If you haven't yet been doused by a sound bath, this is one of those debatably questionable things that you should just add to your bucket-list. We'd suggest waiting until COVID is far in our rearview mirror to do so, but that doesn't mean you can't educate yourself on the wonders & healing properties of sonic bathing until then! We stand by the hype on this one.
So, what is a Sound Bath anyway? Very Well Mind states “In general, a sound bath is a meditative experience where those in attendance are “bathed” in sound waves. These waves are produced by various sources, including healing instruments such as gongs, singing bowls, percussion, chimes, rattles, tuning forks, and even the human voice itself.”
As you now know, there are many options in terms of what instruments are used in these sonic ceremonies. One of our very favorites are the crystal sound baths. “No need to bring a swimsuit along, because there isn't any water (or actual bathing) involved at all. Instead, a crystal sound bath harnesses the reverberating sounds and vibrations of crystal bowls of all shapes and sizes, to lull you into a peaceful and mindful state of being.”
Sound Baths are known for their healing powers, some say they have experienced physical benefits, including lower blood pressure, better digestion, more stabilized and even breathing. Meanwhile, some practitioners claim mental benefits, such as being more relaxed, having clearer thoughts, feeling less stressed.
Just like all instruments, genres and forms of art - you’ll receive a different tone, effect and timbre from each chosen source. The acoustics of the room will affect the overall sound and the effect that the sound has over you. That being said, it’s wise to choose a space to practice the ancient art of Sound Bathing outside of a noisy city environment. Most practice dens do quite well at sound isolation, though you should take this into account when choosing a new place of practice.
If you’re looking to purchase your very own sound bowls or bathing instrumentations, we highly recommend testing these out beforehand, as many are handcrafted and the tones will vary for each piece. You never know what tone soothes you the most until you’ve tested as many as you can.
Once COVID passes, we highly suggest that you find your local meditation spot and purchase an unlimited pass for a week, just to see how things go. You can test out their Sound Bath classes, as well as a variation of meditation classes. It is suggested to only practice Sound Baths once or twice a month, unless you’re experiencing a particularly tough time and need a few extra boosts. We’ve previously discussed the benefits of meditation for a musician’s mind and a sound bath is no different. With these, however, the effects may be so subtle to the untrained eye that it can feel like nothing’s happening. When it comes to meditation, it’s a bit easier to recognize the benefits because your mind will start to work in different, clearer ways.
At the end of the day, even if Sound Baths were completely all hype (which we don’t think they are!) then at the very least it will provide you some much needed time of rest and relaxation. In such a busy world of wires, sometimes a guided class is just the enforcement we need to stop, pause, take a deep breath and let life in.