2019 “New Trend” Sound as Meditation?August 26, 2019
When you close your eyes, and envision someone meditating, you probably imagine them sitting in silence, hands in lap and focused on clearing their mind. They might listen to or chant the mantra “Om,” but for the most part, sounds are distracting when meditating… right? Maybe not! Chances are you might be able to clear your mind — and body — equally as much by sound bathing. Yes, sound bathing. It’s a meditation-like therapy that dates back more than 2,000 years, and it could totally defy your preconceived notions of a professionally led relaxation and de-stressing experience.
What is a sound bath?
When I think of the term “sound bath,” I automatically think of my sh*tty shower radio that plays aggressively mediocre music while I’m trying to relax in the tub. But “sound bathing” is a totally real, ancient, alternative healing practice that honestly had never crossed my mind — until deciding to become a sound healer. For real though…but… what is a sound bath? Well, for one thing, it has nothing to do with your favorite Lush bath bomb, I can tell you that much.
The first time I participated in a sound bath myself, I was enamored, pleasantly surprised, and TBH, I didn’t even know I was “sound bathing” in the first place. The first time I experienced a sound bath meditation, was at a place called the Treehouse yoga studio in south Austin Texas in 2012. Then the sound bath experience was better to be known as sound healing. Well… I guess all sound experiences are healing experiences LOL. This sound bath experience in particular was led by Tina Rodriguez, a known actress and sound healer. Tina began by walking us through the process of what was going to happen. We could either lay down or be seated in a meditative posture. As she began she started with A buffalo drum, calling in the spirits of our ancestors allowing the drum to sooth us. After a bit of drumming she then began with an Instrument I had never heard before, a crystal singing bowl. (They’re basically large bowls that create sweet sounds and sonic waves when you come in contact with the rim). The sound of the bowl rang out loudly, I could feel the vibrations of the bowl all over my body. At first there was a bit of anxiety because I did not know what was actually happening. After some time the sound became very relaxing to me and I was captivated melodically.
Now sound bathing goes as far back as the times of ancient Greek philosophers, who used the frequencies as a form of medicine to treat a myriad of ailments. The waves of sound (which are produced by Himalayan singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, biosonic tuning forks, shamanic drumming, and more) are said to calm the nervous system and balance the subtle body. The subtle body refers to energy that vibrates throughout the innermost layers of the body, beyond what we typically only physically conceive of the human body. Yeah, we’re getting deep here. In addition to balancing the subtle body, this holistic practice of sound bathing has also been known to work wonders for stress relief, insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, and even depression.
So, now that you know you won’t be taking a naked dip in some bubbly, scented goodness, here are five things to know before you reap the extensive benefits of bathing in the sound.
1. You Will Literally Feel The Sound In Your Body
If you’ve ever been to a concert with strong vibrational waves of sound, bumped the speakers up super high on a car ride, or, you know, attended any basement frat party ever, you know how the bass can literally feel like it’s vibrating through your very being. The power of sound can create a completely full-body experience. Some people say that certain frequencies emitted during sound baths can bring the physical and subtle bodies into harmonious balance. So, breathe deeply, and let the sound permeate your innermost self.
2. You Might Feel Like Laughing, Crying, Or Sleeping
Sound baths are becoming so popular because they’re such an effective way of releasing emotions trapped deep within the subtle body. Your body, mind, and spirit contain all of the energy you’ve collected from past experiences, and adding deep, permeating sounds to these energetic frequencies can shake things up at the root level. You might feel overjoyed one minute, and sad or uneasy the next. Simply observe these feelings without judgment, and let your breath guide you through whatever’s happening. TBH, you might even fall asleep during a sound bath! It’s all good, just try not to snore.
3. You Don’t Have To Have Previous Meditation Experience
Newbies might be wary of trying out a sound bath because they’ve never meditated in any capacity. However, we all have a relationship with sound in some way, and prior meditation experience isn’t necessary at all when it comes to trying a sound bath for the first time. First-timers are sure to reap just as many benefits as those who regularly go to sound baths. Plus, there’s no discipline required to participate in a sound bath (besides the ability to lie still and relax). Sound bathing might even be a great first step if you’re looking to embark on or deepen a meditation practice.
4. It’s Not A Musical Performance
Sound bath healers are practitioners, not performers, so don’t expect to jam out during a session. In fact, there are no structural aspects (like rhythm or beat) whatsoever in sound bathing, according to MindBodyGreen. Rather, it’s more of a shift in consciousness and a chance to unplug from reality. The result of a proper sound bath is the calming and silencing of the constant chattering in your mind. This allows for a shift in your brain waves from an active state to a relaxed, blissful, and totally dreamlike state. Sounds like actual paradise, am I right?
5. Each Sound Bath Experience Will Be Unlike The Last
Sound bathing is truly unique because each experience or meditation you attend will be different than the last. It all depends on what you’re surrounded by, the energy in the room, and how you’re feeling on that particular day. No matter what though, each sound bathing experience is sure to contribute to your personal growth, transformation, and self-awareness.
Sit back, relax, breathe, and fall in love with the sound and when you get a chance, join me for one of my sound bath experience!!!