Iris Healing Retreat is about a stone’s throw away from Topanga Canyon with its streams, waterfalls, mountains and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles. Hippy central in the 1960s, Topanga still retains a bohemian atmosphere with art galleries, performing arts spaces, music and film festivals and is also one of the great hiking destinations in southern California.
Iris residents didn’t hike in Topanga this week but, instead, participated in a soundbath meditation at Topanga’s beautiful Yoga Desa studio. Using gongs, quartz crystal bowls, chimes and other instruments, a soundbath opens up and heals the body through sound and vibrations.
During a soundbath meditation, little or no words are spoken — there is only the playing of the instruments as meditators lie on mats. Many people find that the sound of these instruments shifts consciousness, resulting in great insights and feelings of well-being. Others are moved to tears as “stuck” energy is released. The combined sound of the gongs and the crystal bowls — tuned to specific musical notes — is often described as “out of this world.”