So Ham A Contemplation Meditation
This is a Hindu meditation.
Soham is a Sanskrit word that means “to identify oneself with the world” or “to align oneself with ultimate reality.”
So - I am
Ham - he/she/that
Set a 10 min timer, this can be increased overtime.
So is the sound of inhaling,
Ham is the sound of exhaling. These two factors interact to form a person’s breathing method.
You can think of the words ‘so ham’ guided by the subtle natural sound of the breath.
Or you can vocalise into a chant. I will show you these ways in your Yoga classes this week.
Step 1. Begin by training your body to be still and comfortable in a sitting posture. When the spine is erect with the pelvis, chest, and head vertically aligned, the breath becomes smooth, and the mind alert and relaxed. Sit on a chair, or cross-legged on the floor with a cushion or a folded blanket under the hips. Use enough support to lift the hip joints slightly higher than the knees. This minimizes the effort needed to keep the lower back from rounding.
Step 2. Close your eyes and mentally draw a circle of light around yourself. The circle separates you from the world of daily life—both the outer world of perceptions and activities, and the world of your familiar preoccupations and thinking patterns. With this intention, see yourself sitting inside this circle of light. It delineates a space in which you can contain your awareness; let it protect you from disturbances, distractions, and mental dissipation.
Step 3. Feel the entire body sitting comfortably still, release any unnecessary tension, and pay attention to the movement of the breath. Refine your awareness as you feel the breath become smoother and more subtle, expanding from the solar plexus into the limbs on the inhalation, and releasing back to the solar plexus on the exhalation. Be aware of the touch of the breath everywhere in the body.
Step 4. Making sure the body and breath stay relaxed, focus your attention at each of the following energy centers, moving systematically through the body and inhaling and exhaling once at each point: eyebrow center · throat center · right shoulder · right elbow · right wrist · each of the right fingertips, starting with the thumb · right wrist · right elbow · right shoulder · throat center · left shoulder · left elbow · left wrist · each of the left fingertips, starting with the thumb · left wrist · left elbow · left shoulder · throat center · heart center · navel center · center of the pelvis · pelvic floor · center of the pelvis · navel center · heart center · throat center · eyebrow center. Step 5. Now rest your attention at the eyebrow center. Feel the ebb and flow of the breath through the inner space of the whole body, while maintaining your focus on the eyebrow centre. Sense the vibration of a slow wave of breath. This vibration is the mantra so'ham (pronounced so-hum). Hear the sound so on the inhale, and the sound ham on the exhale. The breath is subtle and slow, so let your concentration be fine and sensitive, becoming more and more one-pointed, and gradually drawing deeper into the mind. Rest in this awareness as long as you like.
To finish the practice, gradually return your awareness to the flow of the breath in the body, the physical presence of the body, and the space around you. Remain aware of the breath and your inner connection as you release the body from your sitting posture. You may want to open your eyes into the palms of your hands, massage your face, and stretch your arms and legs before getting up.
There are many benefits of Soham meditation.
Soham meditation makes a person feel powerful and joyous from within.
1. The Spiritual Benefits:
In today’s world of chaotic and stressful living, where one has to scourge for time and peace, meditation has become an important aspect of life to bust that stress in order to live a healthy life. Meditation is a process which helps us find the inner peace of mind and soul while learning to control our stress, pain, anger and other calamities of the mind and soul.
2. Co-ordination of the body and mind.
While we meditate, our muscles at first tend to contract. To relax the whole body, one must first learn to control the tension of the muscles and the noise of the mind to find inner peace and relaxation. In order to do this, one must form a bridge to wield the gap between the mind and the body, and then our nervous system comes into play. It acts as a bridge, helping the body to communicate with the mind.
3. Development Of Blood Circulation.
As Soham meditation’s principles focus basically on the techniques of breathing, it develops the blood circulation in our body.
4. Development Of Focus and Concentration:
Soham meditation requires attention and systematic practices to perform. As we perform this meditation, it helps us focus and train our mind on one-pointedness, increasing our levels of concentration and focus.
5. Refining Mental Capabilities: Soham meditation helps us to focus, we can get a clearer image of our surroundings, and with our increasing levels of concentration, it helps one to remember more, and with greater clarity.
6. Way To A Healthy Life:
The benefits of Soham meditation are unending. Do not speak the words, but let the silent sound perform the action. Try to find the silent sound from within. Our body plays the tunes from within; one needs to discover them in order to explore one’s true self.