As part of my yoga teacher training, I have to attend a total of three outside classes as an observer. What this means is, I basically sit in the back as quietly as possible, silently scribbling notes on the class, the venue, the teacher, sequences and props used, and trying not to make awkward eye contact with any of the students (Me: "No, really, keep doing what you're doing! I wasn't taking notes on your technique!")
So tonight I made my way into the depths of Hackney, a northeastern borough of London, to observe a 90-minute class at The Refinery, a really cool new studio built in a former underground parking lot.
Watching the class was of course interesting, and I'm relieved to notice that some things are sloooowly starting to look familiar (Me: "Hey, they just did a 3-part exit to Prasarita Padottanasana A!")
What was special about this particular course was that the final 30 minutes were spent lying down, doing sound healing meditation in Savasana (Corpse pose). Sound healing has a number of benefits, including stress reduction, sleep aid, pain management, working on the circulatory and digestive systems, and depression awareness and addressing.
First, the teacher walked around the room holding a rainstick. That must sound ridiculous, and I'll admit, there was an aspect to it for me - sitting in the back watching, rather than lying down on a mat with a blanket over me, like everyone else in the room - that occasionally had a thought cross my mind that, "this is sort of hippieish and weird." And that was before the crystal singing bowl came out, mind you.
Crystal singing bowls are "tuned to different vibrational frequencies (notes) found within the human body" and "addresses imbalances or blockages of the energy channels."
I've never been to a class before where one was used. But at that point, I decided to just go with it. I closed my eyes, sat in stillness, and just listened.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all do that once in a while?
Who knows what we'd hear.