Most of us move through the world seeing everything around us as just that: the outside world, stuff, objects. There’s a chair, there’s the wall, there’s my glass of rosé, etc. But if you stop to think about it, it becomes clear that that’s not quite the case. We’re made up of the same stuff that makes up everything else, and therefore, connected to our surroundings on a fundamental level.
This is the jumping off point for the practice of sound healing. When sound frequencies move through a space, we are part of that space, and our bodies resonate with those frequencies, which can have deep effects on our breath, our blood flow, our cellular movement, our biorhythms, our thoughts — indeed, our consciousness as a whole. Sound healing is all about tuning into the world around us through the medium of sound to facilitate the body’s natural rejuvenation process. And yes, you most definitely need this in your life.
Of course, this practice isn’t so mysterious: think of how often live music is compared to religious experiences in common explanations of ecstasy (they don’t call it Trance music for nothing). Chanting om in your yoga class, saying prayers aloud, background music during a healing session: sound has a deep effect on us.
Sound healing takes many forms — from sound baths and crystal bowls to mantras and gongs. Here are some of the The Standard's practitioners' different approaches. Whichever you endeavor to try, they all aim for more or less the same effect: total relaxation.
Andrew Clark of 1111 Vibes, who uses crystal singing bowls, Reiki, and guided meditation in his practice, explains that, “working with sound and vibration further integrates the body into the gravitational movement of earth as a whole.” We highly recommend getting integrated with gravity, people!
Jiwan Kaur, a Kundalini Yoga teacher, employs use of a gong for a long, post-yoga meditation, and finds that it secures the inextricable link between body, soul, and planet: “The entire universe was built on sound, on vibration. The sound of the symphonic gong creates deep relaxation, reduces tension, releases blocks, and brings the mind to a total calm.”
An example of gong meditation:
Sara Auster, a yoga teacher and certified sound therapy practitioner focuses on harmonic instruments like singing bowls, tuning forks, among many other harmonic instruments. "The sound of harmonic instruments stimulates the alpha and theta brain waves which slow down the heart and respiratory rates, creating a therapeutic effect.”
Total Silence. Wait, What?
Dr. Tanya Pergola, author / yoga and meditation instructor, teaches Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM), a practice that originated in India. This type of Sound Healing works a little differently — in fact, there’s no actual sound at all. “Primordial sounds are the basic, most essential sounds of nature. PSM is actually a silent practice. You do not chant anything out loud, but rather, repeat a mantra silently to yourself. It is a proper meditation practice, which is probably one of the best antidotes to stress. Studies have shown that regular practice of meditation normalizes blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and strengthens the immune system. There is even evidence that shows that regular practice increases the activity of the enzyme telomerase, which in turn helps mitigate cell aging.”
If this all sounds promising, and it should, your best bet is to try sound healing for yourself. The Standard, Miami Beach offers a full spectrum of sound healing workshops to help you feel the vibrations.