Through gong baths, counseling, and more, this Ipswich couple helps the community thrive

Ravi and Lakshmi Sirois (Amy Palmer photo)

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IPSWICH — The lower level of the Cable Professional Building may not be the place where you would expect to find a gong, but you can spot one sitting at the front of the plainly furnished room of the Acupuncture Health & Wellness Center.

Ravi Sirois, who co-owns Ipswich’s Center to Thrive with his wife, Lakshmi, uses the gong for healing and relaxation as part of his weekly Kundalini yoga and meditation class.

“The complexity of vibration and frequencies of the gong is a somatic cleansing … it vibrates your cells, your atoms,” he said.

By striking the gong repeatedly, Ravi is able to produce a series of deep thronging sounds and vibrations with the instrument that he says can help people relieve their emotional burdens.

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“The gong bath is one trip you go on where you don’t mind losing your baggage,” he said.

Ravi leads the gong bath — where attendees lie down with their eyes closed while he plays the instrument — at the end of each yoga and meditation session.

The 75-minute sessions begin with Kundalini yoga, which involves breathing exercises with specific repetitive movements. This type of yoga provides a physical challenge and meditation practice, according to Ravi.

“Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness,” he said. “If you can make the body more easeful, the mind becomes peaceful.”

The goal of the exercises is to become more single-minded, keeping your mind focused on the present, he said.

“The mind is like a leaf in the wind, blowing into the future, flowing into the past. All we have is the golden moment — now,” Ravi said.

Ravi’s yoga class is just one part of the Center to Thrive, which is a wellness center Lakshmi started four years ago. In addition to the class, the center includes therapy — one-on-one, group, and movement sessions — drumming, a women’s circle, and the red tent (a women’s support group).

“We really would love people to thrive, to make their lives better and to make the community better, make our world better,” Lakshmi said. “To be the peace we want in the world.”

One way Lakshmi does this is by making her counseling space colorful and welcoming. Patterned tapestries and soft lighting fill the office, and there is a large, open space in the center.

“I like very little in my space to have space to move, to draw — really to embody the changes that they’re creating in their life,” Lakshmi said.

Through counseling and yoga classes, this Ipswich couple has come together to support the community in unique ways.

“For me, it felt good to consolidate our energies together,” Lakshmi said. “They’re in alignment in terms of helping people. It feels good.”

By offering these various services to the Ipswich community, the Center to Thrive follows what it says is its core belief: “Truth is one, paths are many.”

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