Quick Links: Beginning Toning Exercise
As pertaining to holistic healing practices, Toning is defined as "vocalizing long, sustained sounds using a vowel, consonant or a combination of both without melody, words, beat or rhythm."
Used for pain relief and treating both physical and subtle-body illness and imbalance, toning is one of the oldest healing modalities. Also known as sounding, toning produces vibrations with overtones or "vocal harmonics" which help to restore harmony to body, mind and spirit.
The idea of healing by sound, which is of course the product of different levels of vibration, may be better understood if we look at it in the context of quantum physics and specifically a model such as the string theory. Simplified, this theory suggests that differences in physical matter are simply variations in energy vibrations. Using this as an assumption we see that utilizing the vibration of certain sounds to return our bodies to their original physical/energetic states can be a most natural form of healing.
In my experience, when we find our physical and energetic systems are out of balance, introducing and focusing on a pure tone can immediately help to relax the muscles, release tension and signal the body to begin the process of moving back into its natural state of health and wholeness. Additionally, when we add our intention to the process, the results are magnified and healing is accelerated.
While there are many aspects of balancing and healing work that can benefit from the use of toning, I find it particularly effective when working with the chakra system. Developing a sensitivity to different vibrations and the affects they have on individual chakras can assist you in bringing the system as a whole in to health and balance. There are several different sounds and tones that have been associated with the energy centers. Refer to the chakra chart in the chakra system section of this site for a list of vowel sounds along with the musical tones that correspond to each energy center, then try the following exercise:
Beginning Toning Exercise
Sit or lay down in a quiet and comfortable area where you will not be disturbed. Take a deep breath, hold for the count of three, then slowly release. Repeat this process several times until you feel your body relaxing and your tension being released.
Bring your awareness to your first chakra. While visualizing the color red, begin repeating a mantra of the first-chakra vowel sound "Uh" in the musical key of C (use a piano or keyboard to find the tone if you need assistance). Repeat the mantra in long, slow, even breaths for two to three minutes. When you have finished, move on to the next chakra using its corresponding color, sound and tone. Continue this process through all of the chakras, ending with the crown. During the exercise, try to notice the difference in sensations as you tone each energy center. With practice, you will become aware of which chakras are activated and energized by different music and sounds around you.
This is also a great exercise to use if you feel the need to quickly clear and balance an individual chakra. For instance, if you are nervous or you need to draw on your willpower, take a few minutes to focus and tone your third chakra. If you are feeling frustration or anger, tone the heart chakra to help release negative feelings and manifest love. Try adding a crystal of your choice, or choose one of the corresponding crystals on the chakra chart to enhance the balancing and healing effects even more. With practice, these quick and easy toning techniques can become powerful tools to draw on whenever you need them.