This is a Sanskrit mantra (Soham) that means, “I am That.” Or just simply, “I am.” It’s also sometimes called “the breath of life.”
When used for meditation, “Sohum” acts as a natural mantra to control one’s breathing pattern, to help achieve deep breath, and to gain concentration.
Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that inhalation.
Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that exhalation.
Why is this important?
I believe the breath is integral in our journey of awareness.
WHY is it important to consciously breathe?
Because through our conscious breath we are able to enter into the flow of spaciousness … that universal energetic alignment that allows us to be released from the thinking and the worrying and the beliefs that limit and bind us.
The breath MOVES our energy, and in that movement there is flow.
Here is what I have noticed … when I’m anxious, (worried, stressed, angry, etc.) if I pay closer attention to my breathing, I am able to pull my center of energy down from my head (where the anxiety is coming from) and into my body. When my energy is focused in the body, I am more present. If I breathe into the area that is constricted (sometimes my heart, sometimes my chest, sometimes my neck or shoulders) I notice that area tends to relax and surrender into the present moment.
HOW do I “breathe into the area” ?? (I’m definitely a “how to” girl … I like specific instructions that I can use to help me see what is trying to be understood.)
For me, I visualize what the constriction looks like … if I feel tightness in my neck and I notice I’m stressed, I take deep breaths and visualize where and what shape the tightness is. So I may “see” an energetic block from shoulder to shoulder around the back of my neck, and it might extend, in little tendrils, up my neck to the back of my head. I see that this area needs to be opened to the flow of the aliveness of the energy of my being. It’s blocked, for whatever reason, and I can feel the stuck energy.
So, I picture the tightness, and I visualize the energy of the breath moving into that area. I imagine the air going straight to the back of my neck and shoulders and swirling its light and sparkly-ness (that’s what I picture it looking like) in and around and through the tight “cut off” space that is there.
I breathe deeply in through my nose, and I breathe the “stuck” energy out through my mouth. I continue to allow the focus of the breathing and visualization to relax and release and rejuvenate my energy.
Is this magic? Not necessarily, no. (it CAN be if you believe it is) It doesn’t always take away the tightness in my actual neck muscles, but it DOES release me from the “tightness” of the stress and anxiety.
It is grounding and centering … and by “centering” I mean that it centers me back into the energy of the present moment, which is aligned with All That Is.
When I align my energy with All That Is, I naturally have an “ease” come into my field of experience. It just makes the moment lighter. And in the lightness, I am able to see more clearly, which helps me make better choices that are based on ease and flow, instead of constriction and fear.
I am trying to teach my children that they have the power to shape a moment, when they enter into present awareness. They can choose to focus on the fears in their minds, or they can groiund themselves in what’s happening now … “I am safe.” “I am whole.” “I am breathing.” “I am here.”
Each of us has this power. And when we harness that power in positive ways, it shapes our life experiences into teachers; we learn and grow as we surrender the struggle and allow in the ease.
These are powerful mantras when we really use them to help us focus.
I am here. This is my constant reminder … I am here. I am experiencing this. I am this.