Want to know the key to regulating breath, heart rate, muscles, digestion, and circulation? You need to know about the vagus nerve. It is one of the most complex and important nerves in the entire human body. This long, spindly nerve comes down from your brain to your chest and branches out in your abdomen. The vagus nerve is part of your parasympathetic nervous system, which keeps you rested and relaxed. For our overall well-being, it is so important to keep this nerve engaged. And there are easy ways to do this!

One is through chanting and singing. The vagus nerve is directly connected to your vocal cords. Chanting and singing, and the vibrations they produce, create tone. Belt out some Aretha Franklin, or enter into the resonance of an OM. Both heal.

OM is a holy sound and word. In Hinduism, it refers to both the soul and to ultimate reality. OM may be chanted to begin or conclude important moments. The word itself has four syllables. It is pronounced AUM, followed by a silent syllable. Chanting it is a bodily experience. The first syllable, “awe,” starts at the back of the throat and begins to vibrate in your chest. The second, “oo,” begins to move forward through your mouth. The third, “mmm,” brings vibrations up to the top of your mouth. These three syllables are then followed by one of silence. The silent syllable is a representation of the infinite. Chanting OM can bring a profound, resonant, and connected dimension to your day.