Need some extra help feeling settled in the new year? It might be time to check out one of Live Well’s new offerings, Restore Harmony. Lead by Amy Clem, this offering combines a gentle asana sequence with sound healing using crystal bowls. This one of a kind experience can help soothe and de-stress; it’s a radical act of self care.
Upon arriving to the studio, sound travellers are invited to roll out their mats and grab any props to make restorative postures comfortable—bolsters, blankets, eye pillows. Amy gives a brief itinerary at the beginning then invites everyone to settle in. Restorative postures are offered one at a time and held for several minutes each. While the class is melting into each gentle pose, Amy artfully plays her set of crystal bowls. The sound fills the big, beautifully lit space and laps at your feet as if sitting with your toes at the edge of an ocean. Harmonies created by the bowls swirl around, creating a safe cocoon to relax in. Throughout the practice Amy will offer small seedlings of meditations: simple ideas and affirmations that participants can hang on to or let pass.
The experience lulls everyone into a sweet, blissful state.
If you have experienced the Sonic Journey lead by Amy and her husband, Mark, you may be familiar with the flow of these offerings. The main difference is that Restore Harmony exclusively uses crystal bowls and participants are lead through an asana practice during the sound meditation. The crystal bowls Amy uses are tuned to each of the body’s seven chakras, or energy centers. This aids in shifting the subtle energies in the body to achieve improved energy flow and well-being.
The concept of using sound to improve well being is referred to as sound healing or vibrational medicine. Sound healing is rooted in the premise that everything is vibrating. These vibrations can be visible movements or tiny and imperceptible. Amy notes that, “sound and vibration affect the body on a cellular level, opening up the flow of energy by removing blockages or stagnation and raising our overall frequencies.” Shifting frequencies, she says, can help change our mood. Anger, fear and resentment are associated with low frequencies (like a grumble or a growl) while happiness, love and compassion are associated with higher vibrations (think laughing, cheering or singing). By employing sound we are able to achieve, “profound relaxation, rest, deep states of meditation…or a connection to parts of ourselves (intuition, spirit, inner guide, etc…) that may be difficult without the use of sound,” according to Amy.
Amy, who has a background in dance, practices massage therapy and has studied Ayurveda, cranio-sacral therapy, Reiki, Thai massage and yoga. She discovered her love for sound healing during her yoga teacher training at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas, California, where she primarily studied Kundalini yoga. The Kundalini lineage of yoga employs gongs and chanting mantras as an important part of the practice. After taking her first restorative class where the instructor used crystal bowls, she was immediately drawn to the practice of sound healing. She now incorporates sound in to her classes and in her personal practice. She has been teaching classes and workshops at LiveWell in Corvallis for almost two years and we are so fortunate to have her!
For anyone wanting to experience an immersive sound offering Amy offers these tips:
· Come with an open mind and heart.
· Wear warm and cozy layers since the physical practice is very light.
· Live Well has blankets, bolsters and eye pillows, but bring anything else you might want. Some people will bring an extra thick pad to lay on or a favorite blanket.
· Tea is provided for afterwards so you can relax and prepare to continue on with your day.
· Cards with self care tips are provided after the experience as different emotions or energies can surface after sound healing.
To see when Restore Harmony and Sonic Journey happen next, visit our workshops page.