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How I fell in love with singing bowls

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Shelley playing singing bowls

I'm the kind of person who will try anything once, so when I saw a sign for a Sound Healing Workshop in Kerala, India, while waiting for my Yoga Teacher Training to start, I thought - why not?

After enquiring about what it entailed and checking out the space to make sure it wasn't dodgy (this was India after all) I got a good vibe from Zahid the sound healer, so booked the 45min session. It took place in a little room out the back of his shop. I lay down on a yoga mat surrounded by different sized singing bowls while Zahid played them seamlessly, putting me into a state of deep relaxation.

Singing bowls can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, realign your chakras, as well as relieving muscle and joint pain. It is an ancient form of regeneration that entrains the brain to move into Theta brain wave frequencies, which induce deep meditative and peaceful states. The bowls are a powerful tool for alternative healing and I was hooked, I had to have one.

Choosing a bowl of my own was a very special experience. I wanted a handmade bowl with a spiritual connection - as opposed to a factory made, mass produced one. Zahid sells bowls crafted by monks in the Himalayas, from his hometown Leh, in Ladkah, in the Kashmir region of India. It's a special process that takes four people to shape the melted gold, silver, bronze, zinc, iron and aluminium into a circular shape. They hand hammer it over a fire for a maximum of three hours - any longer than that and the metal will become too fragile and lose its quality and sound. As I closed my eyes, Zahid played my favourite bowls close by, and helped me to narrow it down to a couple of options with sound I connected to the best, before deciding on "the one".

I'm not a natural when it comes to picking up new skills, so it took a while to master getting the bowl to sing. It's all about applying the right amount of pressure and building up the vibrations. For detailed instructions on technique, check out Shanti Bowl.

My singing bowl is my most prized possession from my month in India, I hope to add to my collection and run my own sound healing sessions in the future.

Shelley choosing a singing bowl in a shop in Varkala

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