Are you curious why a collective “Om” is encouraged at the beginning or end of the yoga practice?
Om (or “Aum”) is a sacred mantra and sound. Despite its Hindu roots, it’s a mantra that anyone of any religious or spiritual path can chant to align their mind, body, and spirit; Om is said to represent the sound of the universe.
The benefits of chanting OM:
• Improves pulmonary function
• Increases mental alertness
• Increases spatial awareness
• Potential relief from stress and depression
• Stimulates the heart and throat Chakras
Here are a few tips:
Om is often used/written interchangeably as Aum. Aum represents the three different sounds that are part of the chant.
A (“ahhh” or “awe”) begins at the back of the throat as it starts vibrating in the chest and lower abdomen the longer you draw out the sound. It is meant to make us aware of our sense of separateness as a self.
U (“oooh”) brings the lips together and moves the sound from the lower abdomen to the heart as the throat vibrates. This sound takes us beyond our sense of self to something greater than what our human senses can tell us.
M (“mmm”) involves pressing the lips and front teeth gently together, bringing the vibration to your head, as if it’s buzzing. This sound is meant to connect us to oneness.
Silence is the fourth and last “sound” made in an Om chant, even though it’s not really a sound at all. This ends the chant and allows us to become aware of our level of consciousness and to deeply feel what we’re feeling