Go Try It: Singing bowl sound meditation at Back in Motion

People relax as they wait for the singing bowls sound meditation session to begin at Back in Motion last week. JON BODELL / Insider staff
People relax as they wait for the singing bowls sound meditation session to begin at Back in Motion last week. JON BODELL / Insider staff

It feels like everybody is always so busy these days, especially in the summer. Between work, summer camps, vacations, yard work and all the other hassles of everyday life, it can be pretty easy to get yourself all wound up and out of balance.

One way to relieve some of the stress is by attending singing bowl sound meditation sessions at Back in Motion, in The River Guild at the Smokestack Center.

On the second and fourth Thursday of each month, Carlos Perez, holistic chiropractor and sound therapist, leads a group meditation session based around the use of crystal singing bowls.

What are crystal singing bowls, you ask? Well, Back in Motion’s website says, “Crystal singing bowls offer their unique vibrations that are attuned to the chakras of the body which correspond to specific physical, mental, and emotional states that help balance our physical and energetic fields.”

Ah, of course.

Basically, they’re glass bowls that are like really big crystal wine glasses – you know, the kind where you can run a wet finger around the rim of the glass to get that resonating sound?

It sounded interesting, so we went by last Thursday.

Upon walking into the room – which felt like a dance or yoga studio – we were immediately surprised by how many people were there. We didn’t know what to expect, having never done this before, but we definitely didn’t anticipate a big crowd – there were about 25 people in there by the time the session started.

The lighting was dim, and many people who were already there were lying down on yoga mats, some with pillows and blankets for maximum coziness.

We showed up empty-handed, having left our good yoga mat at home, but there were plenty of communal ones in a long closet off the main room, so we borrowed one of those. We also, at the advice of Perez, grabbed a pillow from a cabinet in the entryway. We didn’t feel like a blanket would be necessary.

Perez gave a brief introduction, explaining the format and the theme of the night – in this case, fire.

Ceremonies began with turning off the lights, leaving just a candle burning at the front of the room. Then Perez walked around rhythmically banging a hand drum that had a deep, loud thump to it.

Then came time for the singing bowls. Perez used mallets to either strike the bowls like a drum or stir around the edges for a continuous, swirling sound – which really did seem to swirl around the room and even our own ears, going from one side to the other.

Perez directed us to focus first on the crown of our heads, then our third eyes, then our throats and torsos, each targeting a different chakra. Other than these instructions, we were just told to breathe and relax. Several snores were heard, and we almost dozed off, too.

All in all, it was an hour of lying down, relaxing and letting the sound and vibrations of the bowls set us into a trance. When we walked out, we felt like we had just taken a nice, long nap, and although the experience was a bit “out there” for us, it was definitely a pleasant and deeply relaxing time.

The next session will be next Thursday at 6 p.m. The cost is $10. Go to the website to register and for more info.

Author: Jon Bodell

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