By Tess Hardy
Considering it was Stress Awareness week last week, we thought it was very fitting to continue the exploration of meditation by reviewing sound therapy and Gong baths! How can they restore and recharge us? We sought out some practices for first-hand experience.
Gong Bath with Zerya Shakely
Zerya specialises in sound healing and gong bath meditation. I attended one of her monthly sessions at the Lion and Lamb in Shoreditch for a wonderfully calm and relaxing evening.
So what happens during a gong bath?
You ‘bathe’ in healing sound waves (no water involved!) – all you have to do is simply lie down, relax and enjoy the sounds. I would say it is a mix of both, concentrative and mindfulness meditation; you focus on the sounds but it also requires receptivity and awareness. Throughout the session, Zerya skillfully used a gong, rain stick and chimes to stimulate meditative states, allowing the mind, body and nervous system to quickly calm and deeply relax.
There is a science behind the deep healing frequencies of the gong and the healing power of sound; Zerya explained, ‘if you play on top of the gong it will activate the crown chakra and if you play at the bottom it will activate the lower chakras’.
I found the evening to be a truly holistic first experience. The sounds of the gong put you in a trance and into an imaginative state. My sister even experienced some lucid dreams.
Listening to the chimes was an especially magical moment for me and I left feeling tranquil and alleviated. I think if you are comfy and warm enough, it is easier to connect with your own stillness within and makes for a far better experience.
I definitely had a good night’s sleep that night and woke up feeling very Zen the morning after. This practice allows you to let go. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to enter that mind-body connection and use it as a chance to re-balance in a space of total rest.
Other Practices for Sound Therapy and Meditation
Re:Mind aims to bring calm to busy Londoners in their studio based in Victoria, offering a sustainable space to recover, heal and transform any stresses of city life. Their sound healing class harnesses the transformative effects of sound vibration and frequencies to nourish and rejuvenate us from head to toe. To find out more, click here!
Levitate has connected the mind, body and soul since 2018, offering drop-in classes, courses and talks across London. Founder, Ryan Nell, believes in being part of a community and lifting each other up by teaching our busy minds the tips and tricks of meditation and mindfulness. You have the opportunity to sharpen, join in, awaken, let go and most of all, levitate! If you would like to book a class, click here!
Want to try an evening of Gong Baths & Sound Healing Therapy?
Why not join Sahaj Singh and Sarah Drai from Yogi2Me for an evening of ‘getting gonged’ and sound healing in their upcoming event in Notting Hill?! They are hosting an event for the Sustainable Pop-Up Christmas Edition on Tuesday 19th November, 7-8:30pm. Be sure to pop on down to experience this powerful therapy for yourself! Also, more information about The Sustainable Pop Up & its founder on this week’s ‘In Conversation With’ series here.
Check out these upcoming sound therapy classes in different locations of London:
- ‘Thursday Gong Sound Bath’ – The Greenhouse, Stoke Newington, Thursday 5th December, 7-8pm early session, 8:30-9:30pm late session, £19 including booking fee.
- ‘Wind Down Wednesday: A Midweek Sound Journey’ – 3Tribes Studio 3, Borough, Wednesday 18th December, 6:30-8pm, £25.
- Sound baths at Crystal Sound Lounge, Paddington, varied times on Tuesdays and weekends, £18 per session.
- Gong bath workshops with Prakashjot Kaur, Welling High Street, every other Saturday, 12-1pm, £10.
These forms of meditation aid relaxation and natural healing. They will soothe the mind, yet awaken our field of awareness and harness positive vibrations. If you need to reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain or sleep disorders, a gong bath is most definitely worth a try. And if all else fails, I can guarantee that you will have a well-needed (and deserved) hour-long snooze – one that you will not want to miss!