What Is Sound Meditation & Why You Should Try It
Incorporating self-care into your routine is a crucial aspect of looking after your overall well-being. However, busy schedules make it easy to let self-care rituals slip through the cracks. Maybe you are able to squeeze in a five-minute meditation over your lunch break or a ten-minute yoga flow before you head to work for the day, but we believe you should have more time to focus on yourself.
Countless self-care practices can help center your mind and help improve your health, such as massages, yoga, meditation, long walks, cooking, and more. While you might be familiar with some of these practices, introducing a new form of self-care into your life will give you another tool to relax and de-stress.
If you have never heard of sound meditation, here is your ultimate guide to this restorative and calming self-care practice.
What Is Meditation?
Deriving from the Latin word meditatu, which means “to ponder,” meditation focuses on allowing your thoughts to slow down and your body to relax. Dating as far back as 1500 BCE, meditation has been consistently relied on for relaxation and grounding.
The historical influences of meditation can be traced all around the world and are mixed with religious origins. However, each instance of meditation focused on stillness, breathing techniques, and self-awareness. These key features of meditation have been carried into modern-day mindfulness and are used to foster spiritual, mental, and physical health in those who practice.
There are many different forms of meditation, including mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, T’ai Chi, Qigong, and yoga. However, an increasingly popular form of this restorative practice is sound meditation.
What Is Sound Meditation?
Some people use a sound machine with noises of birds, rushing waterfalls, and gentle rain, to lull them to sleep. Some have a calming playlist that they listen to when they are feeling anxious or nervous about a big event. Regardless of what type of sounds comfort you, our bodies respond to sound on a neurological level and can be soothed by calming noises.
Sitting down to meditate requires you to focus on your breathing and attempt to clear your mind of any thoughts or concerns. This can be difficult for some people, as they find to-do lists, their favorite songs, and old conversations constantly replaying in their heads. However, sound meditation uses the soothing nature of sounds to aid participants in entering a more serene state.
As you close your eyes and get your body into a comfortable position, you can focus on the calming sounds rather than the swirling thoughts in your head and allow them to carry you into meditative bliss.
Sound meditation can utilize any type of sound, but the most common tools are singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs, rattlers, and chanting.
Where Can You Experience Sound Meditation?
While you can invest in these tools yourself and try your hand with at-home sound meditation, being led by a sound meditation expert will increase your feelings of peacefulness and serenity.
On an Outdoor Retreat
If you are turning to sound meditation for feelings of relaxation or to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, you might want to consider taking a weekend trip that is fully dedicated to self-care and serenity. There is nothing more calming for the body than immersing yourself in nature, so enjoying sound meditation practices while on an outdoor retreat will amplify the positive benefits.
Take advantage of the expansive and beautiful scenery in Texas Hill Country by taking an immersive and restorative weekend trip. Additionally, if you choose to stay with Collective Retreats, you will have access to sound meditation sessions that are designed to center your mind, body, and soul.
Take a deep breath and relax into the pillows, yoga mat, and fluffy blankets that are provided while the relaxing sounds of sound bowls ease any tension in your body. After sixty minutes of pure, peaceful bliss, you will feel refreshed and restored.
Meditating while surrounded by nature is an unparalleled experience, and you may want to enjoy a comfortable evening of luxury to continue your self-care journey. Collective Retreats offers ideal indoor/outdoor accommodations that will make you feel connected to nature without forcing you to give up everyday luxuries.
After a peaceful night of sound meditation, retreat back to your tent for a long, hot shower in your en suite bathroom and tuck yourself into your king bed under thick, high-quality bedding.
Health Benefits Behind the Use of Sound Meditation
Sound meditation has countless benefits that result in a healthier mind, body, and soul. Here’s how this type of meditation can increase your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
If you are on a week-long vacation, have just finished a busy work season, or are just in need of some relaxation, sound meditation might be the perfect solution. During busy or stressful periods of our lives, it can be difficult to find the time to decompress and let our minds and bodies relax.
However, taking part in a sound meditation class ensures you have the space and time to unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, and let your mind feel at peace.
Reduce Stress and Sadness
Beyond allowing your body and mind to relax, sound meditation can also significantly decrease feelings of stress and sadness. Sound meditation trains your brain to stay in the moment, which can be difficult to do if you struggle with stress.
During particularly stressful periods, your mind can wander into dangerous places and put disproportionate importance on the past or future. With sound meditation, however, your brain will have the tools and space necessary to refocus and feel centered on the present moment.
Similar to those who experience stress, periods of sadness can lead to a stream of negative thoughts. This can include feelings of self-judgment, hopelessness, or insignificance. With sound meditation, you can help your brain learn how to pay attention to these thoughts and feelings, allowing them to pass through without critique or judgment.
Rather than ignoring your feelings, sound meditation encourages you to disrupt your negative thought cycles by learning to accept them and let them go.
Tools That Harness the Healing Power of Sound
While there isn’t one right way to practice sound meditation, a handful of tools are regarded as the most helpful for relaxation and mindfulness practices.
Crystal Singing Bowls
Tibetan singing bowls have been used for healing practices for thousands of years, and you may have already seen them in spas or yoga studios. Originally an ancient practice used for traditional ceremonies, these beautiful instruments have been utilized throughout history for their ability to induce deep relaxation.
The bowls used in sound therapy can vary in shape and size, each producing a different sound that induces a meditative state. They can vary in pitch and volume, and they are often in used in combination with each other for a unique sound.
If you partake in a sound meditation class, the sound expert will likely use a collection of bowls with complimentary music notes to create a symphony of healing sounds.
Tuning Forks and Chimes
If you are a musician, you are well acquainted with tuning forks. These two-pronged devices vibrate when struck and produce a specific frequency sound, which can be helpful for musicians looking to tune their instruments and get their sounds in sync with each other. However, not only are these little tools helpful for musicians, but they also produce a consistent calming sound that can be incorporated into guided meditation.
While some sound experts will simply strike tuning forks of different frequencies during meditation for calming purposes, some people believe they can provide localized relief to the body — a concept known as sound healing. Striking the tuning forks near certain parts of your body can release energy blockages or encourage a psychological reaction that can potentially ease any bodily pain.
Chanting Your Way Into a Relaxed State
Chanting is a method often used by yogis to help the body feel connected to the present moment. When your mind becomes cluttered with thoughts, focusing on a simple repetitive chant can help clear your head and bring you back to feeling centered.
A simple chant or mantra can be your anchor to ground you in your meditative practice and can even calm your nervous system while encouraging mind-body connection.
Additionally, chanting alongside others during a collective sound meditation session can be a wonderful way to foster a sense of community and make you feel connected to the people around you.
Meditation is a wonderful practice that can produce many positive benefits for your mental health. Furthermore, sound meditation is also proven to provide relaxation and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression while making it easier for participants to clear their minds and enter a state of serenity.
If you are looking for a peaceful, restorative getaway, book a trip in Hill Country with Collective Retreats for on-site sound meditation sessions, comfortable accommodations, and more.