As I am recovering from surgery (more to come about that in a future post) I was looking for a way to get on my mat without stressing my body. I had seen flyers about Sound Baths and thought this was the perfect opportunity to attend one as it was being offered at a local studio, Be Yoga Burien.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Sound Bath, it is a relaxing, meditative event where the student lies in Savasana (or any comfortable lying down position) while the performer creates different sound vibrations using gongs, crystal bowls, vocals and assorted other instruments.
This sound bath was marketed as a non-heated experience and students were encouraged to bring mats, pillows and blankets to create a comfortable position. The studio was set up with a beautiful presentation of the crystal bowls, gong and low light. Daniella White led us through the experience be initially giving a brief introduction to the sound bath and how she would use the variation of harmonious and disharmonious sounds to create different responses in our bodies.
As I lay propped up against the back wall (I was unable to lay prone as I was not very mobile from surgery) I closed my eyes and began to meditate on the sounds that were being created. Initially, it took me a while to relax and feel the vibrations. There were particular sounds for which I could feel vibrations in different parts of my body. Mostly, I felt the vibrations in the sutures in my chest. The feeling was not alarming or calming. It just was. My mind began to try to find a scientific explanation for the sensations I was feeling.
I know that are eardrums vibrate differently due to sound and this affects the inner ear bones which stimulate the fluid in the cochlea which creates electrical impulses that travel to the brain (A short review on how sound works). However, I was trying to understand how that created a feeling of vibration in particular parts of my body. Perhaps the vibrations were being carried through the water in my body and the parts of the my body that were more sensitive created more nerve sensation? However, would this actually heal these parts of my body? Maybe the vibrations cause sensation, thereby increasing blood flow to these regions? My Googling of sound baths or sound therapy did not provide much in the way of scientific explanations for this phenomenon.
Personally, I did not find the sound bath experience to be as pleasant as a Yin yoga class. I found it to be somewhat grating at times and the vocals that accompanied the crystal bowl sounds by this particular artist were not pleasant to my ears. I am open to trying a sound bath with another artist to see if I find their work resonates better with me, however, there are so many other things on my ‘To Try’ list that it may be a while before I get around to it.
Have you every experienced a Sound Bath? What were your thoughts? Did you find it to be a more transformative experience than I did? Please comment below.