By Courtney Haile
We are in the midst of an enormously important and somewhat contentious election, the 24- hour news and social media cycle is draining at best, and the Christmas décor is already out at Home Depot. Few are immune to the stressors of everyday life – nor the lethargy that comes with complete darkness at 5 p.m. With the busy holiday season around the corner, many of us have to intentionally make time to take care of our mental and physical health.
While scrolling Facebook I discovered Harmonic Prana’s breathwork, sound healing, and Reiki experience. That’s three healing modalities in one! New to the Central Coast, Jamie Dubin of Harmonic Prana typically holds her events in studios, but on this Tuesday evening I was joined by four other participants at The Hemp Shack — a retail space in SLO.
We set up our mats facing what I will call the sound healing shrine — seven crystal quartz bowls surrounded by embroidered artwork from Peru, rain-sticks, and essential oils. Jamie, who was called to breathwork and sound healing while battling a physical illness, led us through an introduction to breathwork and the seven chakras before having us share intentions for the evening. We passed a crystal and while I held it, I shared that I wanted to bring in peace and calm, especially when I am trying to sleep, and move away from judgement and expectations.
When the time came to “drop in,” we each applied our eye pillows, lying on our backs with our heads facing the bowls. We began the pranayama breathwork — one inhale filling the belly, a second inhale filling the heart, and a relaxing exhale. We practiced this intentional breathwork and also simply relaxed while taking in the sound. If you’ve ever been near a speaker with the bass turned up you know that sound vibrates. The vibration of the crystal bowls interacted with the cool temperature in intriguing ways, or at least that’s what I told myself. We were advised to bring our mat, pillow, and blanket, and I had two of three. I tried to soak in the positive energy in the room, withholding judgment about my floating thoughts. Our trusted leader also administered our choice of hands on or hands-off Reiki healing, and filled the room with the smells of delightful essential oils.
According to Jamie, these practices can support you in working through emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and other conditions, giving you more focus, confidence, and balance in your life. At the very least, taking an hour or two to lay down with an eye pillow, breathe deeply, hear beautiful sounds, and feel sonic vibrations with others seeking healing and positivity cannot be a bad thing.
I may never completely escape my distracting thoughts, but I am privileged to have the time, space, and resources to cultivate compassion for my whole self – thoughts included. Find Harmonic Prana on Facebook to learn more.
Courtney Haile is a writer and fitness instructor living in San Luis Obispo.