You very well might be asking yourself “what is a sound bath? Am I going to have to wash myself in a group class?” A more technical term might be “sound immersion” since you are being surrounded by vibrations from different instruments such as gongs, singing bowls, and chimes.
Sound is a natural healer. Music has affected our relationships and our wellbeing since the dawn of humanity. Whether the crackle of a bonfire or the leaves rustling in the wind natural sounds have a profound effect on our health, and on our connection to spirit in the present moment.
So you don’t have to clean yourself off with a tuning fork to practice. But what might be some of the benefits of laying down in a sound-filled room? If any of these problems sound like you, you very well might love bathing in sound.
1. You haven’t been sleeping well
Insomnia is often a form of an inability to release. Whether it’s physical tension, mental or emotional tension, we hold onto our day as we wind down for bed. During a sound bath, the body has a long time to rest. Developing this practice regularly through practices like restorative yoga can help release tension.
Emotional tension is often the repeating of stories in our inner monologue as we lay down. If you’ve ever been kept awake by the things you wish you did or didn’t do, a sound bath could be your key to release.
2. You struggle with chronic pain management
For some nerve-related injuries, pain is a relationship between the body and the mind. When a certain stimulus comes up, the mind responds by labeling “pain” to that feeling. Even after a physical injury has healed this pattern may continue.
Meditation is the process of interrupting automatic thoughts and becoming present with what is here and now. When we interrupt the pattern of stimulus = pain, there is an opportunity to rewrite that response in the present moment. In a relaxed state like a sound bath you might begin to feel the stimulation flaring up the pain response, and mindfully respond with “deep breath out” or “relaxing my shoulders” etc.
3. Your mental health suffers during the winter months
Seasonal depression affects so many people due to the short amount of daylight hours in a day. One way to alleviate the symptoms is to maximize your sundown hours with rest and your sunny hours with energy and sun exposure.
A sound bath class is very likely to take place in the evenings after the sun is set. Shutting down the eyes during that time will help you to wake up with a refreshed sense of energy in the morning! (As long as your alarm has a soothing and gentle sound)
4. You struggle with a wandering mind during meditation
Meditation is traditionally taught in a seated posture and with minimal guidance to “observe the thoughts.” Without anything to tether onto, it can be difficult to dive into a meditation practice even while knowing the benefits it can provide.
During a sound bath, the vibration floods the whole body with energy. This energy is something that your mind can latch onto as a sense of presence. “I know I can feel the sound passing through my ears.” With that feeling, you can observe each sensation in the body in real-time as the sound of music keeps you in the moment.
5. You are experiencing a spiritual rut
If you have an active meditation practice already, experience vivid dreams, or even pray regularly, you may discover some power within you during a sound bath. The energy of being surrounded by the vibration of sound, as well as other people if you are in a group class, can heighten our empathetic awareness.
Latent psychic ability is supercharged by the energies of others. When a group of people get together and meditate with intention the feeling in a room becomes infinite. I personally feel much more connected with my spirit when I have a room full of people breathing and meditating together.
Where to find sound baths near you
If you are looking to sample the sensation of pure sound immersion you can always look through sound libraries that offer sound-healing content. The upside of this is accessibility because you don’t need to travel. However, this is not a true sound bath since you would be using headphones and generating vibration just around the ears.
You can look up sound baths near you at a local yoga studio or workshop-hosting studio.