How to Use a Singing Bowl?

how to use a singing bowl

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Singing bowls, also known as Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls, have been used by monks for thousands of years for their meditations. These ancient bowls are instruments that can produce sound and vibrations when played with a striker or a mallet. 

Singing bowls are typically made from an alloy of different metals and they come in a number of various shapes, sizes and styles. They also have different pitches, frequencies and tones and be used in yoga classes, sound therapy or everyday meditation. 

What Is The Purpose Of A Singing Bowl?

 how to use a singing bowl

Singing bowls are known to promote relaxation with the help of vibrations and sounds. There are a lot of applications for singing bowls, including the following: 

Stress Relief

Some studies claim that Tibetan singing bowls can help with relaxation and decrease feelings of anxiety. Alternatively, you can pair the use of Tibetan singing bowls with wearing an anti-anxiety ring to calm your mind.

Better Quality of Sleep

Since singing bowls are linked to reduced anxiety and tension in the body, practicing with Tibetan singing bowls can help you get a good night’s sleep. 

Decreased Depression

Regular practice of singing bowls therapy is known to improve mood and manage depression, according to one study.

Lower Blood Pressure

Another study claims that just 12 minutes of singing bowl therapy has been proven to reduce systolic blood pressure and heart rate.  

Improved Immunity

Some even say that Tibetan singing bowls can stimulate the immune system and introduce positive changes in brainwave activity.

Pain Relief

According to one study about spinal pain, people that used singing bowl therapy experienced less pain. Yet, people in the placebo group had the same effect, so the effectiveness of singing bowls for pain improvement is not proven. 

Chakra Healing

Singing bowls can also help with chakra healing, by balancing and opening them with various vibrations and sounds. The following notes should be used for different chakras: 

  • Root Chakra: C Note
  • Sacral Chakra: D Note
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: E Note
  • Heart Chakra: F Note
  • Throat Chakra: G Note
  • Third Eye Chakra: A Note
  • Crown Chakra: B Note 

Note: Tibetan singing bowl practice can be paired with a cutting cord meditation.

Do You Put Water In A Singing Bowl?

Yes, water can be put into a singing bowl to use it – make sure to pour enough water to fill the half. It is not recommended to pour more than half of the bowl, as it can spill once you start playing it. Putting too much water in your singing bowl can also affect the quality of its sound and vibrations. 

How Often Should You Use A Singing Bowl?

If you are wondering “how to use a singing bowl” and how often can you use it, the answer is depending on your own preferences. A singing bowl can be used daily or even multiple times a day depending on your body’s tolerance towards vibrations and sounds. Start with 2-3 times a week and then increase as you feel comfortable. 

How Do You Play A Singing Bowl For Beginners?

Using singing bowls for beginners can be intimidating, but, in reality, it’s quite easy once you get a hang of it. Check the below video for detailed instruction: 

Here are also some tips on how to use a singing bowl for beginners:

  1. Practice makes perfect, so keep playing your singing bowls on a regular basis. You may struggle to find the right tone and vibrations for your liking at first, but once you get that perfect sound, keep experimenting and practicing. 
  2. Make sure that you have the right accessories to play your singing bowl. If you don’t use the correct stricker or mallet, you may never find that sweet spot on the singing bowl that makes you feel relaxed. Keep in mind that a larger singing bowl will need to be accompanied by a larger mallet, and the opposite holds for a smaller singing bowl.

Dangers Of Singing Bowls

Even though singing bowls therapy is considered to be fairly safe, there is not much research done on possible risks of this practice. Generally, some people may want to avoid frequent use of singing bowl, including: 

People who are prone to headaches

Since singing bowls can produce loud sounds and significant vibrations, people with a tendency to develop headaches can experience typical headaches or migraines when playing singing bowls. 

People with epilepsy

Sounds and vibrations produced by Himalayan singing bowls may trigger seizures.

Pregnant women

The full spectre of the effect of singing bowls on pregnancy is not known yet, it’s safer to avoid this therapy if you are expecting. 

How To Use A Singing Bowl For Meditation and Cleansing

You can use singing bowls when performing rituals for soul cleansing. During this practice, you can sit down on the floor with the singing bowl. 

To produce cleansing sounds and vibrations with the bowl, press the mallet in a circular motion against the outside rim of the singing bowl. It is recommended to use the entire arm to perform this motion rather than just rotating your wrist. 

Pair this ritual of singing bowl therapy with one of the soul-cleansing methods we’ve talked about in our article here to maximize the effects. 

Singing Bowl Frequency

Singing bowls are known to produce a number of different frequencies, which are determined by a vibration created by the bowl. A diapason of singing bowls’ frequencies range anywhere between 110 Hz and 660 Hz but can reach up to the 900s.

There are a lot of factors that affect the frequency of a singing bowl, including but not limited to its size, shape, thickness, and the areas that are being pressed when played. For example, the act of touching the outer rim with a mallet will create an entirely different vibration from when you would touch the sidewall. Larger bowls typically produce deeper pitches, and thicker bowls can produce higher frequencies. 

Due to these changing factors, it’s not easy to assess a fixed frequency to a certain singing bowl. 

Singing Bowl Stopped Singing? Here’s What To Do

 how to use a singing bowl

If your singing bowl has suddenly stopped producing sounds it used to, there may be something wrong with it. Check for the below scenarios and see if any applies to your situation. 

Your singing bowl is dented or has a crack

While singing bowls are usually pretty sturdy and are not easy to damage when used properly, sometimes an incorrect use can result in a dent or a crack. If you dropped or hit the singing bowl, check for possible damage that can be affecting your practice. Hairline cracks can be very difficult to spot, so you might want to use a magnifying glass.

You are not relaxed enough

What? You were hoping the singing bowl will relax you, and now you need to be relaxed to play it? Yes, sometimes extra tension in the body of a player can affect the way the bowl sounds. 

There are two ways in which you can improve the situation:

  • Check the way you are holding a stricker or a mallet – you may be gripping it too tightly and putting a bit too much pressure on it. You should hold a stricker as if you were holding a pensil.
  • Notice how you are holding your singing bowl. If you are holding your bowl around the sides, it may be affecting the end result you are hearing. Instead, try placing your singing bowl in an open palm or on a flat surface. 

Try to relax – start with a deep breath, in with your nose, and out with your mouth. Pay attention to your body and consciously relax your body. 

Your tools or techniques have changed

Did you change your mallet or striker recently? If you have purchased your singing bowl along with a striker, it’s better to stick to using that stricker, as it was produced for that bowl. 

If you use a different stricker, one that is larger or smaller, it can significantly affect the sound your singing bowl can produce. 

If the tools are in check, pay attention to your technique. Are you using your upper body at all? Or are you just using your wrist/hand? Try to incorporate your whole upper body into the song – your arms, shoulders and core should be moving as well with the stricker.