Test More, Live More: Gong Bath Meditation
The editorial team at #LIVEMORE is intrigued by anything “new age,” like reiki and binaural beats (as well as innovative yoga classes, like Buti Yoga , of course!). When one of our journalists heard about gong baths – a form of sound therapy – she knew that she had to try it. After a bit of research, a full moon gong bath was scheduled at the Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche Center in Paris, France. Below you’ll find her thoughts on the session, which spoiler alert: she loved!
FULL MOON GONG BATH WITH SWANN AT RASA YOGA RIVE GAUCHE
I’ve always been a curious person, so when I heard that a bath without water existed I wanted to know more about it right away. A gong bath wakes up your cells and “bathes” you in soothing sound vibrations that are felt throughout the body. During the session I discovered that not only did these vibrations come from the gongs themselves, but other healing instruments as well, like Tibetan signing bowls and chimes.
Lots of research has been conducted on the topic of sound therapy and its health benefits. A gong bath can help:
-Relieve anxiety (which can help reduce cortisol levels and keep those blemishes at bay)
-Help release toxins (which is always great for the skin!)
-Place you into a state of deep relaxation (through the stimulation of theta waves)
-Strengthen your immune system
-Release any blocked energy
The gong bath I was scheduled for was, from what I was told, even more beneficial than a traditional gong bath. A full moon gong bath uses more gongs and instruments than usual, in order to be in tune with the powerful energy that is emitted during this lunar phase.
When I walked through the courtyard of the building where the Rasa Yoga center is located, I felt a wave of relaxation wash over me. It was very quiet and a nice change from the bustling city streets.
I had to remove my shoes when I walked through the door, and then place my things in the locker room. I was told to wear comfortable clothes for the session, and since my work clothes were already loose-fitting, I didn’t need to change. I entered the gong bath room and it was mostly lit with natural light coming from the skylight above, the scent of Palo Santo was wafting in the air, people were readjusting their pillows and blankets, and the Sound Healer, Swann, was preparing everything for the session.
Before the gong bath began, Swann asked everyone to ensure that their phones were turned off completely (not just switched into airplane mode). He explained that any other vibrations during the session would disrupt and break the experience. He gave us some history about gong baths, as well as information about what to expect during the session. Swann then told us to close our eyes and either lie down or stay in a seated positon – whatever felt best.
The first sounds of the gongs seemed almost other-worldly, and some of them even sounded like animals (elephants especially). I could feel myself getting goosebumps in the beginning of the session, and then very slowly I began to completely relax. My mind stopped focusing on anything at all, and I even fell asleep at one point! Once the hour and a half session was over, Swann gently woke everyone up and informed us to rehydrate a lot once we got home, just like you would after a massage.
I thoroughly enjoyed my full moon gong bath experience. However, there are a few things to take into consideration before you book one yourself:
-This is a group meditation, so be prepared to hear light rustling as people change positions, as well as loud yawning (there was a lot of that during my session!).
-Each person will have their own very unique experience when they go for a gong bath. Don’t expect to “feel” the same things I, or anyone else, has felt.
-Be aware that you could experience intense emotions and your other senses could become slightly heightened (mine was my hearing, for example). It’s nothing serious, just something to think about.
I think gong baths are great, and I recommend you try it out yourself. They’ll help you feel more centered, as well as calmer, which can give you clear and beautiful, glowing skin. If you’re ever in Paris and would like to attend one of Swann’s Full Moon Gong Baths, check out Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche’s event schedule. However, until then, feel free to check out Swann’s relaxing recording of a Gong Bath Sunset!