HARRISONBURG — Leave your tapestries and sage at home — good vibes take on a whole new meaning in sound bath meditation classes.
The Center Yoga at Ice House Studios hosts various classes for individuals to practice mindfulness and achieve relaxation and the latest workshop, “Healing the World Through Vibrations,” invited attendees to meditate while gongs, singing bowls and chimes harmonized. Teachers for the workshop led the community to send their collective intentions along with the amplitude of vibrations.
Teachers Laura and Dan Martier are sound healers — musicians who tune and play musical instruments to resonate along with guided meditation so listeners can release stress and manifest positivity.
“Everything is amplified when you’re in a room with all this frequency. We all have our personal frequencies, and if you set an intention ... it’s like a prayer. So we ask that they set an intention for healing,” Laura Martier said.
Using sounds and vibrations for healing is a practice that traces back to the ancient Egyptians. Modern-day sound healers often use a variety of percussion instruments to release strong vibrations, which physically resonate like an internal massage for participants.
When the two are not guiding sessions for healing, they travel and produce music as artists both individually and collaboratively. Laura Martier is a recorded jazz singer and Dan Martier is a professional drummer who performs with a variety of musical groups such as TR3, which features the guitarist from the Dave Matthews Band. Together, the Martier duo has performed Americana music for nearly 35 years.
They say their background as musicians differentiates their practice from other sound healers because they focus on creating an immersive symphony of sounds and incorporate songs to organically guide the relaxation.
Suzanne McCahill Perrine, director and owner of The Center Yoga, said the workshop is a unique opportunity offering benefits to anyone who chooses to attend.
“I don’t think there’s any one person out there who’s not looking for that in their lives — just a little more ease and some time to unwind,” Perrine said. “It’s almost hard to explain or to put into words sometimes ... how remarkable it is.”
The workshop typically lasts 90 minutes and consists of either lying on a mat or sitting in lotus position while the duo chants “Ra Ma. Da. Sa.”
Laura Martier co-owns a yoga co-op in North Carolina, but often travels with Dan Martier on tour as Martier Sound Meditation for their sound bath workshops. Monday was the second time the Martiers have been to the Valley, but they said they hope to return again.
The Center Yoga offers monthly workshops. If you missed Monday’s meditation, Connie Magee is a yogi at the studio with various sound healing sessions scheduled in the fall and winter. For more information on upcoming events and classes at The Center Yoga, check out their Facebook page and website.