Earlier this month at The Mat Yoga Studio’s Plano location, I had the opportunity to attend a sound bath, a practice that I have only experienced a small handful of times and from those experiences, look forward to attending again. And the one earlier this month? Lovely.
So what is a sound bath? I am not an expert here – nor trained in sound baths – so what follows is only from my own experience and some high-level internet searches for more detail. I’d encourage you to do your own research if this sounds like it might be of interest.
Coming back to the question of what is it? In my mind, it’s kind of like the idea of forest bathing. The “bath” part is that immersion, only instead of water it’s sound (or nature, for the forest bathing idea). And I love sound. I love music – many kinds – and natural sounds, and have found I love the sounds generated by the crystal bowls or the deep resonance of gongs used in a sound bath.
It’s been my experience that the vibrational sounds from the bowls grow around me in intensity before retreating a little, only to come back again. Like ocean waves. The effect, for me, can have a very similar relaxing effect like being at the ocean and watching the white frosted waves roll in and retreat.
Like the ocean, a sound bath is deeply relaxing for me, dipping far beyond the calm from a savasana. The other weekend, as my teacher introduced us to what to expect in our class, she briefly touched upon the fact that there is science behind the effect of these sounds. Which got me thinking about why I respond the way I do to a sound bath. I’ll come back to my disclaimer here that I’ve only done a very cursory search since then, but if you’re interested then these resources may be a place to start to find out more.
The Cleveland Clinic has an article from last year that is, quite simply: What is a Sound Bath and talk about the vibrations generated from the sound: “sound baths are rooted in the idea that these particular frequencies correspond to specific energy centers in your body.” I don’t know if my experience was in line with the theories introduced here, but I do find a sound bath very relaxing. Which sometimes is exactly what I need.
Like so many things, sound baths may not be for everyone. The sound and vibrations can affect people differently. And that’s okay! As with many new activities, it could also be something to discuss with your doctor if you have questions or concerns with how the experience may affect you (see the above article for more).
This MindBodyGreen post – Curious About Sound Baths? Here’s What Happened When I Took a Sonic Soak – explores in more detail one individual’s experience. Similar to what I just noted about affecting people differently, the writer here also talks about it depending upon the instruments used and also the way the teacher leads the sound bath.
If this is something that may be for you and you are interested in, keep an eye out on The Mat’s workshops page and social media for announcements of future sound baths!
This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat Yoga Studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own experience.