Sound healing has become the wellness modality du jour ever since pop culture's New Age guinea pig, Gwyneth Paltrow, put it on the map in 2016.
Part meditation and part otherworldly nap, "sound baths" (clarification: claw-footed porcelain and water are not part of the equation) are sound-meditation sessions during which practitioners sit or lay with eyes closed and "bathe" in healing sounds and vibrations produced by crystal bowls, tuning forks, and rainforest sticks. Devotees claim its benefits include relief from chronic pain, digestive issues, stress, and depression. If this, er, sounds like what you need to quiet that monkey mind, we've rounded up the five best sound-healing experts in the Bay Area, who can help you get your aural on.
Full Moon Ceremony With Abigail Tyler
Each month, Abigail Tyler and her team of yogis throw a multisensory celebration to welcome the new or full moon. The evening events include breathwork, chanting, reiki, a discussion of the lunar phases, and sound healing using chimes, rattles, a Chilean cactus rain stick, and a variety of singing bowls. A final call-and-response exercise helps aid the release of any lingering anxiety or stress. If you want to come back for more, The Center SF offers additional sound healing events with different practitioners. // 548 Fillmore St. (Lower Haight), thecentersf.com. // 548 Fillmore St. (Lower Haight), thecentersf.com
Inner Sounds Meditation
Melissa Felsenstein offers occasional sound healings at Square One Yoga in El Cerrito, as well as regular experiences at venues around the Bay Area. Paiste gongs and quartz singing bowls are played throughout an hour-long sound savasana meant to relieve tension in the body and promote deep rest. Themes range from restorative to mindful movement. // Rotating locations in the East Bay, innersoundsmeditation.com
Sound Meditation SF
A local sound-healing outfit that follows the vibrational-healing philosophy of Nada Yoga, Sound Meditation SF hosts a monthly sound bath for hundreds of devotees at such locations as Grace Cathedral in addition to seasonal meet-ups at the Conservatory of Flowers. Students lay in savasana while the instructor uses gongs, crystal singing bowls, shamanic drums, and chimes to create healing vibrations. // Rotating locations (San Francisco), soundmeditationsf.com
Outdoor Yoga SF
Outdoor Yoga SF's meditative sound experience is for those new to the practice or who like a little movement with their chimes. During the Silent Disco Yoga class, held in beautiful outdoor spaces including Baker Beach and Crissy Field, participants listen to healing tunes via headphones while moving through a gentle asana sequence. // Rotating locations (SF and East Bay), outdooryogasf.com
Resonate: Sound Heals at Halcyon
If you want to try sound healing by making your way through a rotating roster of SF's most experienced sonic practitioners, Halcyon's new Thursday night sound experience might just be your new happy hour. One-hour sessions range from pure sound baths to yoga with sound, depending on the specialty of the instructor. Classes are currently running at least once a month. // Occasional Thursdays; 314 11th St. (SoMa), halcyon-sf.com