Yoga instructor and sound therapist Jessica Cross offers something so unique to our Soul Strong classes: sound therapy. And sometimes, it’s combined with Yin postures! The experience can facilitate deep relaxation, mental clarity and a meditative state among participants. To dive deeper, I asked Jessica about her background in sound therapy. Check out the interview below!
1) I’d love to know more about you and your background with sound therapy. How did you start down this path?
My journey with sound began at a young age. I played several instruments and also trained in dance through college. Sound was a powerful force that allowed me to create and share with others. Once I finished school, I thought I had to leave behind my passions to focus on building a career. I’d soon learn the lesson that things come back around in other forms as yoga and sound entered my life. I was first introduced to sound therapy while in savasana in a class. The teacher began playing a bowl while we rested and I immediately wanted to sit up to see what was making that incredible sound, but I was too relaxed to move! I soon sought out any sound offering and resource I could locate to not only deepen my practice but to share it with others.
2) How does sound therapy work? And what are some of the benefits?
It’s science! Sound therapy works through a process called entrainment. The sound practitioner plays a rhythmic sequence, sending out calming sound waves, for our brainwaves to ‘hook’ onto. Our brainwaves begin to match the same frequency and pace of the sound waves. The process is similar to two clock pendulums matching speeds, but on a biological level. Sound provides a tool for the mind to utilize to drop into a meditative state quickly and at times, more deeply, than with silence alone.
The beauty is, every sound experience is different and unique to the individual. Participants may feel a deep sense of calm and clarity after a sound experience. Some will fall into a deep sleep minutes into the practice and wake as if they’ve had a nights worth of rest. And the best part is that you’ll get exactly what you need from that practice in that moment, without having to do or be anything but on your mat.
3) Why combine a sound bath with Yin Yoga? Tell us more about that!
The practice of Yin Yoga is deeply nourishing for the nervous system. Rather than finding dynamic movement in and out of postures, like we experience in our flow or Yang practices, the Yin practice is grounding and slow. We stay close to the earth and hold poses for longer periods of time. Yin Yoga is the sister of Restorative Yoga, and I often draw from both practices to provide the most nourishing offering for my students. I’ve found that Yin and Sound practices complement each other well and create a mini-retreat for the nervous system when paired. These two practices are transformative.
To learn more about Jessica’s sound healing practice, Sound for Stress, check out here website HERE.
For more information about sound therapy, check out the following links:
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