After an incredible three months of learning yoga, meeting wonderful people and absorbing myself into life in Rishikesh, I couldn’t have ended my time here in a better way.
I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to experience a spontaneous free sound healing session with Tibetan singing bowls after meeting Sanjay Tiwari from Maaya International Healing School and Rishikesh Guru Peeth.
This is my singing bowl/ sound healing review — even though it has been a hard experience to put into words.
Singing bowls are not for fashion
Before my treatment, Sanjay made it clear that a singing bowl is not a fashion accessory or something that just sounds nice.
My mind wandered to my small green and gold bowl sitting on top of my fireplace back home. Admittedly, I have limited knowledge about singing bowls, but this session certainly opened up my senses to the power of sound healing, and made me realise that there is a lot more to these beautiful instruments than I originally thought.
Next, I got to try out some of the singing bowls. One at a time I placed them on the palm of my left hand and only had to tap lightly on the side to profoundly feel the vibrations in different parts of my body. The sounds lasted a long time after only applying a small amount of pressure.
Even if you don’t believe in chakras, you could definitely feel the different vibrations in the parts of the body they were designed for. For example, all the rich deep tones could be felt lower down in my body and the higher sounds could be felt from my chest up into my head.
Sanjay explained that all the singing bowls he used had been carefully handmade using a variety of mixed metals which explained why they sounded and felt so different to many of the other bowls available on the market. Apparently it’s common for singing bowls to be machine made and then beaten to give them the dimpled effect so they look like they’re handmade.
Floating on sound
The session began with me lying supine on a white mat on the floor of the sound healing room with my eyes closed. In one corner was a huge gong, and at the front, a photo of Osho. Good start.
Tibetan handmade mixed metal singing bowls were then placed systematically around me — each one, carefully designed to correspond to a different chakra.
The session began with an overwhelmingly deep sound which I could feel throughout my whole being. I felt myself physically vibrate and immediately tears started to form — not in a bad way — the sound just made me feel like I was really alive — in a similar way to diving into an ice cold lake (I love this sensation but I realise the analogy might not appeal to everyone) or going into a deep meditative state. It felt like I had dissolved into the sounds and was bathing in vibration and deep peace.
As a child, I always wondered what it would feel like to be light enough to float on clouds. The higher sounds really did create the sensation of floating in the sky.
The session lasted an hour, but I lost concept of time and just allowed myself to melt into the sound, where I was able to feel the interconnectedness of my whole body and mind.
Yoga is often described as union between you and the cosmic soul. I believe sound healing must work in a similar way, but these thoughts are all subjective. There are, however, very few situations in life where I’ve experienced this feeling of melting and I feel really grateful to have been given this opportunity.
Afterwards I lay there in silence for a while before coming back to a seated position. As I slowly moved, my senses felt sharpened and clearer. I think my first words after the session were “That was incredible.” For the rest of the evening I felt so light — like I was floating as I walked, but at the same time I felt grounded and connected to the world around me.
Maybe this was all sensation, but I genuinely believe that sound has the potential to heal. I didn’t have a particular issue or pain I needed to work on, but commonly, Sanjay and the rest of Maayaa Healing Arts will work with people who have a wide range of physical and emotional psychological illnesses such as depression, menstrual difficulties and pain in general.
As a yoga teacher, I genuinely believe that we store emotions throughout our physical and emotional bodies. I’m not, however, in a position right now to explain how this works, but intuitively it makes so much sense to me.
It’s as if we allow a large portion of ourselves to sleep for most of the day, so when we allow these dormant parts to wake up in vibration and dance, it feels amazing — as if we’re experiencing ourselves in our natural state of being.
Thank you once again to MAAYAA Healing Arts for letting me experience this. It’s made my time in Rishikesh all the more memorable.
For more information about sound healing you can visit MAAYAA International Healing School
Sound healing on the Guru Yog Peeth teacher training
And finally, Sanjay Tiwari who gave me the sound healing session is also the owner of Guru Yoga Peeth in Rishikesh. They run a wide range of courses including a 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher training that includes sound healing, weekly meetings with an Ayurvedic doctor and lots more.