“What an earth is a GongBath?!!?”… were my thoughts exactly when I had an email through my inbox notifying me of the event. In a quest to manage my anxiety and make myself feel positive I am trying just about anything that claims it will ‘reduce stress’ and ‘promote relaxation’.
A Gongbath is a form of sound therapy – basically a gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about relaxation. I need relaxation alright so I thought “why not, lets give this a go!”
The session was hosted at the Montcalm Marble Arch – London. Mats, duvets and pillows were set out for each participant – I walked in and first thought I was attending a group napping session! There were some lovely touches which made the 45 minute session seem more substantial, vegan protein smoothies, provided by KIN Nutrition to refuel afterwards and also coco chocolate energy balls which were delish!
The instructions for the session were simple.. all you had to do was lie on your back with your eyes closed. The gongs are then played very softly increasing the volume as the session progresses. The temperature also dropped as the session went on, hence the need for the duvet…I was shivering at one point!
The sound of the gong is meant to lull you into an ‘effortless state of relaxation’, rejuvenate you and be transformative in unblocking emotions. These benefits sold the session to me, I thought I would be walking out a new woman!
In reality and in all honestly I struggled with the session, I found it so hard to relax, my eyes kept peeking around and my mind definitely wandered. Don’t get me wrong, some people when I spoke to them after the session, found it amazing – one person even fell asleep because they were so relaxed! I just feel as though my brain is too busy at the moment, I felt calm but I know that I did not truly immerse myself in this experience, my ‘to-do’ list seemed to be far more important to me and I just could not clear my mind! This is something that I really need to work on, I need to be able to switch off at times and the fact that I just could not do this worries me.
I think one reason for my struggle in the Gongbath session is that I am relatively new to meditation, I do not meditate daily and I use it as an ‘if and when I need it’ tool. I use meditation as a coping mechanism when I am already at a terrible stage, with tightness in my chest and the inability to breathe. Those who were more familiar to meditating probably appreciated the experience more than myself. I definitely would be up for trying this again though, I think now that I know what to expect I would be able to let myself relax more and really let myself cherish the experience.
Writing this has sparked a thought … maybe if I introduce meditation into my daily routine I won’t use it so much as a last minute technique for managing anxiety, maybe doing a little daily will prevent me from having to do a lot when the panic strikes, when my chest is at the peak of tightness, when I can’t breathe and when my heart rate is up to 20000 bpm (Just kidding, that’s impossible!)
I suppose as they say, doing something is better than doing nothing, so let me try and adopt this mentality!
Any tips and thoughts on how to make incorporating meditation into my daily/weekly routine are much appreciated.