Laya Yoga (Meditating on Internal Sounds)
Laya yoga is the practice of making the mind absorbed in internal sound. The goal is to increase self awareness by concentrating on an internal sound. The mind becomes absorbed and steady by focusing on this mystic sound. This sound is produced by practising pranayama regularly.
Sit in siddhasana pose and concentrate on the area between the eyebrows. Keep your eyelids closed. With a composed mind, focus on hearing a clear sound emanating from the right ear. In the early stages, the sounds would be loud, but with regular practice they become more subtle. Initially, the sounds would resemble the beat of a drum. Then, these sounds transform into those coming out of a conch shell. Finally, after constant practice, you will hear the hum of bees.
These sounds are generated within, and are not audible to others. To prevent monotony, listen to both subtle and loud sounds. This would also stop the mind from wandering. With practice, the mind becomes captivated by the sounds and overcomes distractions. The mind slowly becomes calm, losing the desire for sense pleasures. The breath becomes refined as your attention focuses within. The yogi loses interest in external objects and his/her mind becomes blissful.
Regular practice of laya yoga makes the yogi forget the material world, as his/her mind becomes concentrated and calm. Absorption in the internal sound suspends mental activity. The yogi can even attain a state of super-consciousness (samadhi) through constant practice.
Preparation is Required
The mystic, internal sounds occur only in pranayama experts. This is because laya yoga needs considerable preparation beforehand. But, the beginner need not lose heart. He/she can practise brahmari kumbhaka, which can be done by producing a humming sound in the throat. Practice of laya yoga makes one adept in concentration, which in turn leads to bliss, ecstasy and deeper meditation.
The ultimate goal is to reach the state of samadhi, which makes one totally absorbed in experiencing the absolute.