7 Best Instruments For Meditation To Heal & Hone Your Present Moment Awareness

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Meditation is a practice that has been used for centuries in a wide range of cultures and religions to promote relaxation, focus, overall well-being, and even spiritual growth, and it is a foundational element of the 8th limb path of yoga.

There are many different ways to meditate, and it is important to note that different styles and methods of meditation may align more with you than others, and it is this wide range of practices that make it accessible.

When trying to meditate, especially as a beginner, you may find it quite difficult to remain present and focused for more than just a few moments.

Using musical instruments for meditation, as well as to practice asana, is a popular tool to help you remain focused and present through practice.

Musical instruments can be used to create a calming and meditative atmosphere.

The sounds and melodies of the instruments can help to focus the mind and promote relaxation. Additionally, the vibrations of the instruments can be said to have a healing effect on the body and mind.

There are many different musical instruments that can be used for meditation, and in this article, we will discuss seven of the best musical instruments for meditation.

  • Benefits of using instruments for meditation
  • The harmonium
  • Sound bowls
  • The handpan
  • The cello
  • The guitar
  • Drums
  • The human voice

We will explore the benefits of each instrument and provide tips on how to use them effectively.

Let’s dive right in to learn more about these great instruments for meditation.

a woman sitting cross legged using a singing bowl

Benefits of using instruments for meditation

Meditation can of course, be practiced in many ways, and using musical instruments for meditation has many benefits for those starting to delve into these practices.

  • can help to create a calming and meditative atmosphere.
  • can help to focus the mind and promote relaxation
  • can be used to create different moods and atmospheres.
  • can help to balance the chakras and promote overall well-being.

If you find that your mind wanders, simply bring your attention back to the sound of the instrument.

There is no need to judge yourself when that happens, simply bring your attention back to the sound as often as necessary – this is the true practice.

The harmonium

The harmonium is a keyboard instrument that is often used in religious setting as well as in yoga and Kirtan. It is also a wind instrument that produces sound when air is blown through reeds.

The sound of the harmonium is often described as being soothing and calming, and it can help to create a sense of inner stillness.

If you’d like to experience it, give this video a try.

a man wearing white playing the harmonium


There are different types of sound bowls that you can as instruments for meditation, and two of the most popular are crystal bowls and Tibetan bowls.

Quartz crystal bowls are made of a type of mineral that is found in nature. The bowls are typically hand-blown and then polished to a high shine. They have a very high-pitched, ethereal sound.

Crystal bowls are great instruments for meditation, and are often also used in sound healing therapy.

Sound baths can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain.

Tibetan bowls, on the other hand, are made of a combination of metal, usually bronze, copper, and tin. The bowls are typically hand-hammered and then decorated with intricate designs.

Tibetan bowls have a lower-pitched, more resonant sound that is said to be very grounding and centering. They are often used in Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies.

Crystal bowls were first developed in the 1950s, while Tibetan bowls have been used for centuries in Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies.

Both crystal and Tibetan bowls can be used for meditation and sound healing.

The best type of bowl for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget.

Here is a session with crystal bowls for you to try.

a gong bath in a white room with two people lying down

The handpan

The handpan is a relatively new instrument, first developed in Switzerland in the early 2000s, but rapidly gaining popularity as one of the best instruments for meditation.

A handpan is a steel bowl with a distinctive, shimmering sound often used in sound baths, yoga classes, and other types of meditation, and they can be a great way to relax and de-stress.

Try this compilation of handpan music.

The Cello

The cello is a stringed instrument that is played by drawing a bow across the strings.

It is a very versatile instrument that can be used to play a diversity of music, from classical to jazz to pop. The cello is one of the most popular instruments for meditation because:

  • The low, mellow tones are very calming and soothing and can help you relax the mind and body.
  • The act of playing the cello can be very meditative. When you focus on playing the cello, you are able to let go of your thoughts and emotions and simply be in the present moment.
  • The cello can be a very expressive instrument. When you play or listen to the cello, you may be able to feel and express your emotions in a way that is both beautiful and cathartic.

Try this wonderful track by The Wong Janice to get you into a meditative state:

a close up of a cello

The guitar

The guitar is one of the most common instruments for meditation, and it can be used in many different ways.

You can play it in a slow, deliberate manner, focusing on the sound of the music and the feeling of the instrument in your hands.

You can also create your own music, which can be a very creative and meditative process, as you focus on the sounds you are making and the way they make you feel.

You can also use the guitar to improvise, which can be a great way to tap into your creativity and connect with your emotions.

Finally, you can also find guitar music songs and playlists that you find calming or meditative. This could be anything from classical music to more contemporary sounds and arrangements.

Simply find guitar music that you enjoy and that helps you to relax, and use it to create a meditative experience for yourself.

a man playing guitar


Drums have been used for centuries as instruments for meditation and healing.

The repetitive beat of the drum can help to create a state of deep relaxation and focus, which can be beneficial for both physical and mental health.

Some people prefer to simply listen to drumming recordings, while others prefer to play the drums themselves.

There are also many different types of drums that can be used as instruments for meditation, including Native American drums, Table, and even electronic drums.

It is important to be patient and to allow yourself to experience the different effects that drumming can have on your body and mind, whether you choose to listen to drum music, or choose to create sound yourself.

Try this out.

a hand on a skin drum

The human voice

The human voice is a powerful tool that can be used for meditation. When you use your voice to create sound, you are also creating vibrations that travel through your body and mind.

These vibrations can help to promote relaxation, focus, and healing.

The easiest way is to simply chant or hum. You can also use your voice to create specific sounds, such as vowel sounds or mantras.

You can also use your voice to sing or to create music.

No matter how you choose to use your voice, the important thing is to be present and aware of the sound that you are creating.

When you focus on the sound of your voice, you can begin to let go of other thoughts and distractions. This can help you to achieve a state of deep relaxation and peace.

As you hum or chant, focus on the sound of your voice and on the vibrations that you feel in your body. Continue to hum or chant for as long as you like.

Another simple exercise is to simply sing a song that you know. As you sing, focus on the sound of your voice and on the vibrations that you feel in your body. Continue to sing for as long as you like.

As you become more comfortable using your voice, you can experiment with different sounds and techniques. You can also try using your voice to create music.

When you use your voice in this way, you are not only meditating, but you are also creating something beautiful.

Try out this mantra.

To conclude

Using musical instruments for meditation can help you become focused and present.

There are many videos, songs, and playlists, that you can use to accompany your meditation, if you want to receive the benefits of using instruments for meditation.

If you are interested in experimenting with musical instruments for meditation and making sound yourself, it is important to be patient as you learn, and do some research to find out which instruments for meditation would be a better fit for you.

To learn more about music for meditation, click here.

Photo of author
Laia is an Afro-Catalan accessible and inclusive yoga & meditation teacher. She has trained in hatha, vinyasa, trauma-informed yoga, yin yoga, and restorative yoga and holds E-RYT 500 and YACEP accreditations with the Yoga Alliance. Additionally, she is a freelance writer and translator, publishing in Catalan, English, and Spanish. As a former professional athlete who lives with a chronic illness, Laia has gained valuable insights into the benefits of self-care and the importance of pausing and slowing down. She is dedicated to sharing accessible and sustainable practices of yoga and meditation to help people create a more harmonious life. Being a black and chronically ill individual, her mission is to empower non-normative yoga teachers to find their unique voices and develop tools to make wellness practices accessible to the communities they serve, thereby taking up space and creating a more inclusive and diverse yoga industry. Furthermore, as a writer and creative, she is passionate about supporting other creatives and innovators. She fosters a genuine community dedicated to finding balance while staying productive and inspired. Laia has developed unique techniques that intertwine yoga and meditation with writing, journaling, and other accessible methods to help each other stay creative and mindful.

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