For a sense of inner calm

When was the last time you carved time out of your busy day to completely relax? Many of us invest in yoga classes and massages, but when we find ourselves quietly making a grocery list as we strike our warrior pose, a sound bath may be in order.

Sound bathing is the practice of mindfully listening to different sounds and frequencies to help relax, rejuvenate, and energize the body and mind. Sound bath sessions involve intention setting, meditation, and the use of various vibrational instruments including crystal bowls, chimes, cymbals, rain sticks, bells, and gongs, to help us to relax, release tension, and heal.

The sound of harmonic vibrations created by singing bowls, gongs, and other overtone-emitting instruments is intended to stimulate the alpha and theta brain waves, which are associated with deep meditative and peaceful states that are highly conducive to healing. By using rhythm and frequency, we can entrain our brainwaves and make it possible to down-shift our normal waking and relaxed consciousness, and even reach a meditative state and sleep, where internal healing can occur. Sound bath sessions have been reported reduce anxiety levels, tension, sadness, and pain. Although there’s little research into this subject is limited, the well-researched benefits of music therapy and meditation are often likened to those gained from sound bathing.

A one-hour sound bath class is like a yoga or meditation class where you relax your body and mind and immerse yourself in the instructor’s flow. The instructor, or sound healer, uses intention in combination with specific vibrational frequencies to help activate the body’s natural healing abilities. When the sound bath is complete, it’s not unusual to feel a little disoriented for several minutes. Most people feel a deep sense of tranquility upon completing a session, and many report having a good night’s sleep post-bath. As with yoga and other meditative practices, the benefits of sound bathing are said to increase with repeat sessions.

After a sound bath, we are encouraged to be gentle with ourselves and to take some time to reflect on the experience before re-entering our hectic lives. The experience can stir up old memories and deep emotions. If we take time to honor and process the things that a sound bath uncovers, we may be able to move ahead with a fresh perspective and outlook on life.

shutterstock.com / Microgen
shutterstock.com / Microgen


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