NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Inside a ballroom in the basement of The William Vale, a posh hotel in Brooklyn, sound therapists and husband and wife Alex Falk and Sara Auster demonstrated for us some notes and tones they'd create for a room of paying sitters, stretchers and loungers, fanned out on mats, towels and chairs around these two musicians, starting in a half-hour when this monthly sound bath begins.
"They might be received as unusual, unknown sounds," Auster said, "but we like that."
Unlike a piano or electric guitar, instruments like these crystal singing bowls produce sounds most of us don't already associate with something.
"Overtone-emitting, they're highly resonant," Auster said.
And in the two hours that bathers spend submerged in these sounds, Auster and Falk hope to provide deep relaxation, rest, mental clarity, a new experience or all of the above.
"You have an epiphany of sorts," Auster said.
"I work in luxury hospitality," Miles Johnson said. "And I don't usually pay for many things."
But for the last year, Johnson has paid to attend each one these monthly sound baths, bringing new friends every time.
"The sound of this room is one of the reasons that we've continued to do this event for two years," Falk said.
"Sounds and vibrations are healing," Johnson said.
Tibetans reached that same revelation actually thousands of years ago, but along with yoga meditation and mindfulness sound baths like this one have recently also gained popularity in the West.
"Public schools, cultural centers, I've facilitated sound baths at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to Madison Square Garden," Auster said.
Auster, who has a book on sound baths out in the fall, started facilitating these experiences in yoga studios around six years ago.
"Our job as facilitators," Falk said, "is to kind of make sure we're holding this space for all of these people who have different experiences to come in and have that experience they're looking for."
For some, that means falling asleep.
"Definitely—and it's part of our disclaimer every time," Falk said.
And for some of those snoozers, that means snoring.
"We're not giving them a little shake. We're letting that snore become a part of the sound and the space," Falk said.
A TV camera, photographer and reporter Alex and Sara understandably preferred not to let become a part of the sound and space, turning down the lights and showing us the door to leave those in attendance alone with the reverberations of their therapists' instruments.