Chanting the Sound of OM

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Om(pronounced “aum”)is a mantra or vibration often chanted 3 times at the beginning and 3times at the end of a yoga class. But what does that chant mean? “Om” is actually a very simple chant with a complex meaning, representing the whole universe in just one syllable. This fusion is very symbolic of the union of mind, body, and spirit that happens during yoga practice. Knowing the background of this sacred syllable will help you understand yoga even more,helping you to delve deeper into your practice.

Om is one of the most chanted syllables in India. The syllable is believed to have a profound effect on the mind, body, and surroundings of the person that speaks it. Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us-that the entire universe is moving, with nothing ever solid or still.Everything in existence pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware ofthis sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the sound of the waves on the shore, the rustling of autumn leaves, even the sound of the ocean inside a seashell.

Chanting Om allows yoga practitioners to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves-the rising and setting of thesun,the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chantOm, itestablishes us in universal movement, practicing yoga and connecting us through our breath, self-awareness, and physical energy. As we practice yoga and chant”aaauuummm” at the beginning and ending of our practice, we begin tosense a bigger connection to the universe that is both soothing and uplifting. For more on OM click here.