I love to light up my brain.
A simple breathing exercise and a mantra let me do it anywhere, anytime.
What’s really great is that I get relaxed at the same time.
Sound like opposites? Energized but relaxed?
Here’s how this ancient technique from India works.
1. Breathe in through your nose slowly while silently chanting Sooo… in your mind.
2. Breathe out slowly while silently chanting Hummm… in your mind.
Try it right now for 9 slow breaths and experience what happens to you.
How So Hum Works
Prana, or Chi, is pure energy filling the air around us. Your complex nasal passages have the wondrous ability to extract prana from the air as you breathe in. The extracted prana goes straight up into your brain.
By slowing your breathing, and chanting So Hum, you can enhance the process and become consciously aware of it.
The slow out breath releases accumulated negative energies like stress and tension.
You get energized on the in breath and relaxed on the out breath.
So Hum Add Ons
There are several easily learned additional techniques that will amplify your So Hum practice. Each of them will add another powerful dimension to your experience.
1. Proper Breathing
- Use abdominal breathing. Breathe with your belly, not your chest. As you breathe in, your belly goes out. As you breathe out, your belly goes in. Your emotions will calm automatically. Singers breathe like this. They call it diaphragmatic breathing.
- Allow your breath to become smooth without jerking or roughness. If your breath flows smoothly, so will your mind.
- No pauses between breaths. Just allow each breath to flow smoothly into the next.
- Let your breath become very quiet so that the only sound is the silent mantra “Sooo… Hummm…” playing in your mind. Sound like a conundrum? Try it.
- On the in breath, see brilliant white light flowing into your nostrils and up into your brain as you silently chant Sooo… The brilliant light transforms your brain into radiant blue/white light.
- On the out breath, see dark dirty energy going out of you as you silently chant Hummm… You free up more space to breathe in more light on the next in breath.
As you become accomplished with this visualization, you can take it to a higher level.
- Sweep the light up through your brain then down through your body on the in breath.
- On the out breath, the light settles into your body.
With each breath you become lighter and lighter –more and more energized.
Count your breaths from 1 to 9. Then start over again at 1.
Counting your breaths gives your mind something to do. Your mind will be happy instead of creating complaints and negative thoughts about your meditation practice. And your mind may begin letting go of its all consuming thoughts and worries.
Mudras are hand positions. There are hundreds of different ones. Each mudra allows energy to flow through you in a different way.
- Gyan mudra has become very popular in the West. It inspires expanded wisdom. Hold your hands palms up with the backs of your hands resting on your knees. Touch the tips of your first finger and thumb together, forming a circle. Your other three fingers should be extended, but relaxed.
- Relaxing mudra. This mudra allows tension and stress to drain away. Hold your hands palms down on your knees. All your digits should be extended but relaxed and pointing towards the ground.
The ancient practice of silently chanting So Hum can be done anytime without anyone knowing you’re doing it. This makes it ideal for quickly energizing yourself while relaxing. And, with daily practice, your consciousness grows and grows, expanding towards realization.
Richard Crown teaches healing and meditation via Skype. You can download for free his book In the Beginning: How to Meditate & Heal With Love at Shaktipat-meditation.org.