The ups and downs of the last few years have prompted many of us to make significant personal changes, with a greater focus on a balanced lifestyle, a desire to find alternative ways to manage anxiety and finding a deeper connection with ourselves.
Zehra Ibrahim is one of those people, who, prior to Covid had been working a 9-5 job that left her feeling creatively and spiritually unfulfilled. Seeking comfort and reassurance, she began researching alternative wellness practices and came into resonance with sound healing, spawning the launch of her beloved Self Love Lab.
Sound has been used for centuries as a healing tool, tracing back to ancient civilisations such as Greece, Egypt, and India, whose societies believed in the transformative healing power of sound. They used methods such as singing bowls, chanting, and tuning forks to promote a harmonious environment for the body to heal itself. Fast forward to more modern times, and in 1975 in San Francisco musician and sound healer Don Conreaux is credited with hosting the first ever sound bath, similarly using gongs and other instruments to create a powerful and transformative experience for participants.
Everything in the universe, including us, is vibrating at its own particular energetic frequency. Sound baths promote attunement to these healing vibrations and are said to promote relaxation, provide anxiety relief and mental clarity to improve your mood and increase vital energy flow. The aim is to bring you back in alignment, allowing the body to enter deep relaxation. The sound of the instruments (these include bowls, vocals, gongs, bells, rainsticks or tuning fork chimes) help the brain reach a deep relaxation state which is usually accessed during daydreaming or deep sleep. The vibrations and frequencies of the sounds help to calm the mind, allowing us to enter a meditative state and access our inner healing abilities.
Intrigued? Us too! With this in mind we are so excited to be hosting a sound bath with Zehra at Glasshouse on Sunday 23rd July. We sat down with her to find out more about what led her to start her business, The Self Love Lab, her modern perspective on these ancient healing rituals and some of the ways in which she fosters self love.
Can you tell us a bit about your background, what you were doing before and what brought you to develop The Self Love Lab?
Before Covid I was working in a 9-5 homeware buying job, but I have always been super creative and knew I wanted to work for myself and branch out. When Covid hit I started looking at alternative ways of healing, and thats when I discovered the amazing world of crystal and sound healing.
Crystals really helped me through the start of covid. Exploring holistic healing and therapies became a hobby and a self love practice for me. Everything slowly started to align and I made the leap of starting my own business, The Self Love Lab. I really wanted to create a community of people who wanted to elevate their self love practice just as I had. A space for people to heal, connect and most importantly -- show themselves self love.
What are the ways in which you work?
I host weekly and monthly sound baths for those looking to elevate their self love practice. Behind the scenes I also work with some amazing corporate clients such as SKY media and Pinterest as part of their in-house wellbeing programs.
What is the intention behind The Self Love Lab?
The Self Love Lab is growing and evolving constantly. My aim is to continue to educate people on the mind, body and spirit approach to self love. Love is the highest frequency. When we practice self love we raise our vibration which allows us to become a magnet to all of our desires. Self love isn't just important -- it's ESSENTIAL. All products and services have been created with the intention of raising vibrations, realigning and balancing the mind and body. Each can help you reconnect, inspire and add a touch of magic to your home.
Why do you think there has been an increase in people being interested in self love practices, sound healing, meditation etc in the last few years?
The working culture and mindset has completely changed over the last couple of years. People have started to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing over being overworked which is amazing. More people have acknowledged the power of mindful practices and a lot of this has to do with covid and the lifestyle changes we had to go through. A softer, slower approach to life and working was adopted and it looks like it's here to stay!
How would you describe the benefits of sound bath and meditation in our modern world?
A sound healing session is a chance to truly unwind and relax -- a time to switch off and let go of the stresses of work and life. Sound allows us to heal from the inside, the vibrations of sound travel through the water in our body which allows us to release any anxiety, stress or worries we are holding onto. On a more spiritual side, sound works at rebalancing your energy centres. Each sound bowl is connected to a different chakra which when played allows us to release any blockages. Alternatively, we can even plant a seed of intention for something we want to attract.
What are the benefits of wearing or having crystals in your home?
Individual crystals hold different energies, we can place different crystals in certain areas of our home to either cleanse the energy or increase vibrations. For example, citrine is the stone of manifesting. Many people choose to have a citrine in their home office for a touch of motivation and positive energy. This can also be said for wearing crystal jewellery -- they can help raise your vibrations to that of your intention and add a touch of magic, love and high vibrations to your energy field.
Can you tell us a little about your candles? Why do they include crystals?
The ultimate fusion of affirmation and luxury home fragrance, our candles have been hand blended and poured in the UK, made with 100% natural wax. Specifically formulated to uplift your mood and raise vibrations. combining home fragrance with crystal healing really adds to the self love practice of lighting a candle. With each light you can set an intention and use the crystal as part of your self love routine for a more immersive and special form of self care.
Could you share some short tips or guidance for at home meditation or a self love evening?
Self love is so many things. It's getting up and making your bed in the morning or cooking yourself a nutritious meal. I would say think about something physical -- spending time outside taking a moment to express gratitude. Something social -- spending time with family or friends. Something spiritual -- cleansing your home with Palo Santo and something emotional -- create a relaxing evening ritual. journal, reflect and have some ME time.
Do you have any daily skincare and self care rituals?
Skincare is something so close to my heart and is something I trained in before I launched the Self Love Lab. I have my go to products, tools and supplements which include Environ Moisturiser, The Ordinary Hyularonic and Glycolic acids, a Gua Sha, SPF and advanced nutrition Supplements (Omega 3's). As someone who suffers with breakouts, finding a skincare routine that works for me has been a huge part of my self love skin journey.
What do you like to do in general to unwind?
Reformer pilates and spin classes are my absolute favourite things to do. If I'm not working you'll find me at the gym -- this to me is my form of unwinding.
What does self love mean to you?
Self love means looking after my mind, body and soul; nourishing myself from the inside out and making time for things that bring me joy. Taking it easy on myself and enjoying life as much as I can.
Zehra is hosting a 90 minute sound bath at Glasshouse on Sunday 23rd July at 6pm.
Leave feeling energetically refreshed, lighter and full of love – having let go of all that no longer serves us.
Book your place here.