Reiki-infused, sound healing and meditation class!

This online group gathering will be conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing, which provides an option to turn off the your audio/video at any time, supporting privacy and facilitating a reduction in distractions.  For first-time attendees, signed release of liability/waiver forms will be needed.  Once these forms have been received, along with payment via PayPal, an email will be sent to you with the link and meeting ID to join the class.  We look forward to being of service to you!

Virtual Community Gathering Practice Tips

We understand that this is not the ideal way to come together to practice and how sometimes just the thought of more technology might bring shivers down our spines.  Accepting that it’s OK to feel intimidated is the first step. We are doing our best to make the connection simple and easy.  Harnessing the warrior energy within will help you to face any tech fears you might have and join us!

Once you let us know that you are interested in attending, we will send you an email that will include details around what is needed from you, including:

  • Signed Releases/Waivers of Liability forms (one time, for new students only)
  • PayPal information to facilitate payment
  • Checking your email for the Zoom link to join the class
  • A few minutes before the class, simply clicking the link within the email to be sent straight to our meeting room

To facilitate the benefits of such a virtual community practice at home, below we have provided some helpful hints:

  • Set up your mats at least 3 giant steps from your device.
  • Elevate your device 21-24″ from the floor and have it tilted forward slightly.
  • Have your props nearby.
  • Although not required, having a headset or ear buds to listen when the singing bowls are playing may enhance your listening pleasure.
  • Please know you will not need to have your audio/video camera on during the practice.  If you would prefer to reduce the number of distractions or increase the sense of privacy, we invite you to turn off your audio and video once the class starts.

Restorative Yoga Tips and Props

On the day of the class, here are some additional recommendations to create a more sacred space in advance for your practice:

  • Make sure you’ll be in a space where there won’t be any background noises, distractions or interruptions.
  • Adjusting the lighting in the room to your liking, perhaps turning off any overhead lighting and minimizing outdoor light and instead turning on a room lamp or lighting your favorite candle(s).
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing including socks.
  • If available, bringing your favorite deck of intention cards and essential oil to your mat.
  • Placing your props (see below) to the side of your mat so they are within an easy reach during the class.

 In home prop ideas:

  • Bolster:  couch cushions or a tightly rolled comforter, towel, or blanket (can be secured with 2 ties, scarfs or belts)
  • Pillows:  couch, chair or bed pillows will do
  • Blankets:  your favorite blanket to cover yourself and either 2 additional blankets or bath or beach towels (no sheets)
  • Yoga blocks: books, either paper back or hard cover, stacked
  • Eye pillow:  hand towel, tie or scarf

Can meditation support your immune system, especially in light of the effects of COVID-19?

As someone that suffered with anxiety for most of my life, I am personally so grateful for my yoga practice, which includes various contemplative practices such as meditation.  (Click here for a great image that reflects the many different types of contemplative practices.)  What I found through the ongoing use of these tools is a consistent way to navigate stress to maintain my body, mind, and soul health.  Stress is still present – and I no longer have any expectations of living a stress-free life – yet it no longer accumulates into an expression of anxiety.

Meditation is a very personal experience.  It is the personal nature of the practice that can make it difficult to try and especially hard to maintain.  There are also many different forms of meditation, so it definitely is not one-size-fits-all.  Yet the intention behind meditation – to slow down the mind and help us detach from our thoughts – creates space.  It is this space that can be scary.  When we encounter stress, one of the most common tools humans go to in order to deal with the freeze/fight/flight response is distraction.  We might distract ourselves by watching shows, eating, drinking, shopping, or one of the many other forms of impulsive behaviors that bring feelings of guilt and remorse along with them.

And yet more and more research is demonstrating the benefits of meditation, including how it can support our immune system functioning, which is vital right now in light of the pandemic.  Meditation, whatever form of it that works best for you, helps to regulate the normal, natural human stress response, reducing the inevitable inflammation effects of that response.  If we can find a form of meditation that we enjoy, then this tool can become the sharpest one in our toolkit and the one we consistently turn to when we feel anxiety building.

One of the more creative methods of meditations I utilize is journaling.  This expressive writing tool has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.  Relax Like A Boss, a website dedicated to wellbeing and stress, put together an ultimate guide to meditation journals.  If you might consider this form of meditation, you can link to the guide here for tips on how to get started.

Contemplative practices do not have to be done for long periods of time, unless that works for you.  Another one of my favorites is conscious deep breathing, and I do this several times a day for just a few minutes.  It acts like a reset button for my nervous system.  You might count how long you inhale and how long you exhale or you can include visualizations, such as colored light.  You might add affirmations, such as inhaling peace and exhaling stress, if that helps give the thoughts in the mind the necessary mini vacation.  Simply keep in mind that you cannot do it wrong!

I think what is most exciting is how research is looking at the body-mind connection more and more and not approaching the body and mind separately when working towards health.  One recent review of the research literature focused on the interconnected physiological processes in the body that supports the continued inclusion – and expansion – of meditation in the treatment of diverse medical conditions.  What they looked at more closely is the impact of stress on the gut microbiota and how meditation supports the health of our gut, leading to a healthier mind through the regulation of neurotransmitters.  The research team recommended the integration of meditation into conventional health care and wellness models.  If you would like to read more about this review, click the button below:

Online Reiki-infused yoga, sound healing and meditation class!

This online group gathering will be conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing, which provides an option to turn off the your audio/video at any time, supporting privacy and facilitating a reduction in distractions.  For first-time attendees, signed release of liability/waiver forms will be needed.  Once these forms have been received, along with payment via PayPal, an email will be sent to you with the link and meeting ID to join the class.  We look forward to being of service to you!

Virtual Community Gathering Practice Tips

We understand that this is not the ideal way to come together to practice and how sometimes just the thought of more technology might bring shivers down our spines.  Accepting that it’s OK to feel intimidated is the first step. We are doing our best to make the connection simple and easy.  Harnessing the warrior energy within will help you to face any tech fears you might have and join us!

Once you let us know that you are interested in attending, we will send you an email that will include details around what is needed from you, including:

  • Signed Releases/Waivers of Liability forms (one time, for new students only)
  • PayPal information to facilitate payment
  • Checking your email for the Zoom link to join the class
  • A few minutes before the class, simply clicking the link within the email to be sent straight to our meeting room

To facilitate the benefits of such a virtual community practice at home, below we have provided some helpful hints:

  • Set up your mats at least 3 giant steps from your device.
  • Elevate your device 21-24″ from the floor and have it tilted forward slightly.
  • Have your props nearby.
  • Although not required, having a headset or ear buds to listen when the singing bowls are playing may enhance your listening pleasure.
  • Please know you will not need to have your audio/video camera on during the practice.  If you would prefer to reduce the number of distractions or increase the sense of privacy, we invite you to turn off your audio and video once the class starts.

Restorative Yoga Tips and Props

On the day of the class, here are some additional recommendations to create a more sacred space in advance for your practice:

  • Make sure you’ll be in a space where there won’t be any background noises, distractions or interruptions.
  • Adjusting the lighting in the room to your liking, perhaps turning off any overhead lighting and minimizing outdoor light and instead turning on a room lamp or lighting your favorite candle(s).
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing including socks.
  • If available, bringing your favorite deck of intention cards and essential oil to your mat.
  • Placing your props (see below) to the side of your mat so they are within an easy reach during the class.

 In home prop ideas:

  • Bolster:  couch cushions or a tightly rolled comforter, towel, or blanket (can be secured with 2 ties, scarfs or belts)
  • Pillows:  couch, chair or bed pillows will do
  • Blankets:  your favorite blanket to cover yourself and either 2 additional blankets or bath or beach towels (no sheets)
  • Yoga blocks: books, either paper back or hard cover, stacked
  • Eye pillow:  hand towel, tie or scarf

Can direct neurofeedback help when our minds separate from our bodies?

When we think about human senses, most of us are able to easily identify the five primary senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  But did you know that we actually have three more senses that are integral to our fully embodied, lived experience as humans?  These are vestibular senses of body rotation, gravitation and movement, proprioception as the experience of agility, balance and coordination, and interoception as the ability to feel what is going on inside of our bodies.  It is this last one that is more recently coming forward into the light as it is critical in the healing process related to complex trauma.

When our sense of interoception is damaged, we might be challenged to know when we feel hungry or full, cold or hot, and/or thirsty.  It can also make self-regulation difficult.  When we learn it is not safe to attune to this sense or feel betrayed by it, the mind works to separate from the body, learning to ignore any sensations that emanate from the body, for fear those powerful sensations will reveal our inability to attend to them.  This manifested itself in my own experience when I grew up hungry due to food insecurity.  I quickly learned that the personal, physical sensation of discomfort that accompanies hunger was something I could ignore, especially when my next meal was consistently in question.  Then, when food was present, I had difficulty in portion control, often eating so much that I was in physical pain.

The sense of interoception is often adversely impacted when the human body experiences trauma, especially interpersonal trauma in childhood, and can be so badly damaged that it leads to fragmentation, such as dissociative conditions.  And our Western medical model supports this separation of body and mind, where medical students are trained to simply view the body as the focus for treatment and psychotherapists are trained to view the mind – and its thoughts – as the main focus of treatment.  As we start to embrace the inseparable mind-body connection and better understand the impact of complex mental traumatization, we are learning that talking about past traumas in therapy is only part of the healing process.  More is needed!

In fact, before venturing into cognitive trauma work, it is vital to create safety and some level of internal state regulatory capacity, so people recovering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) can avoid the overwhelm that leads to dissociation and holds them back from post-traumatic growth.  Research is now showing that neurofeedback therapy (NFT), like direct neurofeedback, can be added to the treatment of C-PTSD as a method of implicit regulation, changing the brain in a way that eases the symptoms of trauma and opening the window wide to deep healing and inner peace.

If you would like to read more, click on the link below:

What is it about mindfulness that reduces stress – ACCEPTANCE!

In my own personal journey of healing, as well as being a compassionate witness to the healing of others, I have come to realize that suffering comes from rejecting parts of ourselves that we either think or believe are unacceptable to others.  When I first found myself in psychotherapy, I discovered that I was rejecting my emotional parts, because expressing emotions in my family of origin was either not acceptable or was overwhelming.  However, the effort it took to try to reject these emotions from my life was exhausting, created a great deal of anxiety and was completely unsuccessful.  In fact, the more I rejected them, the more my emotions would come out when I least expected!

It wasn’t until my therapist had me befriend my emotions that I was able to regulate them, honoring that they were a core source of my intelligence and would not want to reject them.  Wow, what a concept, ACCEPT my emotions as part of this experience of being human.  When I learned, which was a process, to allow those parts of me to express themselves, they no longer raged (read overwhelmed me).  It was as if giving them air actually dissipated the energy, versus the thought that ignoring or avoiding them, not giving them air (AKA suffocating or stuffing them) would extinguish the flame/energy.  And one of the main emotions I was trying to avoid feeling was fear.  My family did not acknowledge fear and instead taught us to wear many different masks to not reveal such vulnerability.  So the perfectionist and people-pleasing parts of me became overactive, to compensate for the scared little girl part that simply wanted to feel safe and accepted.

Along the way, I gathered some tools to deploy during the process of accepting all parts of myself, such as but not limited to deep breathing, yoga, journaling and guided meditation, as these tools helped me to welcome those parts of myself that I had been trying to avoid.  These tools might be referred to as contemplative science, cognitive practices, or simply mindfulness.  Now, I didn’t really know what it was about these practices that made them so effective for me, yet what I did know was after practicing them consistently for a period of time my anxiety went away.  What I came to realize was that the power of rejection creates long-lasting wounds to the hearts of many and that acceptance is healing.  Acceptance is a basic human need, as we are wired for connection and want to belong.  When we believe parts of ourselves are unacceptable and try to reject or mask those parts, we create our own chronic stress and suffering that manifests in symptoms such as anxiety.

Now the research is helping us to understand the power of acceptance and how contemplative science practices support us in monitoring our present-moment experiences through the lens of acceptance, reducing biological stress in the body through emotion regulation and evidenced by a reduction in cortisol levels and systolic blood pressure reactivity.  In addition, research is showing how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is becoming an empirically-supported treatment option for anxious youth.  I think this is critical information to share at this time, as no one knows the lasting effects of the fear coming from the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic is creating.  What we do know is that social isolation is not a healthy state of being for humans (think solitary confinement in prison) and we will all need tools to heal the traumas of this time.

If you would like to read more of the research on the healing effects of acceptance, click the boxes below:

5 Intention-setting Ideas to Honor the New Normal

National Mental Health Month

The COVID-19 virus has taken a lot away from how we experienced the world in the past, so there is much to grieve.  And grief is heavy.  It can make us feel like we are walking in quicksand or moving through molasses.  Our thoughts lost in a thick fog.  It takes time to navigate all the emotions that present themselves and sort through the thoughts that grow from the uncertainty.

So to help us all move through the collective conscious grief the world is currently experiencing, I thought it was important to honor National Mental Health Month by looking for the silver linings Mother Earth is calling on us to see at this time.  After destruction, comes construction.  After the rain, comes the sun and rainbow.  After the dark night, comes the light of day.

So, take a moment to consider the following intention-setting ideas being offered to us by Mother Earth to honor the silver linings that may define our new normal moving forward:

  1. Better public health hygiene.  Consider the benefits of the international attention given to the proper way to wash your hands.  This ongoing world campaign has raised the collective consciousness to a new level.  Back in 2008, October 15th was designated Global Handwashing Day to raise awareness that washing our hands with soap is a key factor in disease prevention, specifically to reduce respiratory and intestinal diseases by 25-50%.  With the heightened level of fear currently, perhaps we are taking this advice more seriously and will continue the practice of frequent, proper hand washing or using the hand sanitizers that are being installed in more public spaces.
  2. Healthier greeting rituals.  Do you know the history of the handshake as a greeting?  Perhaps take a moment to do a little research on it.  From there, consider how you might want to begin your own ritual for greeting someone you meet for the first time without physical contact to reduce the spreading of germs.  I personally always struggled with hand shaking, especially when I had to be taught how to do it right!  I much prefer to use Namaste, the age-old traditional greeting in India.  Namaste simply invites the palms together at the heart center with the thumbs close to or touching your heart center (aka Anjali mudra) as you tilt your head forward and say ‘Namaste’.  Perhaps you might prefer the traditional Japanese greeting of bowing.  Either option will allow us to maintain the physical distance recommended while also demonstrating through our body language that we honor the connection to others.
  3. Respecting Mother Earth.  Someone shared something with me recently that moved me deeply.  I was reminded that the trees are the earth’s lungs, as they inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen (aka photosynthesis) for us to breathe.  With the increased worldwide number and severity of fires we experienced last year, we burned Mother Earth’s lungs.  So is it really so surprising that she would push back with a respiratory disease that brings us high fevers and shortness of breath?  She is crying out for our collective attention and respect.  And when we could not figure out ourselves how to work together to reduce climate change, she created a situation that no country could ignore and forced our hands to join forces.  With the drastic reduction in cars on the roads, airplanes in the sky, and boats on the water, look how she is rewarding us with cleaner air and clearer water.  And, although these observations will be temporary, might they be drastic enough to support major infrastructure and/or societal changes to support Mother Earth’s intention to help us thrive?  Might we all agree to set this as a collective intention?.
  4. Working from home.  The benefits are many, running the gamut from more individual flexibility to less traffic on the roads.  As we have seen through this crisis, we are finding news way of doing our jobs remotely.  There has been a significant reduction in severe car accidents, so much so many car insurance companies are giving people refunds.  Might companies embrace letting (us) introverts remain working from home on a permanent basis?  If this became the new normal, we would reduce all costs associated with onsite work by somewhere between 25-50% (the guestimate of the number of introverts), such as the wear-and-tear on our roads, pollution (both air and noise) office space, gas, and car repairs, none-the-less the boost in our mental and emotional health from eliminated time stuck in traffic and away from our families.  Productivity and job satisfaction has been shown to increase in an environment that supports less distractions and sick time is reduced.  And, oh by the way, less people in the office means less sick people in the office which equals less spreading of germs! What do we really have to lose?!
  5. Back to Basics.  This time has challenged all of us to really reflect on what we will end up missing in our lives by being forced to pause for longer than a moment.  It brings to mind the mantra, less is more.  It provides each of us an opportunity to create a new baseline measurement of what we sense feeds our souls versus simply filling our lives with distractions.  As we are finding ourselves getting back to the basics of what is needed for good physical health, including regular sleep, conscious eating and daily exercise, we can give ourselves permission to decide for ourselves what truly nourishes our mental, emotional and spiritual health,  Doing less and being more supports Mother Earth, reduces our stress, invites peace of mind, and supports a deeper connection with ourselves and others.  When we can learn to simplify our lives, living with less and loving the freedom it brings, we can truly understand that less is more!

As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you.  Please send me an email at linda@sanctuary4compassion.com to share!

Online Reiki-infused gentle movement and meditation class!

This online class will be conducted using WebEx’s video conferencing, which provides the option to turn off your camera at any time, supporting your privacy and facilitating a reduction in distractions.  For first-time attendees, we will need to secure a signed release of liability form, which will be sent to you via email.  Once we have these forms, along with payment via PayPal, an email will be sent to you with the link and meeting ID to join us on Sunday, June 28th at 4 pm PST.  We look forward to being of service to you!

Virtual Community Gathering Practice Tips

We understand that this is not the ideal way to come together to practice and how sometimes just the thought of more technology might bring shivers down our spines.  Accepting that it’s OK to feel intimidated is the first step. We are doing our best to make the connection simple and easy.  Harnessing the warrior energy within will help you to face any tech fears you might have and join us!

Once you let us know that you are interested in attending, we will send you an email that will include details around what is needed from you, including:

  • Signed Releases/Waivers of Liability forms (one time, for new students only)
  • Downloading of the WebEx application onto a laptop or device (it’s free!)
  • Checking your email for the WebEx link to join the class
  • A few minutes before the class, simply clicking the link within the email to be sent straight to our meeting room

To facilitate the benefits of such a virtual community practice at home, below we have provided some helpful hints:

  • Set up your mats at least 3 giant steps from your device.
  • Elevate your device 21-24″ from the floor and have it tilted forward slightly.
  • Have your props nearby.
  • Please know you will not need to have your video camera on during the practice.  If you would prefer to reduce the number of distractions or increase the sense of privacy, we invite you to turn off your video once the class starts.

Restorative Yoga Tips and Props

On the day of the class, here are some additional recommendations to create a more sacred space in advance for your practice:

  • Make sure you’ll be in a space where there won’t be any background noises, distractions or interruptions.
  • Adjusting the lighting in the room to your liking, perhaps turning off any overhead lighting and minimizing outdoor light and instead turning on a room lamp or lighting your favorite candle(s).
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing including socks.
  • We will not be playing any music or instruments through WebEx due to sound quality, so if you prefer to have some music, we encourage you to play your own using a separate device.  Consider choosing something soft and soothing, such as  instrumental music or sounds of nature.  You will be muted once class begins so it won’t disturb the class.

 In home prop ideas:

  • Bolster:  couch cushions or a tightly rolled comforter, towel, or blanket (can be secured with 2 ties, scarfs or belts)
  • Pillows:  couch, chair or bed pillows will do
  • Blankets:  your favorite blanket to cover yourself and either 2 additional blankets or bath or beach towels (no sheets)
  • Yoga blocks: books, either paper back or hard cover, stacked
  • Eye pillow:  hand towel, tie or scarf

Online Restorative Yoga Classes In June

These online classes will be conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing, which provides an option to turn off the video at any time, supporting your privacy and facilitating a reduction in distractions.  For first-time attendees, a signed release of liability form will be needed, which you can access by clicking here.  Once this form has been received, along with payment via PayPal (click here), an email will be sent to you with the link and meeting ID to join the class.  I look forward to being of service to you!

Virtual Community Gathering Practice Tips

We understand that this is not the ideal way to come together to practice and how sometimes just the thought of more technology might bring shivers down our spines.  Accepting that it’s OK to feel intimidated is the first step. We are doing our best to make the connection simple and easy.  Harnessing the warrior energy within will help you to face any tech fears you might have and join us!

Once you let us know that you are interested in attending, we will send you an email that will include details around what is needed from you, including:

  • Signed Releases/Waivers of Liability forms (one time, for new students only)
  • Downloading of the WebEx application onto a laptop or device (it’s free!)
  • Checking your email for the WebEx link to join the class
  • A few minutes before the class, simply clicking the link within the email to be sent straight to our meeting room

To facilitate the benefits of such a virtual community practice at home, below we have provided some helpful hints:

  • Set up your mats at least 3 giant steps from your device.
  • Elevate your device 21-24″ from the floor and have it tilted forward slightly.
  • Have your props nearby.
  • Please know you will not need to have your video camera on during the practice.  If you would prefer to reduce the number of distractions or increase the sense of privacy, we invite you to turn off your video once the class starts.

Restorative Yoga Tips and Props

On the day of the class, here are some additional recommendations to create a more sacred space in advance for your practice:

  • Make sure you’ll be in a space where there won’t be any background noises, distractions or interruptions.
  • Adjusting the lighting in the room to your liking, perhaps turning off any overhead lighting and minimizing outdoor light and instead turning on a room lamp or lighting your favorite candle(s).
  • Wear warm, comfortable clothing including socks.
  • We will not be playing any music or instruments through WebEx due to sound quality, so if you prefer to have some music, we encourage you to play your own using a separate device.  Consider choosing something soft and soothing, such as  instrumental music or sounds of nature.  You will be muted once class begins so it won’t disturb the class.

 In home prop ideas:

  • Bolster:  couch cushions or a tightly rolled comforter, towel, or blanket (can be secured with 2 ties, scarfs or belts)
  • Pillows:  couch, chair or bed pillows will do
  • Blankets:  your favorite blanket to cover yourself and either 2 additional blankets or bath or beach towels (no sheets)
  • Yoga blocks: books, either paper back or hard cover, stacked
  • Eye pillow:  hand towel, tie or scarf

Online Reiki-infused gentle movement and meditation class!

This online class will be conducted using WebEx’s video conferencing, which gives you the choice to turn off your camera to support giving yourself permission to make this practice your own and to facilitate a reduction in distractions.  For first-time attendees, we will need to secure a signed release of liability form, which will be sent to you via email.  Once we have this form, along with payment via PayPal, we will email you the link and meeting ID to join us on Sunday, 26th at 4 pm PST.  We look forward to be of service to you!

Does including music in a yoga class add to the healing benefits?

When I first started taking yoga classes years ago back in New Jersey, the teachers did not play music in the background.  There might have been some chanting, as I do remember learning about chanting “Om” and “Shanti” to start and end classes.  However, it wasn’t until I attended a class where the teacher played the quartz crystal singing bowls while we stayed in comfortable, supported shapes that sound caught my attention!  I left that class sensing that something deep inside of me had shifted, although I could not put it in to words at that time.  After moving to California, I noticed that most yoga teachers included music in their classes.  So once I became a yoga teacher, I began to include music in my classes while setting the intention to manifest a set of those singling bowls so I too one day would be able to offer that deeper experience to others.

After a few years, I acquired a set of Tibetan singing bowls which were made out of metal and generated different sound frequencies depending upon their size and thickness.  The belief was that the frequency of each bowl was tuned to the seven major chakras, or energy centers, in the body, causing the human body to begin to vibrate at the same frequency as the bowls, referred to as entrainment.  The process of entrainment of the body’s frequencies to the sound frequencies of the singing bowls was thought to help the body recover and align with its natural, dominant vibration of wellness (versus illness).  At the time, I didn’t have any evidenced-based research to prove such claims, I only had my own personal anecdotal experiences.  Although I think most of us would not argue how music impacts us, research is now starting to show how these specific vibrations from the singing bowls impact mood and Heart Rate Variability, a physiological measure of health.

Now, you have to understand, that although I love music, I do not have any musical talent.  I sing, but not well and only when I am alone and I have no musical instrument training.  I also avoided group exercise classes (before yoga) because I always felt I was a step behind everyone else – yes, I believed I had no rhythm or coordination, instead of knowing I simply vibrate at a different frequency!  It wasn’t until my yoga practice expanded my awareness to the fact that sound, vibration, rhythm, resonance and dissonance permeate the universe.  Those sounds start for us in the womb, where we hear our mother’s heartbeat, pulse and breathing (and entrain with these vibrations) and we remain rhythmic beings until we take our very last breath.

The intention behind the physical movement and shapes of a yoga practice on the mat is to soften the mind’s activity, by helping it to focus on the body and breath and releasing the tight grip of the thoughts that keep us distracted.  As we practice yoga, the brain waves of the mind change.  The higher frequency brain waves (i.e., Gamma and Beta) begin to slow down.  These higher frequency brain waves are associated with stress, anxiety, and fear.  When the singing bowls are included in the physical practice of yoga, in addition to the physically felt vibrations, the bowls emit measurable waveforms that sound pleasant and soothe the mind and emotions by promoting the slower, more meditative alpha and theta brain wave states.  So, over 15 years later, I couldn’t be happier that I have manifested a beautiful colored set of quartz crystal singing bowls to include in my yoga and meditation classes!

And I’m also excited to learn that therapeutic sound and music is permeating other healing spaces too.  The recent increase in research on the use of music in healing has shown a strong effect on the brain, including rebuilding neural connections, increasing neuroplasticity, balancing brain activity in the emotional centers such as the amygdala and hippocampus, and enhancing reward (e.g., release of dopamine) circuitry, which helps to regulate mental and emotional responses.  The research is compelling enough that music therapy is being integrated in military treatment facilities, such as the Walter Reed Medical Center, to treat combat-related traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.  So, the next time you are in a movement class and sense the enjoyment of the music, know that the sounds and vibrations are working at a deeper, subconscious level to invite the body to entrain to its natural vibration of health.  Nothing for you to do, simply enjoy!

If you would like to read more about how music is being integrated into military treatment facilities for trauma-induced mind-body dysregulation, click on the link below: