By Suzanne Dooley
Sound baths seem to be the newest way to keep New Yorkers in a namaste frame-of-mind. But this ritual is not new and is, in fact, a therapeutic convention that has been around for centuries. A sound bath is a meditative, all-listening soundscape of Tibetan singing bowls used to create an acoustic environment that allows the sounds of the bowls to wash over you -actually through you- and relax your body. Celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr., Charlize Theron and Laurence Fishburne, to name just a few, have experienced these sonic sessions.
And these days finding a sound bath in New York City is as easy as, well, getting a mani pedi -sound baths are increasingly on the menus of your go-to spas, fave yoga studios, or meditation hot spots. More and more venues are holding these ear-enchanting, stress-soothing, soul-satisfying sessions with regularity. Prices run about $40 for group sessions, with private sessions costing approximately $200 or more.
So, how to find the best sound bath in NYC? You need only keep reading. Global Glam has discovered one of Manhattan’s top sound bath practitioners: Abigail DeVine, the Sound Bath Whisperer to celebs and non-celebs alike. She’s the real deal, people!
Tune In To Get Your OM On
When one first encounters renowned sound bath extraordinaire, Abigail DeVine, they might marvel at the lighthearted and spry petite female that she is. But make no mistake, DeVine takes her profession seriously and emits an intuitive knowledge and rare authenticity that deeply connects her to her clients. “To inspire people to ‘find’ happiness by breaking through their painful physical and mental blocks [is my purpose],” said DeVine. “Yoga, sound and energy work, bodywork and guidance are ancient tried-and-true healing modalities [that] will get you past those blocks. Guaranteed.”
With the popularity of holistic wellness around the world and its increasing influence into areas of fitness and health, it is now not so uncommon these days to find a holistic “life coach” who carries forth traditional customs into his/her modern wellness program. But DeVine, who has been extensively trained by the Yoda of sound baths in Kathmandu, does much more than just carry forth the traditional sound bath ceremony that tunes the body into balance through sound. DeVine integrates a philosophy of self-acceptance, self-enhancement and self-realization in her bathing sessions that, in turn, are deeply personalized, intense and rewarding.
And sound bathing actually has a science to it. Physicist Nikola Tesla has said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” And as quantum physics has confirmed, we are vibrating energy. As such, we naturally respond to the vibrations of sound. Listening to the sounds of the singing bowls is an exceptionally effective mechanism for connecting with our mental clarity, physical homeostasis and emotional harmony: the mind, body and soul connection.
So You Think You Can’t Meditate?
Wanting to enhance my creative muse, I was eager to experience a sound bath. My bathing with DeVine consisted of me lying down on a massage table, eyes covered and listening to DeVine harmonize her vibrating bowls with my energy for approximately one hour. During this experience, my body sank into the deepest savasana that I’ve ever experienced and my mind was no where to be found. While feeling entirely supported by the vibrations around me, my body naturally responded to the playing vibrations; I was awake in my own dream. What I most appreciated was a meditative experience without having to strive to meditate. In the past, when I have sat down to meditate, I struggled and didn’t last more than a few minutes. Too many thoughts arose and I gave up. For me, sound bathing was so much easier and effortless than silent meditation because, as I concentrated only on the sounds, my thought bubbles automatically burst. At the end, DeVine provided to me a diagnostic of my session.
To those who are skeptical about this trendy-yet-ancient practice, think about the power of music — that song that takes you out of your head and into your body; the soothing effect of the sounds of breaking waves; birds chirping at dawn; a baby’s laughter — all these sounds that bring joy, inspiration and aliveness. Sounds affect us on the deepest of levels.
Shhhh, Just Listen
I tend to see each human personality as a musical note, with each having an individual pitch, duration and potential of his/her own. So, it makes sense to me that we should give ourselves a tune up by taking a sound bath. Ditch the texting, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for just long enough to immerse yourself in a sound bath that restores a rhythm to your life. Sound bathing is a natural New-York-itude adjustment that leaves you rested, refueled and requires neither a visit to a therapist nor a chiropractor.
Best Personal Triumph: Escaping poverty and abuse and becoming a Facilitator/Healer in the USA. Said another way: Doing the things that I am called to do in this lifetime.
For more information about Abigail DeVine, see her website here: http://www.abigaildevine.com
or to book a space in DeVine’s group sound bath session, go to Bode NYC’s website here (times and dates of sessions vary at Bode NYC’s studios located on UES, UWS, Midtown and Flatiron): https://bodenyc.com/february-sound-bath/