What is a Sound Bath? Jamie Ford Explains the Healing Benefits of Sound

sound bath jamie ford one down dog

 

We’re really looking forward to the upcoming sound bath on May 29th, led by Jamie Ford! Relax in savasana as the healing tones of planetary gongs and crystal singing bowls bathe you in vibration. Together, we will reach deep states of relaxation and meditation. Leave feeling “re-tuned”, restored and rebalanced.

jamie-ford-sound-bathWe asked Jamie a few questions to get to know her and learn what to expect from the upcoming sound bath.

Jamie’s intention is to help people experience more joy in their lives. She does this through her passion for sound and yoga. Jamie plays Paiste Planetary Gongs and crystal singing bowls, and has been healing with sound for nearly 10 years.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a California native and have lived in LA for about 16 years. While I’ve lived a few other places I am currently really enjoying living in LA. I”m married, no kids, but have a dog and a cat. My focus in life is joy and in my “work” I like to help others experience more joy and happiness on a regular basis.

What is a sound bath?

A sound bath is like a concert with gongs and crystal singing bowls. I work with gongs tuned to the orbital properties of the planets, sun, moon, and other celestial bodies so the energy of the cosmos are brought into the experience. Generally participants lay in savasana and just receive the sounds. The resonance of the instruments is strong and it’s not just an auditory experience – it’s also like receiving a sound massage. Most people experience deep states of relaxation and altered states of consciousness….some people fall asleep. You can also treat the sound bath as a meditation and focus your mind on the sounds. When doing this the experience can greatly expand consciousness, increase mental focus and awareness, and give you all the benefits of meditation. Generally people leave sound baths feeling relaxed, balanced, and re-tuned (and sometimes ready for a nap!).

What was your first introduction to sound baths and how did you get started?

I took my first yoga class in 2000 and the teacher played a gong at the end. I was immediately in love! I would go to class just to hear the gong and would be so upset if it weren’t played at the end. I credit the gong with sparking my interest in yoga. At the time I was in college studying Biology and had absolutely no idea that I would make gongs my career! I worked as a biologist for about 9 months, quit and decided to go to acupuncture school. It is there that I discovered energy work and soon massage. I enjoyed doing massage more than the idea of acupuncture so I started a massage business. About a year in I found tuning forks online and thought it would be fun to add them in to sessions. I loved working with sound and saw amazing benefits in my clients. I soon found a teacher who had gongs, bowls, and other sound instruments. I learned that gongs could be tuned to the planets and it was then I decided I would get them all and play the sounds of the universe for people. I bought my first gong (Jupiter), which I just played for my clients, and then another year later got a couple more and gave my first sound bath. That was about 9 years ago and I still absolutely love doing sound baths. They are so fun and creative – each one is different.

What kind of sounds do you create, what instruments do you use and what are the healing aspects of the sound, if any?

In sound baths I use primarily gongs and crystal bowls. In private sessions I use my voice, tuning forks, gongs, bowls, drums, rattles, and other sound instruments. I work with many types of sound as they all bring a different flavor to the session and can offer a different healing experience. Sound has been used for healing, increasing awareness, altering states of consciousness and more since the dawn of the human race. Chanting, singing, drumming are all important parts of indigenous cultures. There are many ways in which sound can create healing and a lot of research is being conducted now as interest in sound healing grows. One way sound can help create deep states of relaxation is through altering our brainwave states. When our brainwave state moves from the normal waking state (Beta) down to Alpha (conscious relaxed state), Theta (dreamlike state), and sometimes even delta (deep sleep) we experience a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, our bodies relax, our breath deepens, and we move into a receptive state where deep healing can occur.

Sound has profound affects on our nervous system – helping to turn on our parasympathetic nervous system which is our relaxation response. Many of us spend too much time with an active sympathetic nervous system, which is our fight or flight response….when we can active our parasympathetic nervous system we give our bodies a chance to relax and heal. Through all of the various tones of the gongs and bowls the body is offered an opportunity to resonate with a healing frequency as opposed to entraining with a harmful one. You are in essence giving your body, mind, and energy an opportunity to shift to a higher frequency and let go of lower vibrational thoughts, emotions, and other issues.

What do you hope to share and what can people expect during your sound bath?

Each sound bath can yield a very different experience. No two are the same and your experience will have to do with the gongs I bring, the group you are with, the location, how you are feeling, how I’m feeling, what is happening planetarily and much more. Sometimes you may be very relaxed and even fall asleep, other times you may feel activated and have a hard time laying still. Neither is better than the other – they are just different. Generally people can expect to feel more calm, receptive, and balanced afterwards but sometimes the sound will activate what needs to be cleared out of the way in order to reach that state of peace. My intention is that each person receive what they need in order to live a more joyful, peaceful, and happy life.

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Join us for Sound Bath with Jamie Ford on May 29th, 7:30-9pm
$20 advance, $25 at the door
SIGN UP HERE

What’s Your Favorite Yoga Sound? Yoga Playlists For Chill and Sweat

painting by: Autumn Skye

painting by: Autumn Skye

I don’t think Pattabhi Jois was bumpin’ DJ Drez or MC Yogi while he taught a yoga class….. I’m not saying playing music in yoga class is wrong! I’m expressing quite the opposite and I’m saying times are changing. We are mixing the ancient art of yoga with old school hip-hop and new school dub-step.

What kind of music pumps you up? What kind of music puts you in a feel-good mood? What kind of music do you like to practice yoga to? Or do you prefer silence when you practice yoga? Every person will have a different answer and none of them are wrong. Different strokes for different folks.

Recorded music played in a yoga class is a somewhat new trend.
Nowadays, you can walk into a hundred different yoga studios and hear a hundred different genres of music blasting from the speakers or coming from live instruments. Certain types of music, or non-music, attract a certain type of student. In a yoga studio, it is now common to hear trance, dance, dub-step, rock, folk, you name it.

Traditionally, yoga was only accompanied by the breath and the instructional voice of the teacher. At times, the sound of live Indian instruments such as a sitar or harmonium would be thrown into the mix for a beautiful yoga experience. Silence in a yoga class assists in turning off all worldly images and helps to tune the mind into meditative peacefulness, while bringing the physical body into the picture as well. Quiet in mind and body, as you yoke (connect) the mind and body.

Traditional yoga music is usually made up of chanting, or mantras being sung, which is called kirtan music. All of these “approved” yoga sounds were the norm for many decades. These carefully selected sounds served the principles of focus and concentration. Kirtan music is made up of repeated mantras, usually in Sanskrit. Even if we do not understand the language, it is a fully charged mantra, full of intention and the listener will understand the meaning without fully knowing really what it means. Furthermore, it will affect the listener positively, just as the practice of yoga affects the practitioner positively.

In our modern, fast-paced society our brains are constantly being bombarded with noise. Traffic, jingles, sounds effects, conversations, ideas, words, words, words, and music, music, music everywhere. It’s sometimes a blessing when I attend a yoga class with no music. It allows me to give my brain a rest and fully focus on the teacher’s instruction and storytelling. At the same time, when I attend classes accompanied by music, I do appreciate carefully selected music to assist in the storytelling. Sometimes the music is a part of the story and it drives the practice.

Unless the teacher follows a specific method such as Bikram or Kundalini Yoga (these methods have strict guidelines), designing a yoga class is entirely up to the teacher. The sky is the limit in terms of creativity and how theatrical the class will be. At One Down Dog, our teachers craft well-thought out playlists for our classes. Each class type on our schedule has a certain vibe of music to go along with it. For example, the CHILL classes are accompanied by a soothing, mellow playlist (check out my CHILL playlist below). The SWEAT classes are extremely varied in musical flavors, but you can always expect a fun and upbeat, usually dance-y type of playlist (Check out my SWEAT playlist below).

Whatever type of music you enjoy, try it out for your personal home practice. See how it makes you feel. Does it work for yoga? Yoga is all about experimenting and trying new things, playing new music, and even turning the music off every once in awhile.

My CHILL playlist

  • Eastern Sun by Earth Essence
  • Across The Universe by Modern Meditations
  • Horizonte by OCNO
  • Enchanting City by DJ Drez
  • Tiger Striped Sky by Roo Panes
  • Morning by Beck
  • Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone
  • She by Laura Mvula
  • Heart Is A Drum by Beck
  • Oh That I Had by Mt. Eden
  • Golden Age by Jamestown Revival
  • Breathe In Air by Phaeleh ft. Soundmouse
  • Bloodstream by Stateless
  • Embrace by Blackmill
  • Lotus Garden Spaces by Desert Dwellers
  • Grounded by Sacred Earth

My SWEAT Playlist

  • Should Be True by Phaeleh
  • Sonnentanz by Klangkarussell
  • Call It What You Want by Foster The People
  • Lost In Me by Emily Underhill
  • Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) by Flight Facilities
  • Fantasy (Nicita Remix) by MS MR
  • 4AM (Adam K. and Soha Mix) by Kaskade
  • No Rest For The Wicked (Robin Schulz remix) by Lykke Li
  • Liberate (Lane 8 remix) by Eric Prydz
  • Xenogenesis by TheFatRat
  • Run You Down by Phetsta, Reija Lee
  • The Spice by Random Rab
  • Contours & Cloudforms by Alpha Wave Movement

Article written by Brittany Kovler, Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Coach
Check out her class schedule here.

YOGA PLAYLIST – NOVEMBER v. 2.0

novembertunes

Here come the holidays! Fill your month with tunes of gratitude and celebration!

1. Grateful – The Bangles

2. Gratitude – Earth, Wind & Fire

3. Thank You – Alanis Morissette

4. Thank You – Mozella

5. Be Thankful for What You Got – William DeVaughn

6. Count Your Blessings – Nas & Damian Marley

7. One Day – Matisyahu

8. Lovely Day – Bill Withers

9. By Your Side – Sade

10. Secrets – Mary Lambert

YOGA PLAYLIST – OCTOBER

rocktobertunes

Rock out this month and enjoy these fantastic tunes!

Here’s what’s on our yoga playlist in October…

1. Tragic Kingdom – No Doubt

2. Divinity (feat. Amy Millan) – Porter Robinson

3. People Are Strange – The Doors

4. When We’re Fire – Lo-Fang

5. Wait for a Minute – Tune Yards

6. From Eden – Hozier

7. Figure It Out – Royal Blood

8. Time of the Season – The Zombies

9. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

10. Zombie – Stars – The Cranberries

YOGA PLAYLIST – SEPTEMBER

Your fall is now filled with fantastic tunes thanks to our latest yoga playlist.

You’re welcome.

septembertunes

1. Red Eyes – The War on Drugs

2. Tongues (feat. Kopps) – Joywave – EP

3. Pompeii – Jasmine Thompson

4. Take Me to Church – Hozier

5. Jubel – Klingande

6. Spectrum (Say My Name) [AlunaGeorge Remix] – Florence + The Machine

7. Tell Me Something Good (feat. Chaka Khan) – Rufus

8. Slow Motion – PHOX

9. I’m With You (Sylvan Esso Remix) – Grouplove

10. Latch (feat. Sam Smith) [DJ Premier Remix] – Settle (The Remixes)

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