I had a So Hum kind of a week last week. The kind of week where it feels as if you have a million balls in the air with no chance to catch them all. And drop a ball I did. I missed an important meeting with my daughter’s teacher. Even after I realized and profusely apologized I had a hard time letting it go.
The next day I was listening to MC Yogi’s song Breath Control. The lyrics are simple, Inhalation, inspiration, take a deep breath, increase the vibration, Exhalation, Exultation, send a bright light into creation, breathe in, breathe out, release the stress just let it all out. Receive an inspiration with every inhalation and that’s what I did. So Hum.
So Hum is the sound of the Ujjayi breath. The inhale sounds like So and the exhale (through the nose with the hissing sound in the throat) sounds like hummmm. The Sanskrit translation of So Hum is I am that. It means I am here, connected and present. I am connected to the energy of people in my life and to a greater spiritual presence in the world. That is a powerful mantra alone. However, when we paired it with our Asana practice and used it as a repetitive mantra, both the physical and mental benefits became that much more powerful.
We began practice seated counting the breath and drawing our focus only to the sound of So Hum. I asked my students to hold onto this awareness as much as they were able as we started to move. As we flowed and built heat in the body we repeated So Hum, So Hum, So Hum in our minds. With each breath we began to create a deeper mantra; “I am that I am that I am that“. An affirmation and acceptance of who we each are. From that acceptance, we are able to find gratitude. I too found acceptance as I repeated So Hum to myself, able to let go of the judgment and disappointment of dropping a “ball” this week and find gratitude for all the balls I was able to catch.
Throughout my classes I noticed some of the students that were newer to Vinyasa were able to take themselves less seriously as they connected more fully with the So and Hum of the breath. They found that acceptance of where they were on their mat. No judgment. As we explored some more challenging poses such as Firefly, I also noticed some of the more advanced students smiling and taking a lighter approach. So Hum.
As class began to wind down I emphasized the power of this practice off the mat. The breath and the mantra can come with us and keep us grounded, connected and in touch with those around us and the greater spiritual force that exists. When we step back, we get perspective and that is indeed a powerful force in itself. I am so grateful I was able to find that for myself last week. Thanks MC Yogi for the inspiration. Namaste.