I have no idea how loud it was in the yoga studio a couple of Fridays back, but I do know that it was not only loud but high-frequency chiming from the sound bowls grated on my auditory nerve like nails on a chalkboard. I was terribly uncomfortable and I was wondering when this sound bombardment would end!
Let me start from the beginning. I love everything “woo woo”, well maybe not everything, I think the Rashnesh definitely took their free love cult too far, but I am into all kinds of healing arts, meditation, and yoga. When my friend invited me to go to a “Sound bath” at her local studio I was elated. I really looked forward to some restorative yoga and some sound sensation to relax and move me after a long work week. I put on some comfy stretchy pants and a loose shirt and took my yoga mat and met up with her for an evening of sound soul searching.
To my surprise, it was much different than that. We weren’t doing any movement, the whole hour was just mediation and sitting or laying down while we were bombarded with loud chiming high pitched crystal bowl sounds. Now I never thought I have Misophonia - “a condition characterized by a strongly negative and atypical emotional and physiological response to certain common, repetitive sounds” but that was exactly what I experienced that evening.
After about 5 or 10 minutes, I became terribly uncomfortable. I felt there was too much sound being shot into my cochlea and the high frequency bouncing off the already partially damaged hair cells felt problematic. I was glad that I had my PepPlugs (pepplugs.com) because the sound was unbearable to me. I looked around and everyone else seemed to be soaking it up. They were transcending into a sound bathing experience and I felt it was a noise drowning experience. So interesting how 30 people can be exposed to the same sound frequencies and some can have a total adverse reaction to it.
What is more surprising is that I love music and acoustics, I love having percussion and unique sound sources but in an enclosed space, I felt trapped and bombarded with this.
To learn more about Misophonia visit - https://misophoniaresearch.net/
Sound baths - To learn more about sound baths visit - https://www.healthline.com/health/sound-bath
Here’s another article from someone else who is not a sound bath kind of girl.
In conclusion, A sound bath, it isn’t for everyone. Some people may find this type of therapy or event, relaxing or transcending but I found it to be straight out noise pollution and terribly uncomfortable. I would encourage the folks who put on these events to warn their participants of the potential risks of sound exposure and invite them to leave as needed.