By Danielle Dorsey
Sound baths are quickly becoming L.A’.s new favorite way to meditate. Before you go accusing us of our usual pseudo-spiritual shenanigans, take a look at the science. Sound healing, an ancient wellness practice dating back thousands of years, has been linked to reductions in stress and anxiety, and been shown to decrease blood pressure more than traditional meditation. Sounds travels through water four times faster than it travels through air, and since our bodies are mostly composed of water, many believe that sound helps us recalibrate. Through the use of gongs, bells, bowls, flutes, chimes, and other instruments, practitioners take students on a sonic journey of healing, one that resonates long after the session ends.
Sound baths are a fairly recent phenomenon in the West, so don’t feel bad if you have no idea where to look for them. We’ve got you covered with this list of our favorite sound bath studios and teachers.
I was first introduced to sound healing through Torkom Ji at the Lightning in a Bottle festival three years ago. At the time I had never heard of sound baths and had no idea what to expect. As soon as Torkom struck his gong, I felt all of my reservations dissipate as I became engulfed in calm. After the ceremony, I spoke with Torkom Ji and found out that he regularly hosts sound baths in LA, where he’s regarded as a leader within the sound therapy movement. Visit his website for his schedule and to see where he’s performing around Los Angeles.
Torkom Ji hosts sound baths around the greater Los Angeles area.
ANA NETANEL’S NEW MOON SOUND BATH
Sound baths are often held on the same day as auspicious astrological events, like new moons and eclipses. At Ana Netanel’s monthly new moon sound baths, some of her instruments are even attuned to the planets. Attendees bring their own blankets, pillows, and whatever else will help them get comfortable for the hour-and-a-half long sound experience. With organic eye pillows heavy on your lids, you’ll soon find yourself floating in a lucid, dreamlike state. At $20 per class, Netanel’s sound baths cost about the same as your average yoga class. She holds monthly sound bath meditations at Yoga West in West L.A.
Ana Netanel’s New Moon Sound Bath at Yoga West is located at 1535 Robertson Boulevard in Pico-Robertson. (310) 210-7412
Created and produced by Kundalini yoga teacher Liza Sat-Akal Camba, Luminescence invites participants to “take a trip to the light side.” Different sound healers take the stage each month, allowing for a completely unique experience. Luminescence has even inspired support from the local community and occasionally partners with businesses like Pressed Juicery and Kult Kombucha to provide refreshments for students. Luminescence is held once a month at Golden Sol Yoga in Los Feliz. Pre-sale is $20 per person, $25 on the day of.
Luminescence is held at Golden Sol Yoga, located at 4446 Ambrose Avenue in Los Feliz. (323) 813-8YES; (323) 813-7937
UNPLUG: SOUND HEALING
From chakra clearing to astrological meditations, Unplug Meditation offers just about every kind of meditation one could think of. The air in their sleek Brentwood studio feels clear and anti-oxidant free, encouraging you to leave your worries at the door. Get comfortable on one of their padded reclining cushions and prepare to be transported to another dimension. Unplug holds weekly Saturday night sound bath meditations and offers other sound healing workshops throughout the week. One class is $24, but new students can snag two weeks of unlimited classes for $35.
Unplug is located at 12401 Wilshire Boulevard in West L.A., Suite 101. (310) 826-8899
DEN WORKSHOP: SOUNDBATH
With locations in Silverlake and Mid-City, Den Meditation offers a respite for when you need a break from our fast-paced city. They host a range of meditation classes and workshops, including their signature “Chill the F*ck Out” class. Sound bathers will get a rare treat at this studio, which uses gemstone bowls in their sound baths. Most crystal bowls are quartz, but Den Meditation offers a range of gemstone bowls, including a black tourmaline bowl that is believed to clear negative energies and assist in focus and grounding. For those who prefer a more traditional sound bath, they also offer sound healing with gongs. Their workshops are $35 per person, but for just $50, new students can get 21 days of unlimited classes with three workshops included.
Den is located at 360 S. La Brea Avenue in Mid-City and 1755 Glendale Boulevard in Silver Lake. (323) 424-3444 and (323) 424-3444, respectively.
THE SOUNDBATH CENTER
Named “Best Sound Bath” in L.A in Los Angeles Magazine’s 2015 Best Of LA issue, Eagle Rock’s Soundbath Center has helped bring the art of sound healing to the mainstream. Owner Jamie Ford has been featured on KTLA, in Elle Magazine, and other popular publications, touting the benefits of sound healing. The Soundbath Center offers a variety of sound healing workshops and training courses for those interested in creating their own sound experiences. Cash in on additional healing benefits with their Reiki Soundlab or Full Moon Crystalline Sound Bath. Workshop prices vary.
The Soundbath Center is located at 4688 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Eagle Rock. (323) 839-6251
THE FRAGRANCE OF SOUND
The Fragrance of Sound is a musical ensemble that fuses elements of music meditation with sound healing and performance art. Its founder Mari MacEwen has been playing indigenous instruments since 1991, and her rotating cast of multicultural contributors use meditation, song, chant, improvisation, movement, and more to entrance participants. Workshop dates and prices vary, the easiest way to keep up with Mari and her crew is by following them on Facebook.
The Fragrance of Sound can be found at different events and workshop locations. (818) 495-5449.
Meredith Claire, known in the wellness community as La Mer, hosts monthly sound baths on the new moon at the La Maida Institute in North Hollywood. Before beginning her sound journey, La Mer leads a brief discussion around significant planetary shifts in the next moon cycle and how they might reveal themselves in everyday lives. She also offers reiki healing, cleansing with palo santo, and breath work exercises to help participants achieve an even deeper state of relaxation. Definitely more suited for those the Silver Lake shaman types, La Mer is the perfect way to set an intention on the new moon.
La Mer is hosted at La Maida, located at 11159 La Maida Street in North Hollywood.
If you’re down for a day trip and want to embark on a truly epic sound journey, head to the desert and check out Integratron. According to its creator George Van Tassel, the design was inspired by Moses’ tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla, and telepathic communication from extra terrestrials. It’s located on an intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces that, combined with the geometrical architecture of the building, supposedly amplify the earth’s magnetic field. Now privately owned by three sisters, it’s been open to the public for the last couple of decades, with much of their profits going towards restoration and upkeep. Integratron sound baths have become world famous, attracting locals, tourists, and celebrities alike. Group sound healing sessions are $30 per person and the dome can also be reversed for private parties. Take a hike at nearby Joshua Tree National Park and make it a mini-vacay.
Integratron is located at 2477 Belfield Boulevard in Landers, CA.
Danielle Dorsey is an L.A.-based writer, yogi, and tarot reader. When she's not reading into your future or covering arts & culture events, she can be found indulging in all-day brunches and defying the stereotype that no one walks in L.A.