.
Location: The very top of the head – Color violet or White
The crown chakra connects to beauty itself and the spiritual realm. It helps you to understand who you are beyond your physical self—that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. It is not located in the body but actually hovers above the crown of the head. When it’s closed, you think happiness can only come from the outside, and you suffer.
Working on this chakra helps you to feel free in any situation.
The Crown Chakra is the seventh chakra and it is at the top of the "chakra ladder" which starts from the root chakra that grounds us on the Earth and progresses upward to the Sahasrara which connects us with the universe and the Divine source of creation.
Sahasrara is located at the crown of the head. The gift of this chakra is experiencing unity and the selfless realization that everything is connected at a fundamental level.
The energy of this chakra allows us to experience mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature.
There is no intellectual knowing at the level of seventh chakra, but there is serenity, joy, and deep peace about life.
You have a sense of knowing that there is a deeper meaning of life and that there is an order that underlies all of existence.
The "way of the crown chakra" is the way of going beyond the limits of your own ego. It is the way of transcending the ego and knowing that all of creation is interconnected at a fundamental level.
The crown or the seventh chakra is located at the top of the head.
Just as the Root or First Chakra connects us to the Mother Earth, the Crown Chakra is our connection to the Universe.
In fact, the Seventh Chakra disperses the Universal energy or life force into the six other chakras located below it.
The Crown Chakra is our connection with Divinity; it is the portal through which the life energy enters our body. Without this energy, human beings cannot function properly and tend to feel disconnected with self and others.
By balancing and strengthening the Seventh Chakra, we can connect with the Higher Power to receive its love which can then be shared with those around us.
Crown Chakra is related with the powerful colour Violet:
Violet offers and inner sense of wholeness. With wholeness comes a sense of ending, completion of a process, and a promise of something new, illumination, rebirth.
Violet connects with sadness of letting go and also with joy of transformation. There is peace and tranquility in the newfound knowledge of profound change.
Violet color is cleansing and purifying. It is the color of magic, ritual, cleansing, purifying, connecting, mystery, and mysticism.
It is a color that allows us to glimpse other realities, beyond our physical and material reality of this earthly existence. It is pure cosmic energy.
Violet is a color of reconciliation. Of bringing together polarities - male and female, day and night, hot and cold, heaven and earth, right brain and left brain.
In this state of balance, you feel the connection with other beings, with heaven, with earth, with all of Universe. There is no separation, no duality.
Fifth Chakra or Third Chakra or
Ajna is a Sanskrit word means 'command' or 'summon.'
Literally, means 'the monitoring centre,' is considering as the eye of intuition and intellect.
It is the seat of wisdom and insight. This chakra can centre your mind, and it has been full of peace and stability.
The gift of this chakra is seeing - both inner and outer worlds.
The energy of this chakra allows us to experience clear thought as well as gifts of spiritual contemplation and self-reflection.
Through the gift of seeing we can internalize the outer world and with symbolic language we can externalize the inner world.
The energy of Ajna allows us to access our inner guidance that comes from the depths of our being. It allows us to cut through illusion and to access deeper truths - to see beyond the mind, beyond the words.
The "way of the third eye" is seeing everything as it is from a point of "witness" or "observer", or from simply being mindful - moment by moment.
It means examining self-limiting ideas and developing wisdom that comes from a perspective that transcends the duality of good or bad, black or white. It means seeing and helping others to see the deeper meanings of the situations in their lives.
Sixth chakra is holistic in nature. When this chakra is fully activated, both hemispheres of the brain function in synchrony. The right hemisphere's creativity and synthetic thinking is integrated and balanced with left hemisphere's logical and analytical thinking.
It is here where many parts of our brain work together. Like portals of perception. They include our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and they provide us the ability to see, hear, smell, and taste. We use these organs, separately or in combination, to learn about our surroundings.
When they are linked up with our intuition, our other sense of “all knowing,” we can discern for ourselves what is helpful, healthy, or harmful.
Ajna governs right and wrong for our self. This is where you not only see what is going on, but you also know what it means. This is where your sense of justice and your ethics originate.
This internal government is coloured by indigo, a combination of violet and blue. These colours represent the integration of the chakras above and below this sixth one.
In essence, ajna is a combination of our spiritual centre as it communicates with the sensations flowing within our body.
Third Eye Chakra Affirmations:
Somebody asked me this question during the week.
What is yoga for me?
It got me thinking…
For me Yoga is my way to cope with life!
Yoga helped me (and still does!) every single day, to find myself, to put together all the broken parts of myself and learn how to react to life, to people, to circumstances...
It's like pouring gold (like the Japanese broken vases!) in all the wounds of my heart and soul and keep myself together adding value and beauty to my life.
It doesn’t matter how I am, how I feel that day, as soon as I am sitting in the mat to start the practice, everything become better, clearer.
Some days take more time than others, but even in the worse days of my life, yoga always makes me feel better. And by the time I finish my class I am sure that I can handle everything that life throw at me!
Thanks to yoga I survived the worst storms of my life.
It gave me roots when mine were severed and I didn’t know where to stand.
It gave me strength, resilience, faith and hope.
It gave me light in the darkest nights of my life.
And it always ready to catch me when I fall and to give me support when I can get it from anybody or anywhere else.
Yoga allows me to access and work in all the areas of myself, the ones that I like and the ones I don’t like too! Bit by bit, layer by layer, I can connect deeper and deeper to my core believes (the ones responsible for make me act as I am) and I can confront them to see if they are still supporting me or are working against my peace, grow and expansion. Yoga gives me the opportunity to review it and change it, if I need it, in a safe and protected environment.
Yoga help me, every single day, to be more kind and patient with myself and others (not easy sometimes!!) And reminds me that there is no need to push, to force, to compete, to be perfect, because there is no place to arrive. Our life happens as we live, in the process of living, not in the destination or the end (really hard for me to get this too!!)
But every day, thanks to yoga, grasping this idea is a little bit easier 😊
I know I can count in yoga always, through my whole life, no matter where and when. Always.
And that is what is yoga for me 😊