Celestial events, mud season blues convene for an evening of self-care at Steamboat studio
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
According to poet T.S. Eliot, April is the cruelest month. This time of year can feel lifeless in Steamboat Springs, as the town’s snowy winter blanket melts to reveal cold, dead and muddy ground, and while new life is on its way, there’s a lot of work ahead.
This week, there’s a solar eclipse and new moon, which also symbolize new beginnings, and the fact that they coincided shortly after midnight on Thursday, April 20 — causing what’s called a hybrid solar eclipse — makes for rare celestial symbology.
Brittany Vidi, the owner of Next Level Vibrations, and counselor Whitney Bakarich of Whitwork LLC see the events as an opportunity to meditate upon new beginnings by leading an Evening of Sound and NADA, National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, ear acupuncture therapy session from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at the Out Here Yoga studio.
“As we step into spring, it just seems like the perfect time,” Vidi said. “This one will be a lot about planting new seeds.”
Vidi and Bakarich combined their talents back in early 2021, with Vidi contributing her license to lead sound bath meditations, while Bakarich, who is a licensed professional counselor, leads the ear acupuncture therapy sessions in compliance with the NADA guidelines.
Like the simultaneity of the new moon and solar eclipse, the conjunction of sound bath therapy and ear acupuncture is powerful.
“I’ve heard from someone, which I thought was interesting, that the needles are almost like sound antennas, and that they amplify the sounds even more,” Vidi said.
Vidi said sound therapy is designed to slow down people’s brainwaves until they are close to sleep, which she said helps people reprogram their subconscious and set their intentions, among other things.
NADA therapy, meanwhile, has been demonstrated in studies to yield positive effects, especially in treatments for substance abuse and overcoming trauma, meaning the combination of these therapies theoretically addresses both the past and future.
Bakarich starts the therapy sessions by inserting up to five needles into each ear of those who opt-in to the acupuncture, who then apply blindfolds for the first phase of meditation.
“Sometimes I bring people water, or snacks,” Bakarich said, as people can’t move around once the needles are in. She does say, however, that the needles can be taken out at any time upon request.
“For people who have trouble meditating or sitting still, there’s something about acupuncture, specifically in ears, you just surrender into the floor in a different way,” Vidi said.
The acupuncture step takes about 30 minutes, followed by the sound bath.
Vidi said she takes an uncommonly active approach to her sound bath. Over the course of an hour, she uses about 12 different musical instruments and moves around the studio’s space to approach each person in the room.
“They can feel the vibrations, are immersed in it a bit more, and also it’s like an anticipation thing,” Vidi said. “Sometimes they feel you’re getting closer or further away and so there’s a lot of play with depth-perception and sound.”
The two leaders of the Evening of Sound and NADA say people should come about 10 minutes early to better prepare themselves for the session, and encourage people to bring a mat, pillow and blanket, comfy clothes and a blindfold. While they say the experience can be intimidating for newcomers, they also describe it as satisfying to mostly everyone who takes the plunge.
“If somebody’s just looking for a cause or a night of self-care, this is a great way to take an hour for yourself,” Bakarich said.
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