So as promised, after a few hectic weeks I am returning to share about my weekend Yoga for Anxiety and Depression retreat…
One of the most interesting experiences was not at all part of the workshop I attended. In the evenings at the Ananda Ashram, Yoga Society of New York located in Monroe, NY http://www.anandaashram.org there were optional activities. I was curious about something called a “Gong Bath” and understood it is part of sound healing. I figured I would give it a try.
I entered this large hall with easily 100 people lying down on yoga mats. There were gongs of all sizes on each end of the hall. There was a team of about 10 people who played the instruments for an hour long meditation.
The above YouTube video comes close to the sounds I heard but amplified by the number of instruments and musicians. Of course the vibration in the room was different then what you might get from your computer. I highly recommend reading the introduction as it speaks more about the philosophy behind this practice. And if you do not have 42 minutes for the entire audio then check-out the link below which is an amazing 12 minute version of a gong bath.
The best way I can describe my experience is that it was immense, chilling and beautiful. For those of you who are interested in or have tried meditating, incorporating the sounds of the gong adds another level. I found it kept my mind from wandering. Strangely enough, at times it was difficult to differentiate if the sounds were coming from the outside world or were reverberating from my internal world. I felt truly connected.
I realize this practice is not for everyone and the sounds at times were dramatic and even frightening- like a storm brewing and then at times releasing. But if you know you are in a safe place and can hang on for the ride it is well worth it!
As the bath drew to an end they played kasha chimes which was quite a magical ending to the experience. I could not help but smile; it reminded me of fairies dancing on the wind.
So as we turn the page, from the election and head toward the holiday season, I invite you to sit or lay back and give a gong bath a try! To hold on to the experience you can even do an art piece or some writing following your cleansing 🙂