With everything going on in the world right now, a little relaxation is exactly what we all need. But tuning out and finding inner peace is easier said than done. New York City-based yoga instructor Phyllicia Bonanno is here to help you find a moment of mindfulness through sound bath meditation, and she took Health though each step during a Fit Friday Live segment.
What exactly is a sound bath? It's a form of meditation that has you "bathe" in relaxation sound vibrations created by instruments, Bonanno explains. She uses singing bowls made from different crystals, each of which gives off a unique chime-like tone when played. The point is to use the sounds to drown out distractions and help deepen the meditation. Sound bathing is especially beneficial to those who are just starting to meditate and those who struggle to stay focused, she says.
To start, find a comfortable space to sit or lie down, like your couch or bed. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.
In her demo, Bonanno leads us through guided breathing, focusing on slow, deep inhalations and exhalations. She recommends placing one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach to help steady your breathing. Focus on how your body feels as you breathe, letting yourself sink into the surface you're resting on and surrendering into the peace of the present moment.
Throughout the meditation, Bonanno encourages you to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings that prevent you from reaching a deeper state of mindfulness. Whether it's a stressful relationship moment or a painful memory, Bonanno says that actively envisioning letting it go is part of the meditation process.
As you continue your deep, steady breathing, visualize yourself letting go of negativity and embracing love and goodness. This is for getting deeper into the meditation and feeling the full benefits of the sound bath, advises Bonanno.
As you reach the end of the meditation, place both of your hands on your chest and take a few deep breaths. Bonanno encourages you to repeat the phrase, "I surrender to my true self" three times while continuing to hold your hands against your chest. Wrap your arms around yourself in a hug and bring your hands to heart center to finish out your meditation.
While this meditation is a quick way to squeeze in a moment of peace during your busy day, Bonanno says that a meditation practice can be as long and as often as you'd like. Just find a quiet space and allow your self to surrender.
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