In order to understand how the gong can help heal us emotionally, it is important to understand the intimate relationship between yoga and the gong.
The enlightened yogic masters of all ages have taught us that we are much more than just our physical body and that our Being is composed of multiple layers. Ancient Indian wisdom handed down to us from the Upanishads and the Vedas from well over 2,000 years ago spells out a much forgotten system for understanding the various layers of our Being. This system, without equal in the spiritual and religious lexicon, is known as The Five Yogic Koshas.
A kosha is a Sanskrit word that means, "layer" or "sheath". The five Koshas are layers that collectively comprise the human being. Like individual lampshades on the light of our souls, filtering and obscuring our True Light.
The goal is to move through the layers of our Being, balancing and relaxing one at a time until we reach the essence of our True Self, the Soul.
The first kosha is the physical layer - governed by yoga (asanas). The second kosha is the energetic layer - governed by breath control (pranayama). The third kosha is the emotional layer - governed by sacred sound. The forth kosha is the wisdom layer - governed by intuitive meditation. The fifth kosha is the bliss layer - experienced through the integration of all five koshas.
In the kosha model, the pure, penetrating sound waves of the gong strengthen and heal the emotional layer. The gong works to have a clearing effect on emotional issues, breaking up limiting and negative thought patterns, and as a result, familiar problems lose some of their significance.
Gong bath healing is an excellent therapy option for stress related issues, such as depression and anxiety, as it helps to reduce tension and regulate stress-related hormones.
Like a "self-excavation" process, the gong helps us uncover who we truly are beyond the physical and egoic layers.
Although particularly effective on the emotional layer, one can see that the sound of the gong in fact affects all 5 layers of Being, from the purely physical (1) sensation of sound, to the movement of pranic energy (2) through the chakras, through the synchronization of emotions (3) with the mind, leading to intuitive insight (4) through deep meditation that allows for the experience of integrated bliss (5).
It is also clear to see that experiencing a gong bath directly after a yoga class can be particularly rewarding.
Since the yoga routine has addressed the physical layer and the energetic layer, the practitioner is now in a optimal mind-body state for emotional cleansing and deep meditation.