So Hum Mantra

by Jen on January 29, 2013

I missed y’all yesterday but my work day ended up being a little cray and when I finally sat down to blog at 10 p.m. it was a no go. I am having issues with my server so I apologize if you have been experiencing long load times or database errors. My host assures me they are working to get the server running normally again. In addition to the blog being a no-go, so was my workout. I was hoping to do some cardio and weights but ended up covering the front desk at the club instead. By the time 7:30 rolled around and I finally had the opportunity to workout all I wanted to do was go home. Oh well, one of those days!

For the last few days I have kind of been in a food slump where nothing really sounds good (except cheesy, buttery quiche at brunch Sunday…always good). I haven’t felt like cooking or even going to the store to restock for the week. So I have just been keeping it simple and it’s working for me.

Lots of smoothies and juice  (and always lots of coffee! :D)

Also salads.

(source)

And multiple cans of this soup. Sometimes food doesn’t need to be complicated or involved, you know?

What do you eat when you’re in a food slump and needing simple/basic? 

Enough food, let’s talk yoga. I have been teaching a 90 minute hot class on Sunday mornings for almost two years (minus the few month teaching hiatus I took late this summer/early fall). I love teaching this class. My regulars call it “yoga church.” I spend more time prepping for this class than any other. I always have a new playlist, a reading or message and teach some sort of skill, arm balance, pivotal pose, etc. It feels more like an experience than just a class for me and I truly feel like I have the opportunity to take them through a journey where they can bring whatever they’re going through and feeling to the mat and leave feeling renewed and ready for the week ahead.

Last Sunday we focused on the mantra So Hum.

So = I am
Hum = All that is

I am all that is.

I am not the label that I have given myself. I am not the label society has put on me…mother, banker, brother, runner, teacher, funny, flawed, outgoing, shy, gay, straight, athletic, smart, rebel, go-getter, volunteer, adventurer, pretty, unloveable…you get my point.

I am expansive. My soul is beautiful. I see the divine show up within me and all around me in my daily life. I am free from attachment to labels. I am okay with change.

You can use this mantra for meditation or as a breath focus as you move through your practice. You inhale “so” and exhale “hum.” Or inhale “I am” and exhale “all that is.” I find this mantra to be a great way to get out of my head and in sync with my body and mind. If you use it for meditation you will want to find a comfortable cross seated position and set a timer for as little as 3-5 minutes or up to 20-30. Kudos to you if you can make it 30 minutes. I have a lot of work to do with my meditation practice. If you use the mantra for practice, find your ujjayi breath (nose breathing only) and focus on deep, steady and full inhales and exhales while silently repeating the mantra.

Give it a try, even if you don’t think that meditation and mantras are your thing.

Meditation…yes or no? 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Callie @ sMiles from Callie January 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Such a powerful mantra. We recited this a few times during a yoga class over the weekend and it really resonated with me. It’s very empowering. I especially like the list of example you gave. I tend to forget some of the lessons I learn in yoga class, but this post reminds me to retreat to this mantra when I need to retreat to my own inner peace. Thank you for sharing! All of your posts always resonate with me :)

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2 Stephanie @ A Girl and Her Manny January 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I’m working on the meditation. It is such a struggle for me right now – there’s too much racing through my mind!

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3 char January 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm

LOVE this mantra. thank you. will be thinking of it today following strength training when I cool down/stretch.

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4 Georgina January 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I have to admit, when our yoga teacher suggests saying the silent mantra “May I be well, may others be well” I immediately dismiss the idea…but then I find myself saying it…and visualizing the people whom I wish well on and visualizing the parts of myself that I want to give some love to. It makes me feel better…

So I think i might try your mantra and see how it works for me! Thanks Jen!

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5 She Rocks Fitness January 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I love how mantras are so simple, yet they can be so complicated for us to follow. I don’t meditate, but find the only time that I actually am really at peace, fully relaxed, and in absolute bliss is savasanah. I know that isn’t meditating, but it is a place of comfort and peace. :)

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6 Linda January 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I’ve been meaning to go to the mediation class on Saturdays at Y2…I think I’m afraid to sit still for that long! My mind never stops!
How hot is your Sunday class? When I’ve gone to power mixed the room is hot and it’s not even a hot class! That said, I just don’t know what to expect.

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7 Amber January 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

LOVE this! I would love to regularly go to a Sunday morning yoga class like yours. I really enjoy classes where the teachers bring different teachings and motivation each time.

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8 Amy @ Extracurricular Activities January 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

When I’m in a food rut or just generally lazy I end up eating lots of eggs with maybe some green veggies and cheese because it’s all I’ve got in my fridge, it’s healthy enough, and it’s tasty.

I want to come to your Sunday class! Too bad I live in Texas.

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9 David January 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Wow, that mantra is fantastic – simple, yet powerful – exactly what you want from a simple focus standpoint.

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10 Heather @ girlyeverafter January 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm

What a beautiful mantra. Thank you for sharing. I’m new to meditation but always feel better even if I only get a few minutes a day.

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11 pamela January 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm

This summer I made a big commitment to meditate more. I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes every morning before my yoga practice and I am going for 20 but I have days where I don’t meditate at all. It’s really hard for me to be still. So I love this post:) And I love your interpretation of So Hum – it’s beautiful. This summer I did Sally Kempton’s Learn to Meditate series with Yoga Journal and she used this meditation. Check out Tim Wheater’s version of Om So Hum. I use it at the end of my classes. I think it’s very soulful without being fluffy.

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12 Lisa January 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Wow this mantra really resonated with me. I love it, I think I’ll have to use it sometime this week for one of my early morning meditations! Thanks for that:) I’ve been in the same food rut too, nothing really has sounded appealing lately. Except coffee and breakfast foods!

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13 Pam January 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

There is much power in that mantra. Thank you for sharing! I love you blog!

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14 Maggie January 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hey Jen! I just wanted to let you know I’ve started keeping up with your blog since I moved to Sevilla, Spain (well, to study abroad for the semester). I have loved going to your classes at Y2, especially the Sunday morning hot class whenever I am home on breaks from school at UNC. I’m so sad to not be getting my yoga fill while I’m abroad (although I know there’s so much more for me to occupy my time with) but I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying reading it. I’m working on my self-practice, but its hard knowing what I’m missing out in a class like yours. But when you post what you talk about it’s a way for me to connect all the way across the world and its like a little piece of me is still practicing in class. So I just wanted to say thanks so much!

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15 Emily January 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

Yes to mediation, but I find it so, so hard to sit still some days. Those are the days I pick a guided meditation – I once heard that if “I can’t, then I must”, so I try extra hard those days to find the space and time. I really like the mantra you shared, thank you.

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16 Grace @ PracticingGrace January 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

So wonderful to hear about your Sunday classes. I am teaching this Sunday in FL, going back home for the weekend. And I would lvoe to include this mantra

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17 Addy @ Six-Kick Switch January 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I love the mantra–one of my favorite aspects of yoga is that, whenever you’re on the mat, those labels don’t apply. It really is a space of freedom!

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18 Allison S January 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I recently watched an old Oprah episode where she interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert – the author of Eat, Pray, Love. The “real life” Richard that she writes about in the book was also briefly interviewed by Oprah, and he said something that really resonated with me. He talked about how meditation, for him, wasn’t anything like he had heard “hardcore” people describe. He said that others had described colors, sounds, and smells during deep, intense meditation. He never experienced any of that, and he was ok with being pretty average and fidgety with his meditation. I repeat matras frequently to myself when I need a little more compassion, tolerance, patience, etc., etc. Meditation doesn’t come naturally for me, but I know it’s good for me so I keep doing it!

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19 Kristina @Run and Assimilate January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I have always wanted to do meditation. I try deep breathing, but I definitely haven’t lasted long the few times I’ve started to “meditate” (if I’d even call it that). I’m definitely going to try this though!

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20 Kim January 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for sharing this mantra Jen! After a particularly crazy morning of my 3 and 5 year old testing every last ounce of my patience, I taught them this mantra. I think it is important to teach them different ways to calm themselves down. We practiced breathing in and out and repeating this mantra. My 5 year old was sharing a story of a classmate who had to have some alone time at school today and I said she could teach how to calm himself down by breathing in and out slowly. I then asked her if she rembered what we said while we did that this morning. She immediately took a breath in and said So and then a breath out Hum. I love it!

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