A History Lesson on Singing Bowls
Have you ever joined a new yoga or meditation studio where the instructor used a singing bowl? These bowls are known for their ability to truly calm the mind and body, which is why they’re such a useful addition to your practice. Like many mindfulness rituals, though, singing bowls have a long and rich history. Below, we’re breaking down a bit of that past, as well as some other key details to know.
As with many cultural practices that have been passed down over time, there’s certainly some mystery when it comes to the origins of singing bowls. What we do know is that this practice is thought to have begun in Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago, and from there made its way to Tibet, Nepal, and India. Originally, these bowls were crafted by artisans with pure copper and used both musically and medicinally. Eventually, they began to be made of brass instead, like this one from Halfmoon.
Many believe that singing bowls found their way around the world after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. This happened in the middle of the 19th century, and the Indigenous people had to flee, taking their bowls with them. Later, they had to sell them to survive, which is what may have led to these bowls being found in many different places around the world.
When struck with a mallet, a singing bowl emits a series of vibrations that can help promote relaxation and healing. As these vibrations can shift elements such as water and the human body is made of up to 60% water, it’s believed that the practice can harmonize the body for a stronger sense of balance. Engaging in a practice such as meditation or yoga with the addition of a singing bowl helps lower blood pressure and ease stress for inner peace.
What to consider
Today, singing bowls are quite popular and produced by a range of different companies. Some of these retailers mass produce the bowls without attention to craftsmanship or a respect to the history of the practice. When looking to purchase one, we recommend careful research to discover how the bowl has been produced. At Standard Dose, we offer one singing bowl (from Halfmoon), which is hand-hammered by artisans in Nepal and packaged thoughtfully in traditional Nepali Lokta Paper.
Overall, singing bowls are a beautiful way to engage with some of your favorite practices and find relief from stress. If you’re in the New York City area, we’d love to have you by our space for a yoga or meditation class.