Sound baths are going mainstream. The New York Times, and LA Times (in which we are featured) are writing about them, the Today show featured one, and they are the most popular classes at every meditation studio, they are popping up in Yoga Studios across the nation…even Equinox is hosting Sound Baths.
If you are one of the few who are unfamiliar with the concept of a sound bath, or reluctant to try it, this is for you. I encourage you to step into the world of sound and experience what all the fuss is about.
Basically, you come to a sound bath class at a because you want to relax and de-stress. And who doesn’t want that?
The instructor leads the group on a journey — usually an hour — using sound waves produced by various instruments that might include crystal bowls, metal bowls, gongs, chimes, rain sticks, ocean drums and so on. Some of them are traditional instruments from other cultures. Some are new inventions. The sound waves (otherwise known as vibrations) wash through the mind and body at a deep, cellular level — thus, the name, sound bath — interacting with the nervous system and helping you to let go and relax in a way that even meditation, mindfulness, or yoga sometimes can’t achieve.
Here are 10 reasons why you should seek out high-quality Sound Baths and make them a regular part of your life:
Sound Baths are universally accessible to anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or previous experience with meditation. We all process through our bodies the stories of our lives. At one time or another, we all face stress, illness, pain, or other challenges. Sound classes are accessible to anyone who can take the time to show up. Absolutely everyone is welcome to join a Sound Bath as long as they can walk-into the studio by themselves and they can comfortably lie on their back or be seated for 45-60 minutes.
When you think of meditation, or even yoga, you probably picture someone sitting on the floor in lotus posture. That’s not in the cards for most of us. One of the great things about Sound Classes is how comfortable they are, which encourages you to go deeper into relaxation. You lie on cushions, cover yourself with blankets, perhaps use a prop to support your neck, maybe something to cover your eyes and dim the lighting even more. There are no meditation police in a Sound Bath. You relax and enjoy the experience however you want to receive it.
One of the greatest things about sound classes is that you don’t have to do anything to get the benefits of the practice. You don’t have to concentrate your mind on an object or chase a carrot to unlock the next level of experience. The benefits of sound therapy start working from the first chord or note you hear. There’s no physical activity involved. Quite the opposite. Your heart rate and breathing will slow down, and your mind will slow down. You don’t have to drag yourself to the gym and put yourself through a workout. There is no effort involved in receiving the gift of vibrational waves. You will feel energized and yet relaxed in a way that requires no effort.
Time and time again clients express how wonderful they feel not only during and immediately after, but on a continued lasting basis. They speak of being able to let go of some deeply buried struggles or trauma within themselves, so much so that the benefits of their session linger with them for days, sometimes creating permanent shifts.
So many people have trouble sleeping, and many use pharmaceutical sleep medications. Another reason why you should consider Sound Baths is because they can help tremendously in improving the quality of your sleep in a natural way. Even if you already sleep well, Sound Baths can help you wind down and actually get deeper sleep.
STRESS / ANXIETY / DEPRESSION / TRAUMA
It’s difficult to put all these words under the same umbrella. But they are all connected. Stress can easily spill into anxiety, depression and many other mental states that we don’t like to talk about openly. Sound Healing is a very important tool on the path to recovery. Sound has a way of penetrating the deeper layers within ourselves and helping to shift energy around in order to find greater equilibrium. In sound classes you may have breakthroughs, aha moments, and release tension in specific areas of my body that needed attention. We are not recommending Sound Healing as your only form of treatment for severe depression, anxiety or trauma (PTSD), but I would certainly recommend it as part of a regimen of mental health and well being.
We believe that anything that allows you to spend an hour with yourself and not in front of a digital screen should be treasured. I discover in teaching sound classes, but also in taking sound classes, that at the end of class, people feel more open, more relaxed. At Be Crystal Clear, we always have a few minutes at the end of the practice for anyone who would like to share their experiences or their questions. I’ve seen a community of mindful and curious students coming together and friendships being formed. The healing properties of sound bring forward those innate qualities within ourselves of opening up in a natural way and connecting to others. Without phones. Amazing, right?
When dealing with grief many emotions become bottled up inside. Talking to loved ones or therapists often doesn’t cut it. Sometimes the emotional turbulence is hard to navigate with words. Sound therapy is revolutionary because it doesn’t require you think. It doesn’t take effort. It offers a completely different path to healing. One that enters through a different sense door, and yet seamlessly helps to put the house in order. We are not saying that sound classes will heal all your pain. But maybe you are able to see and feel things without being overwhelmed by them. And maybe, in time, in conjunction with other resources, it helps you create the framework that is necessary to move through the pain into the life on the other side.
TAKES YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD
Does your day go by in a flurry of meetings, phone calls, classes, projects, emails, social media, and more. One of the things that resonates with so many people is that sound classes have the ability to take you out of your thinking, rational mind, the part of your brain that you use most of the time. You’re able to access other, less rational parts of your mind where you’re not hijacked by thoughts and to do lists. Sound Baths unlock creativity, and they help productivity because you can go back to your tasks feeling less overwhelmed.
MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON
The net effect of you learning to relax ripples out into every area of your life. Maybe you stop lashing at people. You stop barking at your loved ones. You experience more silence within yourself. Your pauses are longer. Your answers are more thoughtfully composed.
We live in difficult times. We increasingly expect our minds and nervous systems to process information in the same way that our computers and phones do. It gives us hope to see sound bath classes starting to go mainstream because sound reminds us that we are humans and we deserve to feel nurtured, safe and relaxed.
I hope you give it a try.