Music has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I spent many afternoons playing records with my mom and dancing in the living room. These days I take a fitness dance class at the gym, play music and dance in the kitchen when we are cooking dinner, and spend hours going through music to make playlists for my yoga classes.
I have always wished that I was more musical. I love to sing, but am not so good at carrying a tune. I’ve dabbled with playing a couple of instruments here and there (guitar and bongos), but I have never taken the time to really learn. I got into Kirtan years ago when I was first in yoga teacher training, but I haven’t been to a Kirtan event in a while. I will occasionally close my yoga classes with chanting OM, and love to feel the vibration from everyone’s voices.
I recently decided to try my hand at a Tibetan Singing Bowl. I opted for a handcrafted bowl from @shantibowl. Shanti Bowl’s singing bowls are made of “panchaloga, which is a Sanskrit word meaning a five-metal alloy that includes copper, zinc, iron, and traces of gold and silver.” It took a few attempts, and some help from a retreat participant, for me to learn the technique. I learned how to hold the bowl with a flat hand, and the correct amount of pressure to use for the mallet against the bowl. I love listening to the bowl sing now that I’ve gotten the hang of it.
I have always envied my mother and brother for their natural creative talents, and now I have another outlet (other than writing) that suits me. Sound is a powerful energy that can either intensify my mood, or turn my mood around when I’m feeling down.
Per the Shanti Bowl website, some of the many benefits of the vibrations created by a singing bowl are “reducing stress, positively affecting the nervous and immune systems, inhibiting pain, combating depression, and balancing the chakras.” The vibrations from a singing bowl are said to help balance the right and left sides of the brain, and bring your body and mind into harmony. With this synchronization, you may be better able to enter a meditative state and engage in creative thinking.
I look forward to using my singing bowl in my yoga classes and to prepare for meditation. We want to hear from you! Share with us by commenting below: what does sound and music mean to you?