How Retreat DJ Amy Kynoch Uses Sound For Wellness

We are surrounded by sound: the music in the mall, the adverts on TV, the words we speak to each other, traffic outside the window, jingles on the radio… the list goes on. It’s something we are passively exposed to every day, and the toll that takes on our wellness is often underestimated. Amy Kynoch—DJ, producer and yoga teacher—has found a way to mix her passion for wellness with her affinity for positive sound into a career that sees her DJing for retreats around the globe. We chat with Amy about her favourite songs, what got her started, and the impact sound has on our wellness.
retreat, wellness, sound
Amy Kynoch, Retreat DJ | Image courtesy of Amy Kynoch

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a Californian-grown and Brooklyn based multi-dimensional DJ, producer and Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. I have always been interested in wellness although I have not always been “well.” It’s from that un-wellness that my exploration and inspiration began to overflow, bringing me on a journey to dive deep into myself and into the many different waves of wellness.

How does wellness and sound mix in your work? Kymasonix is my DJ brand, and Nü Wave is my intentional sonic curation services. I offer various music direction and sound selection packages to brands and businesses for retail spaces, experiences, classes, workshops, live events and retreats.

How did you get started? I started as a DJ and became aware of myself as a human broadcast system and vibrational curator. I had a newfound responsibility to literally vibrate and amplify positivity: it’s incredible to shift the frequency of a room through intention and sound waves, to help others feel lightness in times of despair or darkness in a reverent and celebratory way. It’s trickled into everything that I do and every set I play whether for a yoga retreat or a nightlife party.

The Kundalini Disco is yoga with a twist | Image courtesy of Amy Kynoch

What is Kundalini Disco? Kundalini Disco is the merging of my career as a DJ and Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. It’s a sensual and rhythmic experience of your breath, beats and body applying the powerful technology of kundalini yoga and meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan in an alternative setting, briding energetic well-being, community connection and of course, dance.

What are the wellness benefits of sound? We are rhythmic and sonic beings. To intentionally bring our various systems—respiratory, endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous, social, economic, cultural—into harmony is the practice. This can be done through a variety of modalities, but music is a direct connection into your cells and your psyche. When I curate music especially in a “wellness” or healing setting, I am extra sensitive to things like lyrics, as this becomes embedded in the listener’s psyche when they are in an open and receptive practice.

How can people use it in their daily wellness routine? Just as we are picky about what we eat, wear or watch, becoming picky about what we listen to has been my biggest teaching. Understanding that our subconscious is being filled on a daily basis with a plethora of stimulation and subliminal messaging—commercials in the background, and the lyrics we recite or get stuck in our minds included—and becoming hyper-vigilant and aware of the sounds we consume is important. I highly suggest having a meditation practice to detox from it all, and I personally love sleeping with a mantra which can neutralise any vibrational residue from the day.

Amy DJs for retreats around the world | Image courtesy of Amy Kynoch

What does your morning routine look like? I’m a Pisces so I like to dream, which means I really enjoy my sleep and getting as many extra minutes in bed as possible. I’ll usually wake up around 8am, and make myself a cup of Vital Energy Peppermint Yogi Tea. While my tea is cooling I catch a few extra snuggles with my little dog and sit up for a beditation breathing exercise with him in my lap. Once out of bed I’ll usually pull a card from my Vision Quest Tarot deck, do a kriya and some reading or writing, then shower with essential oils and a rub down with coconut oil.

How have you taken a weakness and turned it into a strength? I am just realising that my “genetic predisposition” to addiction could have been considered a weakness had I not shifted things when I was 23. I am now using this experience and a story I have replayed many times in my mind from a victim perspective into an empowering and motivating inspiration in all the work that I do.

How has the power of positive thinking helped to change your life? It has completely shifted everything in my life—super cliche but where your attention goes, energy flows. I’ve found it so empowering to realise my own sovereignty. If a thought doesn’t make me feel good or spirals me into a space that does not inspire me to share, act or love myself more, I begin to deconstruct the thought and realign my emotions for how I want to feel. If its a deeply embedded thought pattern I do the real work with my kundalini practice. If it’s an emotional funk, then I remind myself emotions are energy in motion: it will flow into something else. I just have to breathe, allow and decide where I want to flow next.

Amy produces music in addition to teaching yoga and meditation | Image courtesy of Amy Kynoch

What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you or that you have read that has helped you overcome a specific obstacle? Remember life is happening for you, not to you. This really flipped the script and my perspective on everything.

What is one app that has significantly changed your life for the better? Spotify and Soundcloud, because I am always sourcing new music it makes it so easy to share with friends now whereas before I would have to burn a CD and write all the track names on it.

What’s your favourite workout tracks, and why? Because I am constantly sourcing new music this changes often, but right now for running I love San Junipero x Llewellyn; Juniper (Elfenberg Remix) x Dole & Kom; and Ya Just Need to Believe in Yaself x Folamour. For meditation, I enjoy Wahe Guru (Krishan Remix) for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya ambient background music.

What’s coming up in the future? I am really excited to get to share Kundalini Disco with the kids at Camp Remember along with The Heartbeat Movement at The Assemblage’s Sanctuary in Upstate New York in August. I also have some cool DJ gigs coming up at Amaya Society in LES and Soho House rooftop. I’ve just started to split my time between Brooklyn and Bethel in upstate New York, which I am planning some special projects to be announced in 2019. I’m also beginning to work on a mantra album and re-explore production and beat making.

To stay the most up to date with Amy’s upcoming events, check out @_kyma_ or the kymasonix.com.

Rebecca Cairns

Editor & CCO

Hong Kong-based Rebecca Cairns is the editor for Compare Retreats, and has formerly written on travel and wellness with Hong Kong Tatler and The Culture Trip. As a NASM-certified personal trainer, Becca is interested in all things fitness. An avid runner, she enjoys running 5K, 10K and 21K races and is currently training for her first marathon. When she's not travelling, she's planning her next trip, taking hikes to the beach or scribbling away in boutique coffee shops. You can follow her travels on Instagram @jetsetcreate.

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