At the beginning of a class, I often ask my students to close their eyes and sense the quality of their energy. Then I ask them to show me their current energy with a hand gesture. Oftentimes, that demonstration looks like a wave – smooth or spastic, even or erratic. It intuitively feels right to describe our energy in a wave-like form.
Sound travels in waves, too, and certain sounds seem to agitate our systems (like a smoke alarm sound, for example), while others have a soothing effect (like humming or a lullaby). Some even believe that the purpose of sound is to provide the cells of the body with electrical stimulation or cortical charge, “toning up the whole system and imparting greater dynamism to the human being.”
We can intentionally use sound to connect to the quality of our energy and to affect it. Humming is particularly good for that. In addition to all the physiological benefits that humming has on our bodies, we can also use it to connect to our own inner vibrations and harmonize them. It’s no accident that the expression “to hum along” also means “to run smoothly”. When our bodies are running smoothly, we have a sense of joyfully humming along.
In this yoga practice we use humming with movement to feel the sound resonance in different parts of the body. We also work on extending and completing our exhalations to promote parasympathetic activation. The practice culminates with So Hum (“I am that”) chant to tune into our own inner vibrations and get a sense of the subtle energy that animates us. Please give it a try and let me know how it feels!
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