07 Oct What is a gong bath? – The Secret Healing of the Gong
Ever wondered what exactly is a gong bath? Gong baths are increasing in popularity and are popping up in yoga studio’s all over, but do you know what they are and how they work? Read on to find out more!
I recently got the chance to experience a gong bath and I can honestly say it was one of the most powerful yoga experiences I have ever had! Even though gong baths are not really connected to yoga, they can be found in yoga studios and are often interwoven into a yoga practice. They go hand in hand together as yoga helps you to connect to your body and your breath and start to really come into the present moment. Movement before a gong bath enables you to get rid of any restlessness you may have so that when it comes to experiencing the gong bath, you can feel its full effects.
What is a gong bath?
Before I go into more detail about my experience of a gong bath, I want to explain to you exactly what is a gong bath so we can start on the same page. In a nutshell, a gong bath is where you lay down and listen to someone playing one, two or three different gongs. It sounds so simple but it is so much more so stay with me here…During a gong bath you lay on a yoga mat, make yourself really comfortable using blankets, bolsters, cushions etc, close your eyes and relax. You then allow the sounds of the gong to wash over you and cleanse you.
What is so special about the gong?
Gongs are one of the oldest instruments in Southern East Asia and have the broadest range of tones of any instrument. They are said to heal the body mentally and physically as the sound vibrations resonate with the bodies cells. This helps to clear any blocked or stuck emotions that no longer serve us.
Anxiety, depression and stress are all emotions that the gong baths can help to remove. If you do not suffer from any of these, then gong baths are a great way to supercharge your feelings of positivity and well-being.
Due to the fact that we are made up of 80% water, we are excellent conductors of sound. During a gong bath your brain waves change from a waking state (Beta) into a deep meditation state (Delta and Theta).
What does a gong bath feel like?
Although every person will experience and gain something different from a gong bath, I am going to share my experience with you so that you can see the true power of a gong bath and hopefully inspire you to try it out.
I must admit I was a bit sceptical about gong baths before I tried it. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend time just sitting and listening to someone bang a gong. A week prior to me attending a gong bath I had spoken to a reiki healer and gong master and she said that sometimes in her private healing sessions the client has the choice of her using the gong in the session as well or not. How that could help someone with healing, I wasn’t sure but this is what made me want to give a gong bath a try.
I was lucky enough to attend a 2 hour workshop that had a theme of balancing the chakras through kundalini yoga and gong mediation. The kundalini part was lovely and I found it very beneficial to relax the body and calm the mind. I already felt in quite a meditative state before the gong bath begun. The teacher (Kwali Kundalini Kumara) said that often the ego will resist the gong at first but then will surrender and sometimes strong emotions can come up.
Once the gong bath started, I was too curious to see what Kwali was doing and which gong she was playing (as she had three). So I had a quick peek at her and then settled down to listen to the sounds. At first nothing too magical happened but after a few minutes my body began to surrender to the sound.
The largest gong she had (the Flower of life gong) was so powerful and loud. She begun to beat it harder and harder. My whole body begin to prickle as the sound got louder and washed over me. I instantly knew why they call it a ‘gong bath’ as it felt like I was being bathed in the sound of the gong!
I found my self screaming in my head “come on then!” as I felt as if my body was pushing against the sound of the gong. I felt almost suffocated by the sound. ‘Ahh, this must be my ego resisting!’ I thought.
After two mental pushes against the sound, I felt as if my body just completely burst open. Tears instantly began to roll down my face and every negative emotion in my body just lifted out. It was almost as if I had been cut open right down the centre of my body and there was a big black whole where all those negative emotions had been held. The gong sounds continued to play but I just allowed them to fill me up this time rather than resisting. I took in deep breaths and I started to be able to breath again under the bath of the gong. The tears continued to come as I felt every emotion flow out of my body. I then felt as if I was being lifted into the air, totally light and free. My spirit was floating above my physical body.
What a powerful experience!
When it was time to finish, I felt really vulnerable and open. I had a sudden need to protect myself and ‘close’ myself back up again before returning to normal. I pressed my hands together at my heart centre and breathed deeply. Closing myself back up again and moving slowly back up to a seated position, I felt totally different.
I would definitely like to experience a gong bath again very soon and I hope that I will experience the same magical feelings as I did then because I know that session will stay with me forever.
After a Gong Bath..
Since that workshop, I am a total convert to gong baths now and I would highly recommend them to anyone. You can attend gong baths without any yoga in. It is just coming to the mat as you are, making yourself comfortable and then enjoying the gong sounds.
Another gong healer said that each time you experience the gong it will be different because you will be in a different mood, the people in the room are different (you may get a “snorer”) and you have different emotions to deal with.
I want to thank Kwali Kundalini Kumara for the most amazing workshop and yoga experience to date. If you would like to know more about Kwali and her gong baths then head to KwaliKundalini or visit the Wellbeing Warehouse website to see if you can find one of her amazing workshops or classes very soon.
If you have any questions, then please let me know. I know of other gong baths in the local area so let me know if you would like see them.
For now, Namaste