· By Megan Alexander
We chatted with sound bath facilitator, Megan Marie Gates
Can you tell us a bit about what a sound bath is and what the benefits are?
Sound baths are meditative, intuitive offerings where soothing/activating frequencies and sound are guiding the participants' experience. You will often be asked to either sit comfortably or lay down, to find a place of ease and receptivity and to simply to listen and allow the sounds to take you wherever they are meant to in that session. There are so many potential benefits of a sound bath, but a few are:
- Deep relaxation and deeper sleep patterns
- A healthier immune system
- Brings regeneration to places of physical upset
- Stress relieving
- Aids in meditation and dream-work
- Activates creativity, psychedelic responses and a sense of enchantment
What originally got you interested in sound baths?
Music has been the biggest driving force in my life since I was little. Before teaching yoga and offering sound meditations, I was a professional musical theatre artist and worked throughout Canada for five years.
Around the time I did my first yoga teacher training, a dear friend of mine (who was immersed in their own sound therapy practice) showed me that sound and music could be created in a way that was medicinal, grounding and beautifully meditative. I loved the experience of sound meditations/sound baths and connected deeply to meditation through the act of deep listening and soothing vibrations.
What is your style of sound bath?
I believe that when we are working with folks in a meditative space, the less you do can often be the most powerful and potent.
I try to keep my sound meditations both simple and full at the same time. Everything I do is intuitive and unplanned, and I work primarily with crystal singing bowls, chimes, drumming, tuning forks, voice and field recordings.
How do you think they can compliment a yoga or meditation practice?
They compliment each other in so many ways. Music and movement go together beautifully and I often work with yoga teachers to provide soundscapes for yoga classes.
Sound as meditation can be deeply powerful for folks who may have a harder time with meditation in general, and can often bring people much deeper, quicker.
Do you have a self-care/mindfulness practice?
My self-care practice consists of: morning writing practice (poetry + songs), having a bath (...or two) a day, ecstatic/free form dance and sun-gazing.
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance as an entrepreneur/business owner?
Not well sometimes! I think that living in this world at this time when things are moving so fast and we are asked to work so, so hard can often result in burnout and exhaustion.
When I make sure to be immersed in art (galleries, theatre, dance etc), when I prioritize time with my family (chosen and blood) and when I make sure to have two days a week of doing absolutely nothing, THAT'S when I feel that I am in a balance and inspired in my own offerings.
What is your favourite book/movie/music to feed your soul?
Ooh I have far too many of all of these! Paring it down: My favourite book right now is ‘A Branch from the Lightning Tree’ by Martin Shaw, favourite musical artist would be Nicola Cruz, and my favourite movie at the moment is ‘Call Me By Your Name’.