How to “OM” (among other ways)

So I was thinking about how to improve some foundational work. There’s probably no limit to how much a foundational technique can be practiced, if done with attention. I decided to say a mantra, and–keeping it simple–I decided to try to improve on my Om:

  1. Inhalation as you drop mouth simply (“Ah” shape to mouth, don’t vibrate yet). If you can, visualize a small (5 cm or 2″) hemisphere that is ironically forming away from your mouth.
  2. Shape mouth into “O” (which is halfway between “Ah” & “U” (which sounds like the “oo” as in fool) vowel shapes) and vibrate the “O” sound. I always tell people your voice should have a slight vibrato–not a huge one like an opera star but not like simple humming, either. Imagine the other half of the sphere now forming, touching about where your mouth is.
  3. Slowly reduce the size of this “O” until you are forced to briefly make the “Uu” sound as your mouth closes. Continue visualizing the sphere completing its formation.
  4. Mouth closed (nearly a kiss shape), continue vibrating. Your sphere can now gain luminosity and color. It should also have a gentle shadow to it and feel balanced. Allow lips to return to simple closed state (i.e., neutral) and continue humming “M.” The sphere floats away,
  5. Drop mouth again & inhale, repeat 1-4.