‘I tried a gong bath in search of relaxation - this is what it was like’

Lydia Swinscoe gets all Zen at a Gong Bath in the light of a super moon

Gong bath
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When I told my friends I was going to a super moon gong bath, the first thing they asked was, ‘Do you have to sit in a bath?’ (Answer: you don’t.). The bath part of the name comes from being bathed in sound waves when the gongs are played in a therapeutic way. 

As a lover of meditation, yoga and anything remotely spiritual I’d wanted to try a gong bath for a while. So, when I was invited to a class that fell on the night of a full moon, I couldn’t resist heading to Fierce Grace in London’s Primrose Hill to give it a go. 

Fierce Grace is primarily a hot yoga studio – when I arrived the room was still cooling down after a sweaty session. I grabbed a yoga mat and lay on my back with my head facing the gongs. Our teacher, Steve, explained how we should acknowledge whatever feelings surface over the next hour, but to let them go and not to hold onto anything. 

I closed my eyes and the sounds began. The noise from the gongs is incredible and very powerful, at points it sounded like a plane was taking off above me, at other times it reminded me of waves crashing and sometimes there was a light tinkling of bells. Every noise was beautiful and intense.

After a while of deep breathing, I felt relaxed but then feelings of frustration and anger started to surface. Some of the sounds I’d been enjoying (the bells) started to grate on me and people fidgeting distracted me. I tried not to hold onto my frustrations, as instructed, and the feelings eventually passed and I relaxed again. I tried to ignore an itch on my nose (typical), but it came back several times throughout the session. My heels and head began to feel numb about halfway through but before I knew it, the session was over. I couldn’t believe I’d been there for an hour – it felt no longer than 30 minutes. 

Everyone got up and left in their own time; all in their own state of blissed-out vibes. There was a box of homemade chocolate on the side. As we left, Steve told me to take a piece – a nice finishing touch. 

For the rest of the evening, I felt relaxed and happy; almost as if my anger and frustrations had been left in the gong-bath room. In fact, I went to sleep feeling seriously chilled. It looks as if I may have just found my new Sunday evening mindfulness practice.’

Lydia Swinscoe
Travel writer & editor

Lydia is a travel writer and editor, based mostly in London. Her work has been published in print and online for the likes of Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Condé Nast Traveller Middle East, Town&Country, BBC Good Food, Oh magazine, MailOnline, and woman&home.

A solo trip to Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico aged 19 kickstarted her travel addiction and she's since gone on to explore parts of 58 countries, returning to many often. Solo travel is her specialty, and she's happiest when hunting out great food while wearing flip-flops, preferably somewhere hot. Her award-nominated blog Lydia Travels documents artistic intimate hotels and brilliant restaurants across the globe.  Lydia is an avid gym avoider, preferring instead to head out into nature for mountain hikes, canyon climbs, and bracing outdoor swims. She’s spent time walking the Himalayas, trekking in South America, and trying out many of London’s lidos. Chakra meditations, gong baths, and facial acupuncture are a few of her favorite wellness indulgences and she loves anything slightly obscure, which she’ll try with an open mind.