In which I take a gong bath

Those of you who follow this blog will know that one of the things I promised myself when I moved home was that I would keep trying things beyond my comfort zone. Some of these might seem pretty timid to other people – climbing to the top of a castle, going to a new moon party – but that doesn’t matter: it’s about pushing at my self-expectations and limits, not anyone else’s. So, when my friend L suggested going to a gong bath, I knew I had to check it out.

Depending on who you talk to, a gong bath is a sort of ‘sound healing’ or a meditation: basically, you lie down in a room and someone sounds gongs. The vibrations are supposed to do… something? Release energy, I think, though I was a little unclear and slightly sceptical (I remain convinced that part of the benefit of any complementary / new age healing technique is that, in our over-scheduled lives, it gives us an excuse to have a quiet lie down).The session was at My Body Studios in East Boldon (another stop off my Metro Challenge – I haven’t forgotten that, either!).

A nice, if slightly nervous, instructor talked a little about the benefits of gong baths then me and a group of women basically lay down for an hour or so. I could have done with more of a lead in and a cool down – it felt a little abrupt at both ends of the session, and if you weren’t familiar with yoga or meditation techniques I can imagine it might be a bit confusing – but it was surprisingly soothing (even more surprisingly, given it was 10 am on a Sunday morning, I stayed awake) – the gongs were really quite beautiful sounding, and it was very meditative, which is never a bad thing. I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on the promised benefits, but would definitely go to another session. I set myself lots of positive intentions: let’s see how many come to effect in the next few months!

A more familiar pleasure afterwards, as L and I went just down the road from the studio for brunch. Blacks Corner is a charming little bistro / deli that specialises in quality cheese and meats, and did a very nice and reasonably priced brunch (I had avocado sourdough with scrambled eggs and a peppery goats cheese, which was delicious, and am tempted to go back and try the desserts, which looked amazing).So, all in all not a terrible way to spend a blustery Sunday. Now excuse me, I was up early this morning and all that lying around is very tiring, so I think I might need a nap…

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