One’s very first yoga class is a combination of many things… especially when you’ve registered for a 10-week long session.
There’s a sense of trepidation – is this class right for me? What if I can’t do something? What if I fall on my face and embarrass myself? What if I hurt myself? – inevitably leading to buyers’ remorse (I knew I shouldn’t have signed up for this!).
There’s a realization that class actually isn’t as scary or impossible as you might’ve painted it to be in your head.
There are a lot of discoveries – both big, and small:
Oh, I didn’t know I was so tight in there!
Really, my arms can’t hold me for longer than 10 seconds – wow, what the heck?
Hey, I think I hold my breath – like all of the time!
And what’s up with my mind: how come it is so busy up in there?
Hmm, lying still on the floor can actually feel quite comfortable…. Ahhhhhhhh…..
And then there’s the weirdest one of them all – the OM-ing part.
For many of us – be it a complete beginner student or experienced practitioner in an unfamiliar facility – belting out “OM” at the end of the class can feel, well, a little weird. I can’t change that. But as it turns out, there are more reason’s than one to still join the chorus.
Lately, I’ve been on a hunt for multi-tasking health helpers – target – specific supplements and intelligent techniques that work as hard as I do to aid my areas of weakness (more on target specific practices next week!)
[bctt tweet=” This OM-ing thing falls squarely into the category of super–multitasking, intelligent body techniques.”]
Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, discovered that humming and sound vibration could help to ventilate and open the sinuses, thus preventing sinus infections.
It has also been proven that sound vibration as well as rhythmic + repetitive sounds and movements boost brain’s seratonin production – that’s part of the mystery behind why Pain Care Yoga is so very effective. Vibration elevates the mood, lessens the pain, and promotes healthy sleeping.
Sounding lengthens exhalation, thus triggering relaxation response.
Vocalizing helps to release diaphragmatic tension – the diaphragm is our foremost breathing muscle – un-sticking stress-impacted, contracted breathing patterns.
And finally, last, but not least, and quite possible my favorite reason: harmonizing together fosters a sense of belonging. Being plugged into a supportive group of like-minded individuals boosts endorphin levels (for pain management), and builds a wider and more expansive blood vessel network in the brain, thus promoting a sense of well-being (there’s a lot of research done on this topic as well.) It is beautiful to watch how a class group – dissonant and cautious at first – over time harmonizes into a beautiful chorus.
As this yoga session goes on, we will continue our sound wave exploration, deepening and expanding our technique repertoire. I invite you to join us – on the mat, or, vicariously, by OM-ing on your own.