Stressed out city dwellers, take note: a gong bath may be just what you need to decompress and add some balance back to your life. We asked London-based gong and yoga teacher Leo Cosendai to give us an overview of the experience so you can decide for yourself.
what is a gong bath?
A gong bath is a meditative practice which involves several non-physical aspects of yoga.
The therapist/healer/instructor who takes care of the students essentially works with gong as a medicinal tool rather than a musical instrument. The idea is to play with the gong in a such a way that the people who are on their floor with their eyes covered experience the sound without hearing rhythms or patterns. This way there is no sense of time and the experience becomes transcendental.
how did you get into gonging?
I originally trained as a contemporary singer and composer, so I technically got into yoga as a full time musician before fully transitioning. Gongs are mesmerising and I think I would have fallen for them regardless of what I did before. I learned with Don Conreaux, who approaches the gong with a very particular vision which involves yoga, dance and shamanism.
what can people new to gonging expect?
Experiences can vary but I usually advise not to expect anything, regardless of what you are about to do. People often feel their body slightly hovering off the floor and develop a sense of unity and neutrality, which is an amazing feeling to have. Others may experience random/old pains surfacing in order to move on and grow spiritually. The tones of the gongs also tend to stimulate the frontal lobes of the brain and therefore stimulate creativity.
who benefits from getting gonged?
Literally everyone benefits from the practice. I sometimes also get dogs (pet dogs but also guide dogs).
get gonged with leo
I do gong bath meditations at indaba every other Sunday night. You can also find me at the refinery, Union Station Yoga, Power Yoga Company, Down to Earth, Barbican Yoga Cave, and The Life Centre (where I do workshops and teach prana kriya yoga and meditation).
I also do private (sound healing and reflexology) sessions and treatments at indaba and gong baths in people's homes.