Lindsay Foreman of Spirt Path demonstrates sounds her singing bowls make before a winter solstice sound bath, Dec. 21, 2018. The event itself was a photo-free zone. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Lindsay Foreman of Spirt Path demonstrates sounds her singing bowls make before a winter solstice sound bath, Dec. 21, 2018. The event itself was a photo-free zone. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

I tried my first sound bath, and was not disappointed

My first foray into sound healing was surprisingly pleasant

In a buddy cop movie, I root for the partner with a buzzcut, short-sleeved button down and pending retirement. Bob Newhart is my idea of an aspirational iconoclast. That is to say, I’m the type of square from the Midwest who uses words like square and is unlikely to participate in a sound bath celebrating the winter solstice.

But because I try to be as open-minded and searching as I am fundamentally skeptical, Friday evening I participated in the solstice sound bath led by Lindsay Foreman of Spirit Path at The Yoga Path — after calling ahead and asking yoga instructor Jodee Dixon what correct attire is for a sound bath, of course.

[Ravi Shankar visits Juneau]

So, in comfortable, not-quite gym attire I was one of dozens of people perched on a cushion and ready to celebrate the rebirth of the sun while Foreman guided us through chants, worked her singing bowls with a felt wand and played a drum.

Beforehand Foreman told me the objective of the sound bath was “letting go of what no longer serves you and bringing in what does.” She said making sounds with sacred chants makes space in the body for the things that serve us.

Sound baths draw their name from the sense of immersion that comes with being surrounded by sounds. The practice dates back thousands of years and is intended to promote healing as well as mental health.

Even if I’m going to remain respectfully skeptical of the physical healing prowess of group chants, it was a nice mental balm and an experience I think most would enjoy.

For an hour, I was able to set down my phone, stop picking at my cuticles and shift some of my core anxieties to the back burner.

A quiet group meditation kicked off the event before Foreman struck singing bowls with a felt wand.

By circling the rim of the bowls, Foreman produced an ethereal hum similar to the resonance created by running a wet finger over good glassware.

Simple monosyllabic chants were introduced.

It sounded and felt as if the entire room was participating, and that was the highlight of the sound bath.

For seconds at a time, a room of strangers became a single vibrating string on the same instrument, and it sounded soothing in a way that I can only describe as an amalgam of other sounds.

Moments when the tones of the bowls and the voices of the group achieved harmony produced a satisfying drone that was some blend of Beatles harmony, didgeridoo hum and choral song.

Eventually things built toward more complex and intimidating chants, but I found myself absentmindedly mouthing the syllables and adding my voice to the group’s noise.

It was surprising when I noticed it, and a testament to the welcoming atmosphere that was cultivated.

A bout of silence wrapped up the sound bath.

Once the drum, chanting and bowls were quiet, and the event drew to a close, the sound of shuffling limbs, cracking joints and contended exhales filled the room.

I felt better than when I went in and ready for whatever came next, and it seemed like everyone else was, too.

“This is the first time I’ve shared this with the public,” Foreman said in an interview afterward.

But it was not her first time marking a solstice with a sound bath, and she said she has hopes it could become an annual event. Afterward, delighted sound bathers stayed to ask if sound baths might become a more regular occurrence.

Foreman said she offers private instruction, and there are tentative plans to make sound baths more frequent in 2019.

Lindsay Foreman, who lead a winter solstice sound bath at The Yoga Path, runs a foam wand around the rim of a singing bowl before the Dec. 21, 2018 event.

Lindsay Foreman, who lead a winter solstice sound bath at The Yoga Path, runs a foam wand around the rim of a singing bowl before the Dec. 21, 2018 event.

More in Home2

A memorial on Front Street for Steven Kissack on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: A ‘homeless’ man’s death, charity and justice

Steven Kissack’s presence with his dog Juno in downtown Juneau gave a… Continue reading

A male sockeye salmon makes its way upstream. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Life history patterns

Most organisms have one of two basic, genetically programmed life histories. Some… Continue reading

A return envelope for the 2022 special primary election in Alaska. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: Repealing ranked choice voting a chance to restore fair play and transparent government

I usually ignore Rich Moniak’s excursions into misdirection, although most are written… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
Community calendar of upcoming events

This is a calendar updated daily of upcoming local events during the… Continue reading

Athletes practice new moves while wrestling during a 2023 Labor Day weekend clinic at the Juneau Youth Wrestling Club. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Neighbors briefs

Juneau Youth Wrestling Club hosting two clinics this summer The Juneau Youth… Continue reading

Dancers rehearsed in front of “Tahku,” the whale sculpture ahead of the Climate Fair for a Cool Planet in 2021. (Courtesy of Mike Tobin)
My Turn: Thank the cool, rainy heavens we live in Juneau

Thank heavens we don’t live in Houston, oil capital of the U.S.,… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker, left, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott are seen at their 2014 inauguration in Centennial Hall. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The election fantasy of a hopeful fool

“We have an opportunity now to lower the volume of this race,”… Continue reading

Ingredients for cauliflower shrimp salad ready to prepare. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for pleasure: Cauliflower shrimp salad

I realize that this combination sounds a bit odd, but I’ve become… Continue reading

Most Read