Cynthia Aguillon Bernard is a sound healing practitioner, certified yoga and mindfulness teacher (for adults and kids) and became a Certified Coach of Presence at the Eckhart Tolle School of Awakening. You probably know her as ATX Yoga Girl. Her mission is to help people integrate more holistic practices into their daily lives, on and off the mat, to live a more conscious and present lifestyle.
What is a Sound Bath?
A Sound Bath is a deeply immersive, full-body listening experience where participants are “bathed” in sound waves (vibrations) from various healing instruments such as Tibetan or Crystal bowls, chimes, and gongs to help nurture their mind and body. Each instrument emits a different frequency, creating harmonic vibrations meant to stimulate the alpha and theta brain waves, which are associated with deep meditative and peaceful states and are highly conducive to healing. This allows your brain waves to slow, shifting from a more active state to a more relaxed, even dreamlike state. Although sound baths may seem new to many, the practice of healing through sound is thousands of years old with deep roots in cultures across the world.
Why do you call them Cosmic Naps?
Some people feel so relaxed they feel like they have taken a nap and feel energized afterward. This inner connection along with participants sharing their visions, a floating like sensation, losing track of time, colors they see and deeper sense of presence within is where I coined the name “Cosmic Nap.”
How long have you been leading sound baths?
Since 2019. After attending my first one in 2014, I knew that I had to learn more about the overall benefits and ultimately share them with my community. I’d never felt that connected to my body and so present. I lost track of time and released so much tension in my body. I began adding a mini sound bath to the end of my yoga classes in 2018 and then it turned into longer sessions that I share now.
What are some benefits of sound baths?
Because how we take in and interpret sounds varies, everyone is going to have a different experience and benefits. Sound has a unique quality to harmonize, rebalance and synchronize the body’s internal rhythm and help to regulate the nervous system. Research has shown that these sessions can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, lower blood pressure and help you feel a deeper sense of relaxation.
How long is an average sound bath?
Even a 15 minute sound bath break can shift your day, but to truly settle in your body, opt towards 30-60 minutes.
How old do you think is a good age for children to start learning yoga and meditation?
It is never too young to start! I don’t believe there is a magic age as everyone is developmentally unique. But, science does share that the first five years are crucial to a child’s health and development. I’ve been teaching toddlers for the last seven years. What I see as they get older is a deeper sense of identifying their own emotions and using movement and breathing practices when they need them. I have parents share stories all the time like, ‘My child said they were feeling scared to go to school and knew they needed to do their candle breath practice, humming (bee breath) or affirmation.’ I weave in fun games, music, repetition and stories with positive themes like compassion, gratitude, and kindness.
Why do you think it’s important for children to practice mindfulness exercises like yoga and meditation?
By nurturing the seeds of consciousness in young minds, we support the growth of a more peaceful world. In a world where these young individuals will shape our collective future, cultivating a sense of presence is important for navigating the world they live in. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness support them through all their emotions and daily trials. The world they are growing up in is so busy with screens everywhere, plus sitting for hours at a time, they are very disconnected at times. These practices give them an opportunity to listen inwards, feel grounded even when things become turbulent (tree pose or mountain pose is great) and most of all have choices on how to pause/respond vs react. Every class I teach incorporates a gratitude practice which can shift the mindset so quickly when they are feeling stuck in their pain, tough day, or emotions. Scientists are finding that a practice of gratitude (mindfulness) can help support long-term mental health.
Yoga and mindfulness have been shown to improve both physical and mental health in children. A quick movement break can help their brain focus again. Yoga improves balance, strength, endurance, improve focus, self-esteem, and can even help reduce stress in children. By weaving in social and emotional practices, kids are more inclined to be kind to themselves and others plus grow up more empathetic.
What are you looking forward to in 2024?
Launching my Kid’s Yoga Mentorship + membership program which will bring more yoga classes to the Greater Austin area and beyond, sharing a Sound Bath at the Siete Wellness Summit, providing FREE and accessible kid’s yoga classes and extending my Yoga and Sound Meditation offerings to larger corporate clients for wellness experiences.
Kid’s Yoga and Mindful Art Holiday Camp
Free Toddler Yoga
Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday
Every 2nd Sunday
LBJ Wildflower Center
Full Moon Sound Bath at La Zona Rosa
612 W 4th St. Austin, TX 78701.
Sound Bath at The Four Season
January 28 and the last Sunday of every month
:98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701