Sound vibrations for healing.
By: Mary Von Ahnen, Owner of Horizon Hot Yoga & Certified Yoga Instructor
For the last year, I have been on a journey to learn about alternative healing. I have struggled with glaucoma and rheumatoid arthritis for a number of years and felt I had reaped all the benefit that Western medicine had to offer. I was still not whole, so I began exploration of other avenues.
I had my first taste of the healing powers of sound through AJ Crowell, the founder of Dallas Yoga Magazine. As I experienced the event with her, I could actually feel the magic of the Singing Crystal Bowls seeping into my body. I was extremely relaxed and truly felt purified at the end of the session.
I was recently introduced to Ana Netanel, international wellness practitioner and celebrity Sound Bath Healing instructor. I wanted to explore this ancient sound healing technique…what better time than now, when we are facing a world pandemic, and are all trying to find ways to relax more deeply and heal mind, body, and soul. Learning more about Ana afforded me the perfect opportunity to research.
Beyond my limited knowledge of the Singing Bowls through AJ, I didn’t really know what a sound healer was. Apparently, this is a person who specializes in the restorative and healing power of sound frequency and vibration. Ana has more than 20 years of experience in the field, along with deep knowledge of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. And she’s made a leap that is so hard to make…from the esoteric “alternative” side to mainstream. She was recently on MTV’s “The Hills: New Beginnings,” and she regularly holds sound healing sessions with her celebrity clients…stars such as Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag. Ana also appeared on an episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, where she conducted a Sound Healing session for characters Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Link (Chris Carmack) during a medical conference. The show was so impressed with her work that Ana was later invited to lead a personal Sound Bath session for the entire cast and crew at the studio. Ana also works with other celebrities and enjoys touring the world with her workshops.
As Ana’s popularity has increased, she has searched for ways to broaden her reach to our homes so that we can all enjoy the benefits of sound healing easily. I was very excited to learn of her upcoming offering the Mindful Meditation Kit, available to order through Ana’s Instagram. This kit will bring the magic of Ana and her healing sounds right to your living room via a simple QR code link where you can download Ana’s Sound Bath album. The kit also includes custom Shakti candles, essential oil sprays, crystals, natural spa products and other goodies to promote holistic wellness.
I enjoyed asking Ana a few questions to get to know her better and to understand her amazing gift and how she uses it for healing.
Mary: Ana, tell me a bit about yourself…where did you grow up, what have you done in your adult life, and how did your experiences lead you to your current field of Sound Healing?
Ana: I was born in Romanina, moved to Queens, NYC when I was 5, and grew up in South Florida. I moved to LA 10 years ago from Kauai, Hawaii’s garden Island. At an early age, my grandmother Elise, who I was very close to, was diagnosed with leukemia. That tragic event sparked my desire to learn more about health and healing. Also my mother started one of the first day spas in Florida, and I began helping her find healing modalities for her center.
Mary: What are the benefits of sound meditation?
Ana: Sound Healing is so effective because it influences our emotional bodies as well as our physical bodies. Different sound vibrations interact with our physical and energetic bodies in beneficial ways. These ways include activating higher states of consciousness, unlocking blocked emotions, relieving anxiety and stress, inducing complete relaxation, promoting deep meditation, heightening clarity, relieving insomnia, decreasing depression, normalizing blood pressure, relieving physical pain, and releasing emotional trauma. Physical and emotional healing takes place during the process of sound healing. In the physical sense, it can normalize blood pressure, alleviate physical pain, and improve the ability to concentrate. On an emotional level sound healing helps to unblock the mind making it much less cluttered and thus freeing oneself from emotional baggage.
Mary: How can a Sound Bath help us with all the stress we are under?
Ana: A sound bath can help stress as it relaxes the mind and the body. It is a great way to relieve stress since you’re using the time to give your brain a break and connect with the world around you through sounds.
Mary: You specialize in something called a Shakti Sound Bath. What is this?
Ana: The term Shakti means the female principle of divine energy. A Sound Bath is the meditative acoustic sound concert that “washes” away stress and brings you to a state of relaxation, activating your body’s own natural system of self-healing. A Shakti Sound Bath clears the subconscious, calms the mind, and activates your body’s natural healing systems.
Mary: What tools/instruments are used in a sound bath?
Ana: A variety of different tools and instruments are used in a sound bath. I typically use planetary tuned gongs, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls and more!
Mary: Where do you offer Sound Baths?
Ana: I normally offer sound baths at my studio in Los Angeles; however, I also offer private Sound Bath sessions which bring the Shakti Sound Bath to your home, corporate office, or event.
Mary: Do you offer teacher trainings to show others how to perform Sound Baths?
Ana: I do teach others to perform Sound Baths. During these teacher training sessions, you learn practical application of sound healing, with a focus on how to integrate Sound Healing into your practice. This training also includes how to facilitate a Sound Bath.
Mary: What kind of people do you work with? Is there any pattern to the people who enjoy and benefit from a sound bath?
Ana: I work with a number of different people. In my opinion, there is no pattern to the people who enjoy and benefit from a sound bath. Anyone is able to do this if they are open to the process. I have worked with a few celebrities such as Karrueche Tran where I worked with her several months during quarantine to lead Instagram Live Sound Bath sessions every Sunday for both of our followers. I have also taught the likes of Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott, The Doors’ guitarist Robby Kreiger, actors Calum Best, Rob Heaps, Peter Gadiot, singer Maejor – music producer and long-time collaborator with Justin Bieber – as well as leading a Sound Bath for the cast and crew of the Spanish movie Yucatán Pelicula in Madrid before the premiere.
Mary: Do you host retreats or any kind of “intensive” in sound baths?
Ana: I was planning on hosting a Kauai Retreat which would have included Sound Healing, breath work, and Kundalini Yoga on the magical island of Kauai; however, due to COVID this has been pushed back, but I am very excited for when I get to host this retreat. I lived in Kauai for over 4 years so to me it was the perfect place to host a retreat.
Mary: I noticed on your website that you practice Kundalini Yoga. How did you get into this?
Ana: I am a very spiritual person, a trait that was passed down to me from my grandmother, and practicing Kundalini Yoga has deepened my spirituality and helped me become more centered in my life. It’s a very specific type of practice, and it also works very well in conjunction with Sound Baths. Both are very healing for the mind, body, and soul, and when blended together, you feel a very powerful and divine energy!
Mary: What is Kundalini Yoga?
Ana: Kundalini yoga activates energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine and then channels that energy upward through the chakras in the overall process of spiritual awakening and perfection. This kind of yoga uses sound, mantra, energy healing, exercises, and meditations to release trauma from the energetic body.
Mary: What benefits have you seen from your Kundalini practice?
Ana: Kundalini Yoga is a very disciplined practice. It builds confidence and helps with guidance and direction, and allows you to feel more present in life. You also will feel a boost in endorphins, and be in better control of your thoughts and emotions. It very much helps with centering someone and showing you a path toward self-acceptance and mindful living. It’s a great stress reducer as well.
Mary: Are Sound Baths and Kundalini yoga connected in any way?
Ana: Absolutely. The gongs in Sound Baths are inter-connected with Kundalini Yoga. The vibrations from the gongs bring you to a higher frequency and create a sense of calming and relaxation, which in turn will put you in the best mindset to practice Kundalini Yoga. Combined, this is a great holistic form of therapy and the medical benefits, as well as mental ones, have been amazing. Both practices, when working together, will spark a soulful energy unlike anything else.
Mary: Other than purchasing your amazing Mindful Meditation Kit, can people create sound baths in their homes?
Ana: It is so easy for people to create a sound bath in their own homes. The tongue steel bowl, which is often used in sound bath sessions, is what creates the amazing frequencies, and they are very affordable. Using one of these at home can help to create a sense of ease and calmness in order to help facilitate relaxation. There are also ways for people to create their own sound bath experience without having to go out and buy something. I recommend using an app called “Calm” which helps with guided meditations to emulate a sound bath. I have a sound healing album that I recommend. There are two tracks. One is a sound bath experience that you can fall asleep to. The other track is ho’opono pono, a Hawaiian forgiveness prayer.
Mary: What words of wisdom would you like to leave with your readers, or is there anything you would like to express that we have not covered?
Ana: I know we are living through challenging times but stay positive. Do what makes you happy and what promotes mental wellness. Take care of yourself and listen to your body. Be generous and kind to yourself. This is so important, which is why I wholeheartedly believe in the power of holistic energy, and the opportunity it gives us to center ourselves in something deeper. I look forward to hearing what you think!
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Ana and learning from her deep knowledge around this interesting world of Sound Healing. I know Dallas Yoga Magazine Readers will want to learn more. Here is how you can reach Ana for further information, to order your Mindful Meditation Kit, or follow her through Social Media.
About the Author/Interviewer:
Mary Von Ahnen is Co-Owner of Horizon Hot Yoga in Frisco and a Certified Yoga Instructor. The studio offers an array of classes and meditations including Kundalini for everyone. They currently have amazing specials. Find their schedule of classes at www.horizonhotyoga.com