A recent interview for The Life Centre where Szilvia teaches monthly Yoga & Sound sessions.
Sound baths are a form of sound relaxation and meditation which enjoy growing popularity in the yoga community.
At the Life Centre North we dedicated October to being the month of Sound by offering two workshops exploring sound on two consecutive weekends. We asked our in-house Yoga & Sound teacher, Szilvia Gardian about her upcoming workshop as well as her connection with sound and singing bowls.
How did singing bowls come into your life?
My first encounter with singing bowls was a bit unusual. I came across them between two courses of a family meal during a birthday celebration at my aunt’s house.
The story may start making more sense, once I say my aunt, Szilagyi Zoltanne Balint Gyorgyi is the founder of the Sound Therapy Institute Budapest. She always had an open door for anyone interested in these instruments. So during family events at her place there was always a singing bowl or a gong around, that could be explored by anyone.
With my aunt Szilagyi Zoltanne Balint Gyorgyi, after my last Gong training at the Sound Therapy Institute Budapest earlier this year
Has sound always played an important role in your life?
Yes. Sound has always been a tool which I used intuitively for self expression and self discovery. My choice of instrument before finding singing bowls was my own voice.
According to my mum, when I was a child I used to sing almost all the time. I even used to fall asleep singing. My parents knew if I am still awake or asleep whether the singing has stopped. I am grateful that they never opposed to this habit of mine.:) Not even later in my teenage years when I decided to enrol for singing lessons at the music school.
What made you take up voice training?
When I tried to explain to myself why I am investing time into developing this skill, I realised that it was not really about making it to a stage. It was more about sharing with others the joy I experience through music. Back then the closest setting I could imagine was an intimate cafeteria with a small audience. A place where my music could create a welcoming atmosphere and a backdrop to the moments people share with each other.
Only later, in my early 20’s, did I realise that the magical force of music doesn't only foster connections between people. It can also helps us to tune into ourselves.
It became clear that those lessons at the music school were a huge contributor to making a connection to myself, creating a 2 way line of communication that can both express and influence what is inside me.
And here I am, living my teenage dream! Instead of a cafeteria, the place turned out to be a yoga studio, where I use my voice to guide people through their yoga practice. I play singing bowls to facilitate their relaxation and meditation experience. And as a result I create a nurturing environment for people to connect with themselves.
Why do you think feeling connected to ourselves is important?
I believe that once we feel connected to ourselves, it changes the way we relate to others. We can act from a position of love, curiosity, understanding and compassion in our relationships, once we established the same attitude towards ourselves.
So how did you decide to combine sound with yoga?
Coming from a fitness background my choice of becoming a yoga teacher was an act of dedication to explore the mindful dimensions of a physical practice. Soon after graduating as a yoga teacher I got curious whether singing bowls can support this process. After my initial singing bowl training, I spent 2 years developing Yoga & Sound under the professional guidance of my aunt and mentor. To my surprise, I found that not only singing bowls can help in deepening the yoga experience , but there are many ways yoga can contribute to a more complete immersion into a sound bath experience too.
I launched Yoga & Sound at the Yoga Show Manchester in 2014. These classes are my interpretation of how a mindful Yoga practice and the use of Himalayan Singing bowls can best support the process of uniting mind and body in a relaxing and energising experience.
How did the workshops start?
While teaching Yoga & Sound, I found that many people were intrigued by singing bowls and are curious to learn more about them. This is why I started the “BATHING IN HARMONY- INTRODUCTION TO SINGING BOWLS” workshops. My intention was to create a space where people can get closer to singing bowls. During the workshops participants can fully immerse in learning to play singing bowls, listening to their sound, observing their effect, and learning about their origin. I give advice on how the singing bowls can be used at home and which are the best ways to choose, buy and clean them.
Join Szilvia at her monthly sessions at the Life Centre North.