Technique #1 So Haun/Sohum Meditation
A Mantra is a sacred sound used to enhance meditation. Mantric Yoga is a school of yoga that uses different sounds to induce spiritual awareness.
So-Haun Mantra Meditation:
This is one of the oldest of the Mantras.
Soham or Sohum (सो ऽहम् so 'ham or so 'Hum) is a Hindu mantra, meaning "I am That" in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality.
So-Haun (also called Sohum) is sometimes called the Universal Mantra, or the Mantra of Breath. It is said that all creatures repeat this mantra unconsciously as they breath in and out. Vedic philosophy says that on the inhalation, each creature unconsciously prays So: that (the immortal spirit) - am I. On the exhalation each creature unconsciously prays Ham: I am that (the immortal spirit ).
Find a comfortable posture for meditation (seated on a cushion or blanket, in a chair or against a wall). Place your palms facing up in jnana mudra (forefinger and thumb touching) with your palms facing up to open your awareness or facing down to calm the mind ( chin mudra). Scan your body and relax any tension. Assure you have a straight spine. Sometimes it's useful to sit in a chair or against the wall. Draw your chin slightly down and let the back of your neck lengthen.
Bring your attention to the natural rhythm of your breath, feeling the rise and fall of your inhalation and exhalation. As your focus settles on your breath, begin to employ the simple mantra "so hum." As you inhale, silently say "soooooooooo" to yourself and as you exhale, say "huuuuuuuum." Draw it out like that, nice and long for each word. Once the "so hum" rhythm has been established, begin to contemplate the meaning of "so hum." As you inhale with the mantra "so," say to yourself " I am," connecting to your essential self. Contemplate the source of your breath: Where is your breath coming from? Through visualization, contemplate all sentient beings enjoying the same rhythm of the breath.
As you exhale with "huuuuuum," inwardly say "that" or "all that is" or "the entire universe." Feel how your exhalation releases you into the expanse around you. Visualize your exhalation leaving your body through your nostrils and then merging back into the atmosphere, back into infinity, back into "all that is" or the "entire universe."
Stay with this contemplation until you naturally begin to settle into a state of unified consciousness (which may only be for a few brief, refreshing moments at a time - that's ok - don't judge yourself). If a thought arises, come back to the simple mantra, "so hum." Noticing when your mind travels away from So Hum is progress, just bring it back. You may even try the technique of saying "mind traveling" and returning to "so hum."
In the beginning, it may be helpful to set an external timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes so you are not distracted. When you are finished, bring your hands together in anjali mudra (prayer position) and close with a moment of gratitude, reflection, or prayer to soak up the energy of your positive meditation.