Oddbod & The City: Floating On A Sound Cloud
It has never been harder to maintain your bubble of calm and tranquillity. Outside is on fire. I am not going to elaborate; I am fed up with complaining but suffice to say, everyone is running around with a short fuse. What I am trying to focus on right now is how to keep sane. Lagos living seems determined to break me. The pressure keeps mounting, and it would be foolish to assume that one does not need to focus and adapt coping mechanisms to compensate.
I was minding my business when I got a message from my friends at 16/16. I say friends because due to a slight obsession with chicken green curry, I am a regular patron of their sister company Thai Thai. I digress. I get a voice note from Tushar, and he is telling me they have organised a sound bath and tea ceremony on a Sunday afternoon at their interactive space. They were looking for 8-10 interested bodies to take part. He had me at “if you are stressed at the price of onions…”
Sound bath, you ask? It is a meditative experience where the healing power of sound waves is used to relieve stress and even physical ailments if done right. The practice is over 2000 years old, so there is nothing “new age” about it. It was not so far-fetched to me that sound could be used in this manner as I am just on the other side of using ultrasound treatment to great effects at the physiotherapist to heal the split meniscus in my knee, so even as an ex-pharmacist, I went with an open mind for the whole experience. The sound is usually created by harmonising Tibetan bowls made of brass or quartz. The different frequencies come together to create a unique frequency. The soundwaves are purported to be healing, bring about realignment, increased awareness, and sensitivity.
Our guide for the experience, Sheila Chukwulozie, who is self-taught turned to the practice to get through pandemic induced insomnia and multiple ailments plaguing her.
We started with a pallet cleansing tea, and then after we all spaced out on yoga mats, flat on our back, we went through some breath work together, and the session began. We were under for an hour and a half, although the whole day seemed scrambled in my mind as I lost all sense of time. This was part of the healing because, to paraphrase Sheila, holding on to the concept of time can be a burden: wondering if you are wasting time or making the best use of your time can easily negatively enslave you.
The sound feels like a physical entity as it washes over you (I guess that is why it’s called a bath), and I was working on letting it flow through my body and empty my mind. I very much enjoyed the experience, and when I emerged from it, there was an incredible feeling of stillness in my mind which is an absolute blessing for an overthinker like myself. Most people fell asleep, but I was aware that I didn’t want to torment anyone with my snoring.
After that, we had some splendid homemade tea that Sheila typically makes with seven to fifteen different spices.
I have found it quite helpful in battling my insomnia. The sound (not music, there is a distinction) was found quickly after searching iTunes.