The very name of a sound bath makes the practice sound somewhat hokey. That said, until you’ve tried it, try not to pass judgment on it just because of its name. You might find that you’re far more impressed with the experience and all it entails than you’d expected to be.
What is a Sound Bath?
A sound bath is, at its very basic level, a listening experience. That said, it expands far more broadly than that. It is a full-body experience that is highly immersive, using audible vibrations to deliberately encourage therapeutic and restorative processes.
To experience a sound bath, you will either sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Many people wear an eye mask and use a blanket. Once settled, you’ll generally be encouraged to practice a guided meditation or mindful focus on the breath, while paying attention to the naturally occurring sounds within the space. Then, new sounds are gradually introduced using a range of different tools, which can include Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, vocals, chimes, gongs, and other instruments such as a shruti box (a type of instrument that functions on a bellows system). These are all employed to create various overtones within the space.
What is the Experience Like?
As you relax into the sound bath, you direct your awareness to listening. You’ll begin by actively paying attention to the sounds, but then simply guide the mind to ease from that state into a more relaxed one, or even one more closely resembling a dream. Each of the instruments and tools are selected to help you to disconnect from the world around you and pay more attention to what is going on within yourself.
The goal is to allow yourself to relax and rest deeply while taking the opportunity for some self-discovery, self-exploration and self-inquiry.
What Are the Benefits of a Sound Bath?
Most practitioners tend to refer to sound bath benefits as landing somewhere between the areas of meditation and music therapy. It touches into the benefits of both concepts, making it a highly accessible, non-invasive and drug-free tool for easing stresses, strains and tensions from busy lifestyles. Some people find that they experience pain reduction, clearer thoughts, better sleep and an overall quality of life improvement. These are all benefits associated with stress reduction on the whole. The practice is also meant to encourage better attention, as well as improvements to compassion, connection and empathy with others.