So, What Exactly Is a Sound Bath Anyway?

We’ve got the 4-1-1 from local expert Lesley Saligoe on the relaxing and meditative experience.
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I’ve always been a fan of Lesley Saligoe Botanicals (her Holy and Nola candles are two staples I can’t live without), so when I saw her Instagram post about a sound bath at her studio I had to sign up. The only thing I knew about a sound bath at the time was what her post said, “rest + receive” along with instructions to bring a yoga mat, blanket, pillow, and to dress cozy.

I usually have a hard time turning off my inner thoughts and meditating, but during Lesley’s hour-long sound bath I was able to clear my mind, relax, and enjoy the experience. Lesley played a variety of different bowls and instruments that you not only heard but could feel inside of you. I left her studio that afternoon feeling light and calm. 

Lesley talked to Indy Maven to give us the scoop on sound baths and how she got into this immersive, full body listening practice. 

What is a sound bath? What is the purpose of it?

A sound bath is an immersive yet restful experience. It’s all about relaxation and reclaiming your time. I call it Restorative Rest + Resonant Sound. I play numerous percussion instruments and singing bowls. The tones work to calm, balance, and fortify your energetic body, all while you nap or meditate.

Are there any specific issues it is meant to address?

Sound healing has emotional, psychological, and physiological benefits. It is great for reducing stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Sound healing can help some people think more clearly and experience less brain fog. It can contribute to pain reduction as well as restoring balance overall.

Who should get a sound bath?

Anyone who is looking to take a bit of time for themselves and relax! That includes little ones. I’ve had children starting at 6 years old experience sound healing and really enjoy it. 

Photo: Charlee Black/Good Friends Studio
How does it work?

People can expect to be welcomed into a safe, caring environment. I always strive to let them know that we are all human, doing our best, and to not put too much pressure on themselves. I want it to be low pressure—no judgment, no expectations, no beating yourself up. It’s a lot like a yoga studio set up. Everyone lays down on their mat, covers up, and settles in. We sometimes begin the session with a short, guided meditation or affirmation. I play Tibetan bowls, crystal bowls, and various percussion instruments in tandem with nature sounds. When the session is over, the participants gently come back to reality and take their newfound peace home with them. Most people say that they feel grounded, calm, refreshed, and relaxed afterward.

Is this something you should do regularly to get benefits?

I think the benefits can be felt whether you go for a sound bath once a quarter or every week. It just depends on your self-care practice and free time. I think in person sound baths are amazing and transformative but pre-recorded singing bowls, chimes, and nature sounds truly can help as well. I listen to healing sounds at home while cleaning or when I am having a tough time getting to sleep.

How did you learn how to do this?

While some healing modalities like herbalism and Reiki truly need mentorship and training, sound healing was way more intuitive for me. I took a break from offering Reiki healing in 2016 after the election and picked up sound healing as a healthy coping mechanism for myself. I started with one Tibetan bowl and one crystal bowl. I just keep collecting instruments and playing them, noting how I felt before, during, and after. I read a lot of books and used my knowledge of our energetic bodies when developing my style. As time progressed and I felt the positive effects I wanted to share it with others. Three years after purchasing my first instrument I made adjustments in my studio space to accommodate the practice and asked folks to join me. I hosted sessions weekly for about six months until COVID-19 social distancing took effect.


Lesley Jean Saligoe is an herbalist, energetic hygienist, sound healer, Reiki III practitioner/teacher, blue collar Buddhist, dog mom, and ghost show enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram @leslesaligoebotanicals.

Photos: Charlee Black/Good Friends Studio

Check out an example of a sound bath from our Facebook Live with Lesley Saligoe.

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