We’ve all taken a bath in our time, but have you dipped a toe into a sound bath? If the only bath you’ve taken has been of the bubbly variety, then let me explain what it is and why on earth you would want to dive right in.
A sound bath is essentially a guided meditation using sound healing. You lie down on a yoga mat and there’s usually a pillow and throw provided (you need to get comfortable to benefit fully from the experience). For an hour or so, you lay completely still while you’re bathed in sound. I’m a sound-bath convert and have written about the benefits of sound healing on Byrdie before.
Last week, I headed to the London Edition hotel, where Sound Sebastian has set up a sound bath residency. Founded by Jasmine Hemsley and Toni Dicks, Sound Sebastian creates a sensory experience using Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls designed to calm the mind, open the heart and nourish the spirit. It really is the perfect antidote to a hectic city lifestyle.
I entered the low-lit room stressed out because I was late, thanks to transport delays (standard London situation). After hanging up my coat and heading to the bathroom, I found myself a mat in a secluded corner of the room. During each session, you’ll be provided with a Tempur foam pillow, cosy blanket and a silk lavender-scented eye mask to block out unwanted light. Essential oils are used to lull you into a meditative state and help gently revive you at the end.
The sounds of the bowls had only been going for moments when I felt my whole body relax and my mind was carried away to a less heightened and far more peaceful place. It was as if the stress was drifting away from my body with each new sound wave. As with traditional meditation, thoughts came and went, but the soothing sounds of the bowls chilled me out. I’ve learnt from meditation that you shouldn’t fight the thoughts—simply acknowledge them and let them pass. “It’s a unique moment of time to rest your head and feel enveloped in a wave of powerful and therapeutic tones in a pristine peaceful environment,” the duo says.
Every sound bath experience is different—some days you’ll sink right in with ease, while other days it will take longer for you to feel the benefits, but if you like yoga or have tried meditation, then I really think you’ll like this. Each session finishes with a warming cup of Ayurvedic tea before you drift back to normality feeling lighter and less stressed.
If you’re looking for something a bit different to do during the dismal January and February days, this is well worth a try. Hourlong Sound Sebastien sessions (£37) are being held at The London Edition’s basement at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the following dates: Monday, 22 January; Monday, 5 February; Monday, 12 February; and Monday, 19 February. You can book your place via Eventbrite here.