“Sound anchors you in the present moment.” I can still hear these words reverberating in my head after my last sound experience at WOOM Center.
I find it hard to explain what a Sound Experience did to me without sounding like I’ve completely lost my mind. How could I begin to explain that I travelled in time, went back to being in my mother’s belly, and in two hours of sound immersion got insights into my life that I haven’t gotten in seven years of therapy (not that I go to therapy to time travel or was expecting to do so during the sound experience).
I asked Elian, co-founder of WOOM Center—a multi-sensory yoga and meditation studio, that facilitates sound-driven mind-body-spirit experiences—to better illustrate what the WOOM Sound Experience is all about:
“The WOOM Sound Experience is a sonic journey that invites participants to explore non-ordinary states of consciousness in a safe and supportive setting, using the power of breath, voice, and traditional overtone-emitting instruments.
Journeying or meditating with sound as the primary tool can draw us back into the present moment, as sound is so deeply rooted in the present. It is elusive, fleeting and engaging for the senses, which are our most immediate way of experiencing and shaping reality. It has the capacity to tune the chatter of the overthinking mind down, and allows us to explore realms both novel and familiar within ourselves. During the journey, the mind may wander into habitual thought-patterns, but the sound is always there to act as an anchor, inviting us to take a detour and try a new route.
The Sound Experience uses breath work, which is a key component in the sound journey. Holotropic Breathwork, which is the technique that largely inspired the practice at WOOM, was created by Dr. Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof in the early 70s after the American government shut their LSD research down. They wanted to find a new powerful way to explore consciousness and map out the psyche.
Breath has been used as a path toward non-ordinary and mystical states by nearly all traditions; Shamanic societies, Yogis and ecstatic Kabbalists all use breath as a way to transcend reality. Combining breath and sound is incredibly powerful, and in many ways could be compared to a plant medicine psychedelic journey. It is a courageous and humble choice to give oneself full permission to release control, inhibition and fear, and surrender to the great mystery.”
I also asked Elian about how she found sound therapy:
“I first got into sound meditation a few years ago. I was at a party in Brooklyn, sitting on a speaker, when suddenly three questions popped into my mind: 1) What happens to us when we move together to music, or rather, when we are moved by it? 2) What does sound really do to our body? The nervous system? The muscular/skeletal systems? Even the brain? And 3) is there an expert I could talk to about this?”A few months later, i was introduced to who then became my teacher, Alexandre Tannous, had my first sound meditation experience, which changed my life, and the rest is history.”
Sound vibrations carry the potential capacity to put the mind on the back seat, and allow your whole being to wake up to a clarity, groundedness, and full experience of reality, that you probably haven’t encountered before.
Next time you’re in Nolita and can’t make up your mind about what to do, stop by WOOM CENTER, have an elixir shot, and dive head first into a sound experience.