:: a sound mind in a sound body ::
Benefits of A Sound Meditation Practice:
- Dramatically reduces stress & anxiety
- Improves sleep & decreases symptoms of insomnia
- Increases ability to focus & concentrate
- Improves memory & cognition
- Heightens creativity & imagination
- Develops a greater sense of willpower & self-control
- Helps build greater self-esteem & self-confidence
- Increases conscientiousness & compassion toward others
- Boosts the immune system
- Decreases symptoms of depression, PTSD, & ADHD
Reasons For Using Sound As A Meditation Tool:
If you are new to the practice of meditation, or even if you are a well-seasoned practitioner, it can at times be incredibly difficult attempting to sit in silence for even just a few minutes without feeling overwhelmed by one's thoughts and becoming uncomfortable from this attempt at a more "slowed down" existence.
However, by having a soothing and resonant source of sound available to pour one's attention over to, allows a practitioner of meditation to remain still both physically and mentally for much longer periods of time, especially for those who are brand new to trying out meditation.This is why sound, and in particular Tibetan singing bowls and gongs, are such invaluable tools in helping to both simplify, enhance, and make our meditation practices more enjoyable.
How Exactly Is This Achieved?:
The resonant sound vibrations of these instruments create an interplay of harmonics and overtones that the brain responds to and synchronizes with, which almost instantly engages the nervous system's relaxation response (commonly known as parasympathetic nervous system response), and disengages the fight or flight/stress response (sympathetic nervous system response). This shift in brain chemistry and nervous system response produces for the listener, almost without any effort, a relaxed, and naturally motivated inner state of calmness and well being, which sets up the perfect internal environment to learn, initiate healing, and more effectively process experiences both new and old.
Furthermore, as the listener's nervous system interacts with the sounds of the instruments their brainwaves entrain to the frequencies of the bowls, allowing for the heart and respiratory rates to synchronize, the nervous system to slow down, and a profound shift in consciousness and physiological state to occur. It is in this altered state of consciousness that most, even beginners of meditation, are able to access with clarity, new insights, creative "ah ha" moments, and achieve entirely new levels of self-awareness that are common to deep meditation and those have long-standing practices.
Sound Meditation As A Complement To Your Yoga Practice:
Combined with a movement based practice such as yoga, the subtle, yet powerfully influential sounds of the singing bowls can further facilitate a practitioner's proper use of breath and movement flow; providing a greater sense of attentiveness and focus during their practice, which helps to avoid unnecessary strain and tension while holding the poses for prolonged periods of time, as well as increasing their abilities to move in a more harmonious way throughout many common resistances such as physical discomfort, pain, tightness, fatigue, mental distraction, and emotional holding patterns.