Sound Sebastien, founded and curated by Jasmine Hemsley (of the Hemsley & Hemsley sisters) and Toni Dicks is exactly what every Londoner needs to dispel and melt away the stresses of city living, even if it’s only for an hour. Combining the therapeutic tones of singing bowls within a cosy setting, Jasmine and Toni encourage you to experience a unique way to relax and nourish the spirit.
Taking place at the London Edition, just off Oxford Circus, I went straight from a DeRose Method session to more mental and physical relaxation. Hurrah! What a fabulous day! Inside the London Edition, Sound Sebastien takes place in the same dark wooden room where I once did a Voga class. On the floor, there’s a sea of mats, each with a pillow, eye mask and blanket. It doesn’t matter whereabouts you are in the room; you’ll be in a good spot regardless.
A unique moment of time to rest your head and feel enveloped in a wave of powerful and therapeutic tones in a pristine peaceful environment.
Jasmine and Toni don’t explain much at the beginning, preferring that you just relax into the experience with as little expectation as possible. We all settle down and get cosy on your mats, with blankets pulled up around us. The room is dark and even though I’m surrounded by about 30 other bodies, I get cold quite quickly so am glad of the blankets. It’s also surprisingly easy to relax (it’s not unusual to fall asleep!), with the weight of the eye mask on your face and the soothing atmosphere. The bowls, chimes and other musical instruments are played intuitively (no one session is the same, neither is your experience if you decide to go twice), resonating around the room, one moment echoing quietly, the next lifting into a crescendo of vibrations. In the womb-like darkness, it’s incredibly easy to forget that there are others less than half a metre away and there’s something quite luxurious about letting yourself settle into a drowsy state and knowing that for the next sixty minutes your job is merely to relax.
During the hour, my experience was somewhat spoilt as I had a bit of an unpredictable cough so I found myself trying to control my breathing rather than letting go completely. However, I was surprised to discover how quickly the time went and also how pleasant it was. I could easily have stayed there for longer and was quite annoyed when it came to an end. It was hard to work out who was talking – I think it was Jasmine, with both on the bowls (Toni is also a yoga teacher). Afterwards, we were handed soul-warming food made my Jasmine, including a warm tea, stewed apples with spices and a gluten-free spiced cake. The sweetness of our post-sound healing snack only added further to my feeling of indulgence and cosiness.
Apparently, everyone’s experience at Sound Sebastien is different; some may feel super sleepy, some may get angry or annoyed, some may not be able to settle, some may feel like their body is tingling or that they’re floating, but apparently all experiences are beneficial. As Jasmine and Toni told us afterwards, we may be letting go of something or our bodies may be trying to tell us something but the main point to remember is to go with the flow and not try to change it.
This was my first sound immersion with crystal singing bowls (they’re different from the normal singing bowls I’d seen); I’d previously only been to Gong Baths before. I thought it was a fantastic experience to have, especially just off busy Oxford Circus and it’s a shock to have to return to the hustle and busy of busy city life (I can’t believe they still haven’t invented teleport machines) so ensure you head straight home and prioritise bed – you don’t want to undo all the good work! I think making sure that you take time to rest your mind and look after your general wellness is perhaps even more important than your physical health so it’s definitely something everyone should try at least once. And indeed, as was mentioned, no two experiences are the same, so maybe you should go twice just so you can compare…!
Who’s it for: Those who appreciate that sometimes taking time to work on our wellness is more important than getting to the gym or stressing ourselves out with what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
When: Remaining Sound Sebastien sessions take place at 6.30pm and 8pm on Monday 5th February, Monday 12th February and Monday 19th February.
Where: The basement at Voga class, 10 Berners St W1T 3NP
How much: £35
Website: Book here on Eventbrite