humming breath exerciseThe following humming exercise is highly effective in promoting abdominal or “low” breathing. It is particularly important that the sound and the breath be not forced in any way.

Remember that you are not breathing – you are being breathed. And, just as the breath requires no effort, neither does the humming. It is simply a question of relaxing the breath and allowing it to flow in such a way that it seems to produce the sound quite naturally.



1.  Stand or sit upright in a relaxed and comfortable position. Bring your awareness to the breath for several rounds, taking note of its tempo and where it is going to and coming from.

2. Focus your attention on the out-breath. Just after it has begun to flow, and with your mouth closed, produce a resonant humming sound. Be sure to allow the sound to fade out before the breath has completely gone out.    

3. Relax as you are being in-breathed. As soon as the breath has turned from “in” to “out”, again produce the humming sound.  

4. During the humming be aware of the vibrations in your forehead, sinuses, mouth and throat – and even in your ears and teeth.  

5. After two or three rounds of the humming breath, again become silent, taking note of how much more easily the breath is now flowing in and out of the abdominal area.  

Feel free to vary the pitch from one breath to the next and even within the same breath. You might also use sounds like “Ah”, “Oh”, “Oo” or “Ee” by opening your mouth on the out-breath. These other sounds are equally good for stimulating abdominal breathing. However, they will not produce the same degree of resonance in your head as does humming.