My first ever experience of an ancient practice called a “ sound bath ” was fascinating. I was so curious and kept peeking out from underneath my eye mask to see what instrument was making each sound.
The sounds of gongs, singing bowls, flutes, tongue drums, drums, horns, tuning forks, and chimes were enchanting. Each individual instrument producing its own characteristic sound and filling the room with beautiful, soothing sounds. The gong sounds reminded me of the 1970 Cyclopes films on TV that I used to watch as a kid.
During my second sound bath, I experienced a different reaction altogether. I saw different colours and lights and I experienced light bulb moments to situations I was having I was having difficulty with.
There are many misconceptions about sound baths. Many people think it’s “airy fairy”. I truly believe that it is a type of healing.
Sound healing has a rich tradition spanning many different cultures and dating back thousands of years. Its practice and benefits had almost been forgotten in the West until the 1930’s when researchers discovered ultrasound and its medical properties.
Sounds operate at different vibrations, and these allow the mind and body to be manipulated. Very rapidly the brain switches into alpha and beta moments. The body becomes very relaxed, the monkey mind and constant chatter start to quiet. The body feels and responds to the vibrations whether you are awake or asleep.
Sound doesn’t only enter the body through the ears. As humans, we are made up of between 55 – 70% water. Water is an efficient conductor of sound. Vibrations of the gong and other instruments used in sound healing, go straight through the body whether consciously listening or not.
What this means, is that if there are any emotional or physical blockages, pains or injuries, the vibrations of the gong as it travels through the body, connect with the blockages and starts to remove them.
You don’t have to believe in it having an effect – all you have to do is keep an open mind and see the sound bath as a chance to lie down, relax and take time out of your busy lives.
The principle of resonance is to harmonize cells and potentially re-tune them to their baseline vibrational frequency.
“A gong immersion is like a very deep and lasting massage, by tuning the physical body and soul to the greatest possible resonance …receiving the sound of energy of the gong as it’s being played, moving through the nervous system opening, clearing and recharging the whole mind body and spirit”
I have found through my own sound therapy training, a shift in myself. I now sleep better than I have ever been able to – simply by listening to a meditation of sound. I also feel different in myself, less anxious and find no space for anger and I attribute this all to my discovery of sound meditation.
I love that the healing effects of sound and the relaxation of being in the parasympathetic zone of the nervous system in yin yoga complement each other and result in the ‘rest and digest’ mode.
In my workshops, I offer yin yoga and sound baths as the two practices complement each other and provide a lovely way to completely let go, explore, find answers that you may be searching for and the perfect environment to set positive intentions.
I like to begin the session with some yin yoga to help people get comfortable with just lying down and relaxing into the body. Practicing yin helps people relax into the body and create a mind link. Finding peace and opening the body into stillness. If you are an over-thinker and find it hard to be still, practicing yin first can really help settle you in.
Leo Cosendia said, “My goal is to get people out of their head, that’s what the practice is about – getting into altered states and becoming mindful as a result”.
If you have never tried a sound bath or sound meditation session, I invite you to allow yourself this wonderful experience ESPECIALLY if you are super stressed and find it hard to relax – you may be pleasantly surprised and agree that it’s just as good, if not better than a … gin & tonic 😊