What is OM? Why do yogis chant it? How do you practice it and what is the secret sauce of it?
· Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions
· Coming from Hinduism and Yoga, the mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power but despite this, it is a mantra that can be recited by anyone. It is similar to: Hum, Amin, Amen, Shalom
· Some translate this to mean divine cosmic energy
· OM is said to vibrate at 432 Hz, which is the natural musical pitch of the Universe, as opposed to 440 Hz, which is the frequency of most modern music.
· The rhythmic pronunciation and vibrations have a calming effect on the body and the nervous system similar to the effects of meditation. This lowers the blood pressure and increases the health of the heart. (Cue the parasympathetic nervous system)
· It’s both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth and when pronounced correctly it is actually AUM.
I’ve found leading OM as a teacher and participating as a student, OM sets the tone, calms the room and minds, and creates a magical space with the vibrations. As the voices unite in the chant and breath, it shows the connection we all have at that exact moment. How it lands within you is an individual experience – I’ve had chills and/or warmth course through my body and mind, I’ve had tears fall, I’ve felt vibrations in my heart, and I feel part of the collective experience and energy in the room.
How to say it:
Aum actually consists of four syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable.
· A – say as a prolonged “awe.” – similar to saying AWWWWWWWesome
· U- say as a prolonged “oo” – dig in deep and make it a juicy OOOOOO like OOOOOOOOh yeah
· M – say as a prolonged “mmmm” – similar to MMMMMthat’s good to eat
· The silent syllable – as the voices fall silent, the vibrations of sounds are yet in the room. Dig in and feel all the feels, the magic, the waves, and the silence.
How to practice –
· Find a comfortable seated position in a quiet spot
· Close the eyes
· Take a couple of normal breaths and try to clear the head of anything else on your mind
· Take an inhale.
· On the exhale – let your voice be heard in OM/AUM – all 4 parts. Make sure to bask in the silent syllable.
· Repeat 2 times, or more if you’re digging this.
· After your last OM, sit with the vibrations.
· Return to a normal cadence of breath for you
· Slowly open the eyes
· Sit and notice – what comes up, what feelings do you have?
· Thank yourself for your practice
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Nikola Tesla
Deconstructing AUM: The Primordial Sound – Ashley Turner
Invincible Living – Guru Jagat
OM: What Is It & Why Do We Chant It? – Sam Saunders, MindBodyGreen