This is a photo of my granddaughter practicing Om. My daughter, who is a yoga teacher has been teaching this technique to her children to help them control their emotions. Most kids have angry outbursts at some point, some more than others. Watching these outbursts can be overwhelming to their parents and others.
If you have practiced yoga, you might of started and/or ended your practice with Om. For my own yoga practice, I find this very calming and a way to be more mindful during my practice. I didn’t realize the science behind that until recently.
My daughter mentioned to me that the vibration that happens during om, stimulates the vagus nerve which helps your body calm. The vagal nerves are a part of the nervous system and they help with digestion, blood pressure, immune system responses, mood, speech and even urine output.
In my research for this article on why it works, I found this detailed post by Rose Hahn. The following is a excerpt from that article.
“Many studies have attested to the physical and mental health benefits of these practices, which is why they’re quickly gaining traction in healthcare settings. Now, scientific inquiry seems to be turning toward figuring out how they work, with some studies already beginning to offer some insight. One such study, published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, looked at how Om chanting might be connected to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, with its vagal tone, seems to be the closest correlation science has to offer to what I’ve observed within myself – a re-attuning of my nervous system.”
Another benefit of om is that the vibration helps to relax the scalene muscles. If you look at the graphic below you can probably recognize these muscles as the tight and/or painful muscles you notice when you roll your head in a circular motion. My daughter, who is also a massage therapist, notices that when she gently massages those muscles her clients go into a deeper state of relaxation, almost falling asleep.
The main benefits of teaching your kids om is that it helps them learn this calming technique. What we know is that children dislike having these uncontrollable emotional outbursts as much as we dislike observing them. Once they learn the technique you can gently remind them to try it. I would start with outbursts that aren’t overwhelming, perhaps when you first notice a sign of sadness, anger or frustration. Starting small is easier than trying to jump in during a big emotional melt down.
You don’t have to start when they are young. Your teens and even adult children well enjoy the ability to bring the calmness into their life.
The links below have more information on om and the health benefits.
Follow my daughter Christina at Lotus Body Healing
Wishing you all the best with your parenting,