Olivia is an amazing instructor at our studio. She is dedicated to living yoga, not only on the mat, but in her daily life. We were interested in her work with gong in yoga classes and in meditations, and shared her experiences in this Teacher Spotlight.
Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga, explained:
“The Gong is the first and last instrument for the human mind, there is only one thing that can supersede and command the human mind, the sound of the Gong. It is the first sound in the universe, the sound that created this universe. It’s the basic creative sound. To the mind, the sound of the gong is like a mother and father that gave it birth. The mind has no power to resist a gong that is well played.”
The vibrations of the gong, like the vibrations of the voice, the breath, and the asana practice of yoga, are all tools. Gong can release physical and energetic blocks in the body and mind, creating deep relaxation. It ceases the circling of busy thoughts and wipes the mental slate clean. It also allows the body to integrate, especially if played after an asana practice.
What does a gong meditation feel like?
Gong feels different for everyone. My first experience with gong was absolutely transcendent. I could feel the vibrations inside my body and I was incapable of thought. I felt this utter stillness in my mind and this both heaviness and weightlessness of my body. In later gong meditations I have felt warmth, seen lights, colors and dancing patterns behind my eyelids, felt like floating, felt separated from my physical body. Like any meditation, every experience is unique.
What do you do in a gong meditation?
Absolutely nothing! That’s the beauty of it. Your entire job is to be comfortable. When you find that place of ease in the body, it allows the gong to do its job and calm the nervous system and clear the mind. You let go and the gong does the work for you.
What do you love about the gong?
Playing the gong is very intuitive. For me, it is about getting out of my head, getting out of my own way, and allowing the vibrations to flow. I find the same sense of ease playing the gong as I do listening to it. Gong meditations are one of my favorite things to lead at the studio.