I have wanted to pursue the topic of yoga and bioelectricity since a yoga instructor casually mentioned that our bodies are crystals, while the singing bowls were being played, and a student wanted to know why the sound was so disturbing to her.
I think the answer lies in understanding the bioelectric fields in our bodies which, according to James Oschman in his Energy Medicine: the Scientific Basis published in 2000, are liquid crystals that are an intermediate between solids and liquids and display the properties of both. He confirmed in several studies that the whole body is composed of materials arranged in a liquid crystal form (a crystal is a structured arrangement of molecules which is repeated).
To understand bioelectricity and its importance in a yoga practice, we need to first understand what a crystal is and how it relates to the human body.
The electricity of the body is called bioelectricity. The electricity created by pressure is called piezoelectricity, piezein being the Greek word for squeeze or compress.
Some crystals in the body create electricity or allow it to flow when they are subjected to stress which deforms them or pushes against them; the reverse can also happen when an electric field is applied to these crystals, causing them to bend: the stronger the electric field, the greater the bend, and the greater the bend or deformation, the stronger the electric field.
So what? you ask! One of the many tissues of the body that are structured in a crystalline array is our bone tissue. When we stress our bones with yoga, walking or other weight-bearing exercises, we are telling the cells in our body, osteoblasts, to create new bone. This stressing tells the osteoclasts, cells whose job it is to clean up old worn-out bones, to slow down their destruction of older bone, allowing the osteoblasts to continue making new bone.
Without stress, the bones are hollowed out by the action of the osteoclasts. So, the electrical currents sent during stressing or deforming of the crystals slow down degeneration. This piezoelectric current flow is happening all over the body!
The ancients used singing bowls to communicate to and heal the subtle body which is made up of electrical and chemical energy fields. The sound waves produced by singing bowls can actually align the crystals of these electrical fields.
Maybe that student mentioned earlier needed alignment or opening in the chakra to which that the singing bowl was tuned. The wisdom of the past never ceases to amaze me!
Clark, Bernie. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga (Oregon: White Cloud Press, 2012).
Oschman, James. Energy Medicine: the Scientific Basis (Philadelphia: Churchill Livingston, 2000).