"So often in my (yoga) classes we will sound om, letting those three-voiced parts
go very consciously through the cathedral of the mouth,
and then sit for a moment in that silence after and simply observe what that feels like."
Bhavani Loraine Nelson
OM is a mantra (song/vibration) that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions, but can be recited by anyone wishing to slow down their nervous system and calm their mind.
OM is considered the sound of all sounds because it originates from the sounds of nature. When chanted, the sound OM vibrates at the frequency found throughout nature, thus it is the basic sound of the universe. So by chanting OM we are connecting to all other living beings in nature and the universe.
- Sit comfortably with your back straight.
- Hands together at your heart in Anjali Mudra or Gyan Mudra (symbolizes unity of individual and universe conciousness), first finger and thumb make a circle and rest on knees, other fingers extended.
- Close your eyes and chant OM 3 times together.
The mantra , pronounced AUM, consists of 4 syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable.
- The sound A, is pronounced “awe”, from the belly
- The sound U, is pronounced as a prolonged “oo”, from the chest
- The sound M is pronounced as a prolonged “mmmm”, in the head.
- The last syllable is the deep silence of the infinite. It is blissful, peaceful.
Symbolically the 3 letters embody the divine energy (Shakti) and it’s 3 main characteristics: creation, preservation and liberation.
Benefits of Chanting OM
- Promotes healing energy
- Enhances overall health
- Quiets the mind
- Relaxes the body
- Increases connections
The symbol OM
Written in Sanskrit, is a sign to write the OM sound, and represents states of consciousness.
- The upper curve represents the deep sleep or unconscious state.
- The larger lower curve represents the most common state of consciousness, when we experience the world through our 5 senses.
- The middle curve which lies between deep sleep and the waking state, represents the dream state. The state of consciousness is turned within.
- The dot represents the absolute state of consciousness, the 4th state. This state is quiet, peaceful, blissful.
- The curve below the dot represents Maya or Illusion. It separates the Absolute from the other 3 curves, which can prevent us from reaching the Absolute.
The children in my yoga classes love chanting OM. They enjoy the feeling of the vibration throughout their bodies as they chant together. They are aware that OM is the sound of the universe, and as they chant they are connecting with each other and with nature. This is a beautiful way to begin any yoga class.
Try this chant. Relax, be at peace.