For those new to meditation, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all about breathing deeply, closing your eyes whilst listening to the sound of silence. The demand for ‘noisy meditation’, or ‘Sound Bathing’ as it is commonly known, is on the rise. Best described as a healing therapy that relies on sound to induce a meditative state, Sound Bathing has been shown to reduce stress, pain, anxiety and even lower your heart rate.
The gong is the most common instrument used in sound bathing and first gained popularity in the Seventies. One of the oldest instruments in the world and an integral part of various yoga practices, including kundalini, the unique sonorous sound of the gong encourages deep relaxation. Other instruments used in sound bathing include Himalayan singing bowls, shamanic drumming, tuning forks and chanting; essentially, anything that is rich in ‘harmonic frequencies’. Whether incorporated into yoga practice or used as a daily mindfulness practice, participants lie back in savasana and let the sound wash over them; it’s as simple as that.
It may seem counterproductive to zone out from an over-stimulated environment with more noise, yet frequent sound-bathers suggest it actually calms an overstimulated nervous system. With claims it can heal depression, anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia, it’s said that sound bathing works to release emotions trapped deep within. Whether tears or laughter, it’s not uncommon to experience an overwhelming sense of release during a sound healing session. Sound bathing won’t be anything new to devotees yogi’s, but this ancient practice looks set to become ever more popular in 2018. Whether a brief savasana at the end of your practice or incorporated into the wind-down after an intense HIIT session, get ready to jump in and let the waves wash over you.