You’ve probably heard of meditation, yoga, and maybe even breathing exercises, but there’s a new stress-relieving practice out there; sound bathing.
Pretty much anyone can use sound bathing to relax, and many cultures have their own version of this practice.
So, what exactly is sound bathing, and how does it work?
What is sound bathing?
Sound bathing (also called “sound meditation” or “sound therapy”) is the practice of being mindful while listening to different sounds that help relax the body and mind.
It can help you unwind after a stressful day, but it can also help people who have trouble sleeping.
Sound bathing can be done with therapeutic music, natural sounds, or instruments like singing bowls, tuning forks, and gongs. It can also involve chanting specific mantras to help you center yourself and focus on what’s happening at the moment.
One of the great things about sound bathing is that it doesn’t require any guidance. All you have to do to get the benefits is be present, listen and let yourself be emersed in the sound.
How does sound bathing work?
We know that sound affects the body’s physical and mental state. Most of us have probably experienced this firsthand when we listen to music that makes us feel better.
Fast and loud music might help you get pumped up for a workout or take on a difficult task, while slower and more mellow music might help you relax after a long day.
The idea behind sound bathing is that different sounds can help relax different parts of the body and mind.
Sound baths are sometimes called “sound meditations” because they help you focus on the moment.
With all of the distractions around us these days, it’s easy to forget about what’s happening right now, which is one of the reasons why so many people enjoy doing mindfulness exercises.
It can be easy to get caught up in the past or anxious about the future, but sound baths are a great way to center yourself and focus on what’s happening in real-time.
How to experience a sound bath
Get comfy, whether that’s sitting up or lying down.
You can close your eyes or keep them open, whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Begin listening, focusing on the sounds without trying to judge or analyze them.
Allow the music to wash over your body and give yourself permission to switch off.
You don’t need to think about anything; you can simply be.
If your mind wanders, don’t worry. Just bring your attention back to the music.
Try to be fully present at the moment, feeling the music in your body.
If you’re using gongs or singing bowls, notice how it feels when the sound reverberates inside of your body.
Also, notice how the sound changes and evolves throughout the experience.
Let the music carry you away as it moves from one tone to the next.
Continue for as long as you want to, letting yourself get carried away by the sound and relaxing as the music unfolds.
Sound bath benefits
There are lots of benefits to sound bathing.
The obvious benefit is that it can help you relax, which reduces stress and tension.
Some people say that the practice can help you become more spiritual because it’s a way to get back to a more natural and pure state.
It can help you become more in tune with your body and mind, and it might even help you look at things in a new way.
Since sound baths are about getting out of your head and focusing on the moment, they can also help you become more mindful.
If you struggle to sleep at night, sound baths can help put you in a relaxed state that makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
People who have trouble falling asleep often find themselves in a cycle of trying to go to bed earlier and earlier, but this can backfire.
Sound baths can help you break that cycle and get a better night’s sleep.
What do you wear to a sound bath?
You should wear comfy clothes that allow you to relax.
Jogging trousers, leggings or even pajamas are good choices.
You want to wear soft materials that won’t irritate you.
How long is a sound bath?
Sound baths typically last for 1 hour – 2 hours, but you can choose a length that works for you.
Try going with the 30-minute approach if you don’t want to commit to a longer session.
How often should you do a sound bath?
You should do a sound bath once or twice a week, to get the maximum benefits.
If you live a stressful life, then you might want to do them more often.
Remember that sound baths are about getting out of your head and focusing on the moment, so you can do them as often as you like.
Sound baths are a great way to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life.
Different sounds can affect you differently, so it’s worth trying out various types to see which ones you like the best.
You might find that some sounds don’t work for you, but there’s bound to be one or two that do.
Be open to the experience and trust yourself as you let the music take you away.