My ‘Yin & Tonic’ experience with sound baths
by Jackie King
My first ever experience of this ancient practice called a “ sound bath ” was fascinating. I was so curious and kept peeking out from underneath my eye mask to see what instrument was making each sound.
The sounds of gongs, singing bowls, flutes, tongue drums, drums, horns, tuning forks, and chimes were enchanting. Each individual instrument produced its own unique sound, and filled the room with a beautiful and soothing soundscape.
During my second sound bath, I experienced a different reaction altogether. I saw different colours and lights and I experienced light bulb moments to situations that I was having difficulty with. The soundscape was just as soothing and relaxing; the effect for me was life-changing. I knew that this was a path I wanted to pursue as I instinctively felt that Yin Yoga and Sound Healing would work together really well to bring about a real sense of peace, inner harmony, and relaxation at a deep level, which is very healing for mind, body and soul.
What is a sound bath & its benefits
There are many misconceptions about sound baths. Many people think it’s “airy fairy” but sound healing has a rich tradition spanning many different cultures and dating back thousands of years. Its practice and benefits had almost been forgotten in the West until the 1930’s when researchers discovered ultrasound and its medical properties. Today it’s becoming more and more popular as the science behind sound healing catches up with what the sound healers of ancient traditions have always known.
Sounds operate at different vibrations, which affect both mind and body. During a sound bath the body becomes very relaxed, and the monkey mind and constant chatter start to quiet. The body feels and responds to the vibrations whether you are awake or asleep so you don’t have to concentrate on anything, or do anything other than relax and let the sounds wash over and through you.
Here’s how it works!
Sound vibration and the water of your body
As humans, we are made up of between 55 – 70% water and water is an efficient conductor of sound. The vibrations of the gong and other instruments used in sound healing, go straight through the body whether consciously listening or not. What this means is that where there are any emotional or physical blockages, pains or injuries, the vibrations of the gong, as they travel through the body, connect with the blockages and start to remove them.
You don’t have to believe in it having an effect – all you have to do is to take time for yourself, keep an open mind, relax, and simply allow the beautiful soundscape that is created do it’s work!
Sound bath: a massage effect
Your physical body, your soul’s body and your energy body receive the energetic vibration of the gong as it attunes your cells, harmonising your nervous system, recalibrating, clearing and reenergising the entire system that is you. It’s like a deep and lasting massage that affects the whole.
Sound meditation for improved sleep
I have discovered through my own sound therapy training, and through sound meditations, profound changes taking place in myself. I now sleep better than I have ever been able to. I also feel very different in myself, less anxious and find no space for anger. I attribute this all to my discovery of sound meditation.
Some of the benefits of sound baths
positive changes in moods, emotions and behaviours
releases more energy
promotes better sleep
lowers blood pressure
reduces stress & anxiety
relieves muscle tension
improves concentration and memory
Bringing it all together
In my workshops, I offer yin yoga and sound baths together as these two practices complement each other so well. Together they provide a lovely way to completely let go, explore, find answers that you may be searching for and create the perfect environment to set positive intentions.
What to expect
I like to begin the session with some yin yoga to help people get comfortable with just lying down and relaxing into the body. Practicing yin yoga helps people relax into the body. I have discovered that the healing effects of sound and the relaxation of being in the parasympathetic zone of the nervous system in yin yoga, deepen the sense of peace and inner harmony and the end result is the ‘rest and digest’ mode.
In a world that asks us to be constantly in busy mode, it can be hard to find stillness. If you are an over-thinker and find it hard to be still, practicing yin yoga first can really help settle you in.
Leo Cosendia said, “My goal is to get people out of their head, that’s what the practice is about – getting into altered states and becoming mindful as a result”.
If you have never tried a sound bath or sound meditation session, I invite you to try this wonderful experience ESPECIALLY if you are super stressed and find it hard to relax – you may be pleasantly surprised and you might discover that ‘yin and tonic’ is just as good for you if not better than a ‘gin & tonic’! Your body and your mind will thank you for the ‘time out’ that these sessions will give you. To find my next event in Berkshire follow me on link tree in just one click join me on instagram linktr.ee/jkyogaflow