Humming is the funky new well-being ritual I’m really into at the moment. It’s a soothing form of sound medicine, infusing your body with many therapeutic benefits. It’s also an easy and fun way to enjoy a meditation practice. Imagine filling your head with the vibration of a calming “humm” for one, two or even 5 minutes. It’s bliss. Bliss that you can create inside your head and body within seconds.
I’m trusting you’ll be impressed with the following 12 well-being benefits that I have gathered along my journey with humming.
1: Grounds and brings you back to your centre. I personally find it helps settle the feeling of being restless or scattered on the inside.
2: Promotes clarity of thinking by refreshing your mind. You can physically feel the vibration of the “hum” clear out the cob webs.
3: Has a very relaxing and soothing effect on your neck, face, head and shoulder muscles, which helps dissolve stress. Try it, you’ll be surprised.
4: Humming reduces the number of thoughts that fill your head. When you are humming there is no room for over thinking.
5: Humming puts a smile on your face. Well, it certainly does for me.
6: Humming slows down your breathing rate significantly. Dr. Kataria’s research shows, we normally breathe 15-17 times in a minute but with humming you can bring it down to 4-6 a minute which helps to slow down your heart rate and brings down your stress level.
7: Helps dissolve unproductive thinking. If you are having a bout of negativity, jump straight into a few rounds of “hmmmm” and notice a shift in your thinking.
8: Calms your nervous system as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
9: Dr. Kataria firmly believes it helps those with insomnia or restless sleep patterns, and perfect for inducing a deep sleep without dreams (the best kind of sleep) . I recently bought Dr.Kataria’s humming meditation CD and have been practicing it whilst lying in bed (before sleep) to the sounds of an Indian instrument called a tanpura. It’s divine.
10: “Humming creates a wonderful circuit of energy in your body re-vitalizing its cells and charging its chakra’s” as quoted by Deva Premal, who is well known for her chanting CD’s.
11: Improves sinusitis. The vibration helps shifts and clears pathways and blockages
12: Lowers blood pressure as proven by Dr. Kataria. 5 minutes of humming can reduce your blood pressure between 10 - 20 mmHg
How to practice a simple humming mediation:
1 - Find a quiet place, close your eyes, straighten your spine and neck, drop your shoulders - and relax. Gently touch your lips together so your hum can travel easily into your head, face and neck muscles. Relax your jaw. Play some soft background music to enhance your experience.
2 - Take a deep slow breath in, and then create a “mmm” sound on your exhale, without opening your lips. Continue to hum for the length of your exhale. You can make it musical but traditionally it’s more of a tone than a tune.
3 - Re-new breathe then continue. It’s that simple.
Start with 1 minute and increase over time to 15 minutes. One key point which is shared by many yogic and Tibetan wisdoms is the importance of sitting still for a few minutes after your humming meditation.
How to practice a humming bee meditation:
Yogic breathing techniques have a wonderful variation on the above which I guarantee, will deepen your experience with the simple hum. In fact, I’m warning you right now many participants at my Womens Rejuvenation Retreats fall in love with this fun, easy style of meditation.
1 - Start by getting comfortable and relax your breathing. Close your ears with your thumbs and gently rest your fingers over your closed eyes.
2 - Adjust the pressure of your fingers to feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
3 - Gently and deeply inhale, then make a “mmmm” sound for the length of your exhale. Repeat when it naturally feels OK to inhale again.
Covering your ears greatly intensifies and magnifies the sensation of the hum flowing through your head and body.
Thanks so much for reading my article, Carole.
To see the latest books I’m reading, music I’m listening too and DVD’s I’m watching, this month, zip over to my blog, Rejuvenation Lounge. You’ll find them on the front page.
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I recently bought Dr.Kataria’s humming meditation CD which I personally love. He uses the Indian instrumenttanpura as background music, which is said to enhance your experience. The first part of his CD is an explanation on the benefits of humming and the second part of the CD is just the sound of thetanpura being played.