The Healing Powers of Sound
From the jungles of Ecuador to the mountains of Nepal… this is my journey to become a Sound Healer.
I was a high school “track star” and could barely touch my toes. The 100meter high hurdles was my event and I was state bound.
“If only I were more flexible,” I would say to myself. This is when I first found yoga. I would record 30 minute yoga classes on my parent’s TV using this new technology called a “DVR.” It was perfect, I would stretch, breathe, meditate, and of course… fast forward through commercials. Very meditative as I’m sure you can image.
Before I knew it, I was nearing my thirties and the ambitions of my years as an athlete had taken a toll on my body and my corporate job had taken a toll on my mind. I decided to dive deeper into my yoga practice, but had never actually walked into a yoga studio.
I was nervous, as we all may have been our first time, as I walked into the studio. I was certain this washed-up college athlete would be the laughing stock of the class. Then, like magic, as I struggled through each pose, wobbled in balancing postures, and was dumbfounded by the Sanskrit, I made it through my first class. I walked out. I was high. Yoga high. An addiction I will never kick.
I came back to my mat over and over. Within months I was flowing. Within a year I was dabbling in arm balances. Then totally unexpected, I could stand on my head. But it wasn’t the cool “Instagram ready” postures that had me thirsty for more. It was the calmness of my mind, the focus on my breath, and the time to slow down that I realized not only I needed, but my community, my country, my world… needed.
This is when my journey began to take an interesting turn.
I wanted to explore the idea of becoming a yoga teacher. To explore further what this might look like, I searched the internet for “affordable yoga retreats.” Bingo! There it was. I was off on a solo adventure to Montañita, Ecuador.
Montañita is a hippie’s paradise. Beach, surfing, and YOGA! What more could you need? I spent nearly three hours a day practicing various forms of yoga from Ashtanga to Yin and all variations of Vinyasa in between.
The experience was impactful, but nothing more than our evening in the jungle. We loaded into a tiny, dust covered car and headed inland to a hostel nestled amongst vibrant green trees along a river. Our host welcomed us in his open air living room with an open heart and open mind. He guided us down a path to a rustic yoga studio surrounded by bamboo thatches for Qigong breathing meditation. He was also a Reiki master. An evening of magical firsts.
Then I met Greg.
Greg was a former Wall Street man who gave up his lavish New York City apartment and all the luxuries such a lifestyle can afford for a set of sound bowls. Curious, I sat down and he placed the bowls around me and on me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but with the first strike of the bowl, the vibration flowed throughout my body relaxing every inch of my being. I was high. I was yoga high. Again. I could barely function. I was sold. Yoga… not just asana (the physical practice) would be in my life forever.
After returning home, I completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. I felt content with my accomplishment, but still felt I needed more. I wanted to not only teach yoga, but I really wanted to help people. I wanted to heal people. I want people to experience the healing that I had experienced in Ecuador, but in a more authentic space, the place where this energy healing was born… The Himalaya Mountains.
I found myself searching the internet, again. “Sound healing,” I typed. I found some schools in Nepal, but nothing that really stood out. That’s when I came across, “Sound Healing Nepal.”
Then I met Anup.
Anup is a young, brilliant entrepreneur who left his high paying job as an IT engineer to pursue his passion for yoga. His focus being Nāda yoga which is the healing energy of sound vibrations. I was immediately drawn to the passion demonstrated on his Instagram and the fact that he wouldn’t just take me as a student to make a buck, but he genuinely wanted to understand “why” I wanted to become a sound healer.
Within a few months, I was aboard my next flight heading to Pokhara, Nepal. Pokhara is a beautiful city situated between mountainous peaks of the Himalayas. I stayed at a remote hostel with a beautiful garden and view of the lake. Every day I woke up to crisp mountain air and the sound of the birds chirping just outside my room. As I walked the path along the river to meet Anup, the Nepali people graciously greeting me along the way, hands pressed together, “Namaste,” they would say with a humble bow of the head.
Words can’t express all that I learned from Anup. His passion was contagious. He taught me the philosophy, the physics, the energetic qualities, the history, the healing power of sound healing. He showed me sound bath, how to chant, and sound therapy.
Next thing I knew, I was on a personal journey of self-exploration, a sort of atonement so to speak, in preparation to become the best healer I could be. Me. Alone. 32 miles. 3 days. 11,000 feet. Alone. Trekking the Himalayas in the Annapurna region. Alone.
My backpack weighed roughly 30lbs. and I cursed Anup the entire way for talking me into carrying a sound bowl in my bag. Every pound counts when you are climbing these mountains as a girl from Ohio and sound healing is not a “light” hobby by any means.
The final day of my trek, I arose at 5:00AM and hiked the rocky, dark path to my final summit… did I say alone? I could see the sun peeking through the trees and I began to jog. The thin air was crisp and cold, but I was not going to miss this sunrise over the view I had worked so hard to see. I made it just in time to witness the pinkish-orange light of the sun kiss the snowcapped mountains.
I wasn’t only overcome with a sense of pride or by the beauty… but the energy of the Himalayas is truly magical. You can feel it. I stood for a moment consuming the literally breath taking view then slowly removed my sound bowl from my pack. I held it in my hands, the coolness of the seven metals that make up a sound bowl touching my skin. All the mistakes, all the good decisions I had made, led me here. To this moment. My body. My breath. My passion. My journey.
I can feel the magical energy of the Himalayas through the vibrations of the sound bowls. I find myself writing this nearly 8,000 miles away, thankful that I have brought this healing energy back with me and I cannot wait to share this powerful practice with my community in my country.
Join me at one of my Sound + Soul sessions at GoYoga in the Brewery District. Come feel the healing energy of the beautiful, majestic Himalaya Mountains.