We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Weyrich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art and craft is Sound Healing. Its the creation of sound and vibration with sacred instruments (singing bowls and gongs) for awareness, restoration, and healing. I feel like I fell into the craft. More like I free-fell into it. After I found the practice of yoga and started practicing regularly, I attended Yoga Teacher Training. In my Teacher Training I was introduced to Sound Healing. At that time I was tightly wound mentally and physically. I was working a fast-paced job and taking time off to attend what was called a Yoga Teacher Training Intensive due to the tight schedule. So, when one of the teachers in the training immersed the class in vibrations and gong creshendos my tight grip was rattled and started to unravel. I felt like I free fell into a state of relaxation that was so incredibly foreign to me at that time, it was uncomfortable. It was just what I needed! From the the expansive and transformative nature of my first experience with Sound Healing, I felt myself unwind, maybe for the first time ever. I feel like I was shown a new path. The path of leaning into the ebb and flow. Allowing the vibration to rattle me, carry me, and shake off the rigidity helped me let go a little, rest in the discomfort, and come out beaming on the other side. Soon after I finished my foundational Teacher Training, I began my advanced training and registered for an Ashtanga immersion. I was determined and knew where I wanted to go. But, things changed. I ended up having to have my gallbladder removed, as gallbladder problems run in my family. And I was devastated when I realized that my body wouldn’t be recovered in time to attend the Ashtanga training. My Yoga School recommended that I attend the Restorative Yoga immersion that was scheduled a few months out and happened to be the same amount of hours and tuition as the Ashtanga training. So the commitment was still the same — yet, the plan looked so, so different. Through my post-op recovery, the only yoga I could practice was Restorative Yoga, a deeply relaxing and slow-paced style of yoga. This was a practice that I had also been introduced to during my foundational Teacher Training. The slow-pace of Restorative yoga was also very foreign for me at first, but it was incredibly needed and nurturing for me as I recovered. Before being introduced to Restorative Yoga and Sound Healing, I resisted slowing down. But when the time came for me to nurture my body and mind and heal, these were the practices that held me steady. I attended the Restorative Yoga teacher training and went on to attend a training for Sound Healing as well. My experiences with Restorative Yoga and Sound Healing ultimately taught me how to let go and trust. How to lean into the other side of rigidity — uncertainty. Learning the practice of Sound Healing took me even deeper into this exploration. My gong training felt like intuition-training. The gong is an intuitive instrument itself. It does not have notes, There are no songs to be learned. It is an instrument as intuitive as the player. And, in my experience, the only way to play the gong is to allow yourself to be lead. When I release my expectations of how I want the gong to sound and I approach the instrument from a place of respect, trust, and intuition I allow myself to be lead — that’s when things start to open up and unwind.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love being able to call Denver my home. A perfect, local weekend for me would include a scenic hike and a nurturing vegetarian meal. City O’ City, Himchuli, Maria’s Empanadas, Vital Root, and Native Foods are some of my favorite spots to eat.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am eternally grateful for the guidance and nurturing support of all of my teachers. Everitt Allen is a master of the practice of Restorative Yoga with Sound Healing. His support and mentorship greatly influence me to do what I do today. Everitt encouraged me to become a certified Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga instructor under the direction of Judith Hanson Lasater, the founder of the practice and a master herself. After I attended Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, I took as many of Everitt’s classes as I could to learn and experience the unique way in which he interweaves the practice of Sound Healing into Restorative Yoga.
Gong Master Mehtab Benton continues to be one of my greatest teachers. I had my first gong rattling experience with Mehtab during my foundational teacher training. I went on to attend a Gong training with Mehtab and to this day, I take every opportunity possible to experience his incredible Sound Healings, in-person or virtually. Mehtab also led me to the practice of Jyotish or Vedic Astrology. He was my first introduction to the practice and after years of intrigue, I attended a Jyotish training with Mehtab and Tej Arvind, both of Yoga Yoga. Tej Arvind is my go-to for Vedic Astrology. She has helped me chart the waters of my life over the past few years with grace, understanding, and love. And along the way, I have been able to dive deeper into my own offerings of Vedic Astrology chart readings.
During my later advanced Teacher Trainings at Samadhi Yoga, here in Denver, I met Santosh Powell. On the first day I sat in one of Santosh’s lectures I felt all of my training and experiences begin to fall into place. His teaching style is so gentle, so subtle yet powerfully transformative. When I ground myself into my own daily spiritual practice, which for me includes asana, pranayama, and meditation — I can hear Santosh’s encouragement to “dig a hole, and dig it deep.” His teachings have been incredibly nurturing for me and helped shape how I approach my personal practice and teach my classes as well.
The encouragement, support, and partnership of my husband, Brian has helped me dive even deeper into Sound Healing. In the wake of Covid-19, without any public in-person classes to teach, I spent many hours just playing my gongs. Truly playing with the sound, more than ever before, I had so much space to explore my pace, touch, grip, rhythm, gesture, and even my mood when playing the gongs. Brian, a musician himself and a true master of audio and video, partnered with me to produce a few Sound Healing videos for my YouTube channel. We explored different ways to capture Sound Healing audio for virtual offerings, and after months of practice and trial-and-error, we finally have a beautiful arrangement for quality offerings. Feeling held by my partner’s steadiness has helped me expand in all areas of my life, including my relationship to Sound Healing.
Professional Sound Healing Images by Brian Weyrich