Hitting the Right Note
I sank into Savasana, wholeheartedly melting into stillness. Eyes closed, the once-distinct boundaries of my skin dissolved while thoughts evaporated into a sleepy haze. Post-asana energy hummed and whirled through my limbs. My teacher sat in the front of the room, quiet, erect, cross-legged. With a singing bowl in hand, he circled the wooden wand around the bowl's rim, radiating a lullaby to the blissful yoginis in the room.
Those moments always felt like magic to me. Somehow the all-pervading sound of the bowl, like the mysterious embrace of a whale's song, never failed to seduce me into deeper surrender.
Now, as a yoga teacher myself, I too look for ways to help deepen my students' engagement with yoga. Sometimes I do this by playing calming music during Savasana, leading a full-body relaxation technique, or simply letting students rest in the silence of meditation. But what they love most are the times when I pick up my Tibetan singing bowl, rest it in the palm of my left hand, and serenade them into vibrant stillness.
The Lure of Resonance
Traditionally used throughout Asia to enhance Buddhist and shamanic rituals, today singing bowls are ubiquitous. Around the world, many use these healing instruments to enhance meditation, relaxation, or religious practices.
Jeannine Dietz, a yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, and vibrational healer of Om on the Bay in Annapolis, Maryland, specializes in incorporating crystal singing bowls into her work. Like many, her inspiration arose from experiencing their power for herself.
"I first was introduced to singing bowls during a yoga teacher training," Dietz remembers. "One evening we did a chakra meditation accompanied by a frosted crystal singing bowl. The first sounding of the bowl had me hooked. It resonated with the deepest part of me, and I immediately knew my path."
Since then, Dietz has researched the interrelationships between yoga, singing bowls, chakras, chanting, and affirmations. As a result, she developed a workshop that incorporates all of these components into a full-spectrum therapeutic experience.
The Healing Power of Sound
"We are all vibrational beings," Dietz declares. "The vibration [of singing bowls] heals not only on a physical level but also on mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. The sound they produce is ethereal, haunting, and magical—probably like nothing you have ever heard before."
Frank Perry sounds the same note. Based in the United Kingdom, Perry, an accomplished musician with more than 30 years of experience working with singing bowls, now owns nearly 250 of them.
"Sound transcends words and can allow us to enter our higher mind and receive spiritual teaching," he maintains. "As we listen to the bowl, we can more easily enter the world of stillness and silence deep within."
Giving the Gift of Sound
During your classes, there are several ways that you can incorporate singing bowls into your usual repertoire. The simplest way is to simply strike the bowl with the mallet, as you would an ordinary bell or chime, to signal the start or end of class.
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