Book Review: The Practice of Nada Yoga

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by John Malkin

The Practice of Nada Yoga
Meditation on the Inner Sacred Sound

By Baird Hersey
Inner Traditions

Each of us has an inner sacred sound that connects us with the greater universe, writes Baird Hersey in his new book, The Practice of Nada Yoga. Hersey has found that by meditating on the nada—Sanskrit for “sound stream”—he can open a pathway for an experience that he describes as a “simultaneous joyful expectation and wondrous release.”

Hersey first noticed the inner tone that is always present through two realms: meditation and music. He was fascinated by Tibetan monastic music, in which individual monks sing multiple tones simultaneously. He found it uplifting and mystifying.

Hersey’s book offers simple and clear instruction for focusing attention, quieting the mind, and opening to a deep awareness of sound. Here he presents the four components of nada yoga as described in the ancient Hatha Yoga Pradipika text: finding bliss through stillness, opening the heart to unconditional love, seeing the internal divine light, and hearing the internal sacred sound.

A longtime musician and student of yoga based in New York, Hersey has worked with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet and since 2009 has performed with Prana, a nine-voice overtone choir.

“Through the practice of this meditation,” he writes, “I have reached levels of introspection I never thought possible for me. I have experienced a quiet mind, an uplifted spirit and bliss.”

Hersey emphasizes that nada yoga is experiential, not intellectual, and offers this practice: “When you finish reading this sentence sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed and just listen.”

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