Sound Bath – a calming, restorative experience
This Sunday afternoon was not a typical one for us. My daughter and I went to a Sound Bath. I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of such a thing until a few months back, let alone considered trying one. And now we’ve gone and done it!
So, what exactly a Sound Bath? And why did we try it?
A Sound Bath is a meditative experience for the mind and body. Sounds are created by a variety of instruments, including tuning forks, gongs, shruti box, Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, chimes and voice. The aim is to invite deep rest and relaxation.
In addition Sound Baths can be very helpful with anxiety and stress, which manifest in many different ways, affecting sleep, digestion, and memory. By experiencing a sound bath, you can provide your whole body with a kind of ‘reset’.
So, how did this come about?
I met Diana, the Sound Healer, on a course a couple of months ago. We were happy to learn that we lived fairly close to each other and we agreed to stay in touch. She’d invited me a couple of times to her monthly Sound Bath sessions, but sadly the dates didn’t work out. When she contacted me again this week I was happy to see that we didn’t have plans for Sunday.
I asked if I could bring along my daughter (8), as we like to spend some mother-daughter time together at the weekend. Diana’s Sound Baths are normally targeted at adults, but she agreed that Zoe could come, as long as she could lay still for an hour. This would be her first experience with a child in the session. Having agreed with Zoe that she was up for this – we checked out a few YouTube videos – we signed up!
Whilst not exactly sure what to expect, we knew we needed comfy clothes, yoga mats, pillows and some water. We made sure we arrived in good time as we knew we wouldn’t be able to join late, so not to disrupt the proceedings. We set off with the sat nav., to a village around 30 mins away by car.
On arrival, we were welcomed in by Diana. The setting was your typical English village hall and the curtains were drawn to subdue the lighting. At the front of the room were some meditation bowls and various instruments. The area was decorated with some tasteful fairy lights. A dozen or so other people were already getting settled. We laid out our mats and snuggled into position under blankets.
The Sound Bath experience
Diana explained briefly to the group what was going to happen and then she got started with a meditation prayer, accompanied by some chimes. Following this, for the next 45 minutes or so, she played us a variety of sounds using a selection of instruments including rattles, bowls, a flute and bells. She also used her voice at times, chanting and singing. Sometimes she was moving around the room, at other times she was sat cross legged on a cushion.
Some sounds sounded and felt pleasant and soothing, in particular the deeper sounds and the singing. Others, including a rattle and some other higher pitched ones grated on me slightly.
Sometimes the sounds that we don’t like or feel uncomfortable to us, are the ones where the energy is stuck and the sound is disrupting in moving the stuck energy. The higher sounds relate to the higher chakras which are the more spiritual chakras and positioned in the forehead and crown.
As I have a busy mind this may have been why the higher sounds in particular grated on me. Each instrument plays its part in the healing. Discordant sounds as well as harmonious sound are important.
At the end of the session, there was 10 minutes of silence. This was to allow our bodies to digest what we’d been through.
To complete the session, Diana chanted another meditative prayer and then brought us back to the present.
Coming back to the present
Afterwards she explained that we may experience some other healing effects over the coming days, and not to be concerned by this, but to let her know if we have any questions or worries.
She then took the time to go around the room and speak with each person individually to find out how we were feeling and what our experience was. She also shared grapes with us. Grapes help with the subsequent grounding and are Diana’s favourite as they’re sweet and refreshing and a provide a really nice boost after the sound bath.
How was it?
Overall, we really enjoyed it. I took a little while to settle and then for around 20-30 mins I was really relaxed. I then became very aware of my daughter next to me. She had been pretty still up until now, taking it all in. She was now fidgeting and sighing. I was partly concerned about her, but also a little worried that she may be distracting others around us.
We ended snuggling up together: I rubbed her back and she soon fell asleep. I was able to relax again after this, but soon the sounds stopped and the 10 minutes of silence started. Although I was relaxed (the process of simply lying down generally has relaxing effect on me), I was much more awarethan I knew I could be.
I felt serene yet awake afterwards. Before the event I had wondered if I’d be OK to drive back afterwards, but this wasn’t a problem.
The only thing I didn’t like was Diana said to avoid alcohol for the rest of the day. I normally enjoy a small G&T on a Sunday night, but this a small price to pay.
As you probably know by now, I’m always up for trying new things. I think that my experience may have been better if I hadn’t been worrying about my daughter, but overall it was a lovely calming experience. I’m intrigued to see what comes over the coming days.
I’d definitely recommend trying a Sound Bath. It was a very enlightening experience and Diana was an amazing host and sound healer! In addition to the group classes, she also does 1:1s so get it touch if you’re interested at https://www.sound-mindandbody.co.uk
Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out more.