What is a Tanpura?

A tanpura is an Indian string instrument. It is used to generate a drone background e.g. as reference for singing. A tanpura is completely hollow. Its belly is made from a gourd (kind of pumpkin), its neck is made from wood. Its four metal strings are usually tuned on a base note, its lower octave and the fifth. Only these basic notes are played over and over again. Due to the special construction of the tanpura bridge, a very rich scape of overtones arises. This has the natural effect of charming the mind and taking it deeper and deeper within.

How does a tanpura sound massage work?

To receive a tanpura massage, you lie down fully dressed on your back on a comfortable futon. Deep, gentle stretches relax and prepare you for the sound massage with the tanpura. This increases your body awareness and brings you into the here-and-now. The tanpura is placed onto your body. Its belly with the major weight of the instrument is placed on the ground between your knees and its neck rests in the middle of your forehead. The resulting pressure on the forehead has an additional grounding effect. The tanpura starts to play. Its charming sound is reaching you not only through the air and your ears, but also directly through your skull, in fact through your whole body. The vertically vibrating strings of the tanpura are parallel with your spinal column and therefore have a strong impact on the central nervous system and the associated main chakra system, receptor and emitter of vibrations. The tanpura is played about 30 minutes.

What are the effects of a tanpura massage?

The effects of a tanpura massage are so profound that one might wonder if sound massage is the true main purpose of this instrument. The rhythmical vibration which is perceived both as sound and as physical sensation leads you almost instantaneously into a state of deep relaxation. The mind is led home by the tanpura’s pressure on the 3rd eye, the seat of consciousness, and the beauty of the rhythmical waves of overtones. It concentrates naturally and dives deeper and deeper within. Gross and subtle tensions and blockages are released, the life force can flow more freely and effective self-healing is taking place on all levels, physically, emotionally and mentally. The silence after the last sound of the tanpura fades away is profound and hard to describe with words. It is as if the world sinks together with you to the bottom of a sweet dreamless state of sleep after which both you and the world slowly rise again and take a deep, fresh breath.


You do not have to bring anything to a tanpura massage. Just wear comfortable clothes. A complete tanpura massage is about 60 minutes and costs 50€. Tanpura massages are only available in Assebroek.