Sound meditation is the use of sound as a tool to cultivate and support deep relaxation. The purpose of sound meditation is to create a gentle, yet powerful experience that heals the body, clears the mind and heightens your meditation practice by helping rein in your attention. While there are different kinds of instruments used for sound meditation with their own benefits, there are three types of singing bowls - Tibetan, Crystal and Alchemy. The Alchemy singing bowl has increased in popularity over recent years due to the incredible healing powers behind the sound and its unique ability to penetrate our bodies.
The alchemy crystal bowls are made from 99.9% pure crushed quartz and heated to about 4000 degrees in a centrifugal mold. These bowls are advanced crystal singing bowls infused with colorful crystals, gemstones, minerals, and precious metals, such as gold, silver and platinum and are heated and blended in with the quartz bowls. They are simply stunning.
When the alchemy singing bowl is played, its materials are doing their own work to enhance the sounds we hear. The harmonic and pure tones made by alchemy singing bowls are not just heard by the ear, but by the whole body - with certain tones affecting your energy centers for meditation, balancing and healing. Because our bodies are also crystalline in structure, there can be overwhelming effects on the circulatory, metabolic and endocrine systems, as well as the organs, tissues and cells when working with alchemy singing bowls. The adult body is 75% water, and water is a great conductor for sound vibration. When vibrations travel through the body, it promotes circulation, energy flow, and rejuvenation. The frequency of the sound synchronizes with the brainwaves and activates destress responses in the body.
The optimal brainwave frequency for relaxation and de-stressing is between alpha (relaxed state) and theta (deep meditation and light sleep state), where we are conscious of our surroundings, but we feel deeply relaxed and in control of our thoughts and feelings. The alchemy singing bowls help transition you from beta (awake and alert) to theta (deep meditation and light sleep) during your sound meditation practice.
When alchemy bowls are played, they can help move us energetically to higher, more refined, vibratory frequencies. Often hearing the sound of an alchemy crystal singing bowl can initiate profound shifts in well-being, relaxation, awareness and expansion of consciousness.
Sound can shift frequencies from low energy of guilt and fear to higher vibrations of love and joy. Sound healing is the use of sacred instruments or voice to release energetic blockages inducing a state of ease and harmony in the body.” While there are many types of sound therapy, all of them produce vibrations that alter your brain waves.
Sound healing can help you clear energetic blockages and thus facilitate healing on a physical and mental level. Some of the benefits of sound therapy include:
lower stress levels
fewer mood swings
lower blood pressure
Over the years, sound healing has also been used to treat a number of conditions including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and dementia.
Experience Deep Rest with the practice of Yoga Nidra
According to the National Institute of Health, 70% of American adults report that they get insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. While there is definitely no substitute for a good night’s sleep, there is a combination of meditation and yoga that comes close to offering a great night’s sleep. It’s called Yoga Nidra. In fact, yoga and meditation experts believe that one 30-minute practice of Yoga Nidra equals approximately two hours of deep sleep. The best part about this particular practice is that you don’t need to practice yoga or twist yourself into any particular yoga pose. If you can lie down in savasana (corpse pose), then you’ve got it. The practice of Yoga Nidra is a yogic sleep and is a more meditative practice. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that has the power to transform, heal and rejuvenate you at core levels and it’s completely foolproof! There is absolutely no way to practice it wrong.
The first time I tried Yoga Nidra, I was perhaps a bit skeptical and curious. But after my first time, I realized it brought me to a totally relaxed, blissful state. I have explored the practice over the years and then I took a 40-hour teacher training because the practice has had such profound effects on me. Each time I experience the practice it is mystical for me. I lightly drift in and out of consciousness, knowing I am fully supported in a safe environment. I love to teach the class so others can have their own experience.
How Does Yoga Nidra Work?
There are several ways of practicing Yoga Nidra, but this specific practice takes you on a blissful journey through the five layers of the energetic body known as Koshas. While you are in a relaxed state, you are systematically and verbally guided through body sensing, breath awareness, and guided imagery to feel the five Kosha levels which represent the physical body, the energy-breath body, the mental-emotional body, the intuition-witness body, and the bliss body.
Yoga Nidra begins with setting a conscious intention, called your Sankulpa. This is your heart’s deepest desire. Then you simply let go and allow for deep relaxation of the body, mind, and emotions. Your unconscious can then open up to new ways of thinking, healing, and fulfilling your conscious intentions. Whether you want to try Yoga Nidra to help you relax and release stress, or you want to gain access to creating real positive changes in your life, the practice can help you reach your goals.
Find Transformation Within
One of the magical ways that Yoga Nidra works is by switching your body out of flight or fight response mode and into the rest and relaxation response. Many individuals today are in a constant state of anxiety. This practice is a perfect way to bring you back into balance which is exactly what your body needs to have occurred in order to be in its natural healing state. Your body knows exactly what to do to attain, and maintain perfect health and equilibrium. You have to find the method that works for you to switch into that healing modality. Yoga Nidra is the key that can help you bring you effortlessly, compassionately, and rapidly into relaxation and health.
Yoga Nidra can also give you access to the deeper levels of your true self so that you can feel a deeper connection. Yoga Nidra can assist you in being open to living to your fullest potential.
Seeing and feeling is believing…and, I can only educate you so much about Yoga Nidra through writing about it in my blog post. Real wisdom comes from experiencing the practice for yourself. Support yourself and practice self-care! Join me to experience Yoga Nidra and experience deeper levels of peace and health than you ever imagined possible. Give yourself permission to rest and restore, tapping into new sources of energy. Be supported, held, and nourished as you discover profound peace and vibrant health.
The Dynamic Duo - Yoga Nidra and Alchemy Crystal Bowls
For a deeper experience, I love pairing the Alchemy Crystal Bowls with the practice of Yoga Nidra. This is a perfect combination that I call the dynamic duo. Each practice alone creates an amazing experience, but together it's pure magic. The sounds of the bowls wash over you and through you as you are simply guided in meditation while lying in savasana. The perfect place to experience deep rest.
Did you know that what you say to yourself often shapes your thoughts and your reality? Stop and do a check-in. What dialogue does your inner voice most often indulge in? Does that little voice motivate you?
Does your inner voice serve your purpose? Or, does it whisper words of negativity?
Does it harm you rather than help you? Is it more an inner-critic than an inner-voice?
When it enters the realm of unreasonable negativity you're indulging in negative self-talk. This is only going to drag you down.
We will all experience negative self-talk at points throughout our lives. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but no matter what it looks like it brings us stress and anxiety. If you're not careful, that stress will spread to the people around you.
Here's what you really need to know.
Your negative self-talk can trick you into believing it's grounded. I'm not very good at this, so it's safer for me to avoid it.
Your negative self-talk can be cruel. I never get anything right.
Your negative self-talk can feel realistic. I didn't get the job, so I guess I'm not good at interviews.
Your negative self-talk can be total fantasy. I'm probably going to fail so I will never progress.
These musings often sound familiar – like a critical friend, boss, teacher, or parent. It's easy to start believing them when they mimic words and ideas that have already been expressed to you.
Negative self-talk tends to catastrophes and blame. It's inner dialogue that limits your progress, derails your abilities, and prevents you from achieving your potential. Negative self-talk is a thought that lessens your ability to effect positive changes in life. It isn't just stressful; it's stunting your success.
Negative self-talk can be damaging. When you focus on the negative it kills your motivation. It makes you feel helpless and it's likely going to contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The consequences of negative self-talk include perfectionism, depression, relationship challenges, and limited thinking.
If you want your self-talk to shape you in positive ways, then you have to learn how to minimize the negative aspects of your self-talk. Here are some ways on how to achieve that.
Catch The Critic
You can't stop your inner critic from running loose unless you pay attention and catch yourself in the act. If you notice your inner critic saying things you wouldn't say to a friend or loved one, then stop it in its tracks.
Sometimes it's hard to remember this, but your feelings and thoughts aren't necessarily reality. You may believe them to be astute observations, but they aren't always accurate. Just like anyone, your thoughts are subject to bias, mood influence, and can be skewed.
Your inner-critic has a special skill – it has the innate ability to find the negative in any and every situation. If it weren’t so maddening it would be almost impression. Give it a nickname so it's easier to dismiss it. Negative Nancy, Detrimental Dennis, whatever it is – when it starts the negativity cycle, you can simply dismiss it as [nickname] doing it again. It makes your inner critic seem less threatening and also helps highlight how silly some of those thoughts can be.
When you find your inner critic emerging it can be difficult to stop the chatter. In this situation, try to alter the language. Instead of saying I hate this say this is difficult. Instead of saying I hate try, I don't prefer. It's about toning down the intensity of the language your inner critic is using. You can mute the power of negative self-talk by forcing it to use gentler language.
Be Your Friend
When it is at its worst, your inner critic sounds like your nemesis. It says things that you would never say out loud to someone else. So, use that recognition to your advantage. When you catch your inner critic at it again, imagine yourself saying that to a friend. You wouldn't! This is a great way to correct negative self-talk.
Remember your thoughts are your own, but they do not describe you. Because you think or feel anxious, does not mean that you are anxious. It means you are experiencing the symptoms of anxiety, not that you are anxious.
If you are self-aware and mindful of behavior, then you can exercise choice over what you do right now. You can act not in response to the pressure of your thoughts and feelings, but because we are aware of what we value. The noticing is what is key. If you don’t notice what’s happening, then you can’t have a choice over how you respond to any situation.