My story & OM
Early on in my yoga teaching practice, I often opted out of chanting the OM with my students as I was worried that they might start laughing and would break the sacredness of the practice. It did not take me long to realize that without OM I wasn’t teaching with the spirit of yoga. Yoga is Love, union with the Divine, and where there is love there can be no fear.
So one day as I was going to start the lesson I explained the meaning and purpose of OM, opened my chest wide, took a deep breath and allowed OM to flow through me. To my surprise I was not the only one chanting, and by our next lesson all participants joined in the chant. Finally, after weeks of conquering my fear I was able to guide one of the most beautiful yoga lesson of my life.
So what is OM?
OM is the first sign of creation, the first sign of love, the first sound and vibration manifested by the divine, the basic sound of the universe.
Everything around us is pulsating and vibrating, so the sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same
vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature. So by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound
and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe.
Why do we chant it?
Om is a mantra or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. Beginning our yoga practice with OM helps us connect to our practice in a deeper way than just asanas. Our physical practice becomes a humble, graceful and peaceful practice.
When we chant, the sound rises from the root upward through the crown of the head, filling our body with pulsating energy that connects us to our source. When OM is chanted well you are fully present, your mind is quiet, and all is now, so all is well. This is why OM should be chanted daily mornings and evenings: Greeting the sunrise with humbleness and the sunset with gratitude, when we do so our worries become less and life will be brighter.
How to chant OM or AUM?
First, come to a comfortable seated position. Draw your shoulders back and down to open the chest, and keep your back straight. As you inhale lengthen your back towards from the crown of your head, as you exhale send energy down through your hips to the roots. Keep your eyes closed but focused on your third eye.
Aum actually consists of four syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable, but we can also break it down the following way: a-ā-u-ū-m-(ng)-(silence). As you inhale widen the back with the breath, allow this divine breath to fill your whole physical being, as you exhale allow the sound A (aw) to slowly flow through your lips with direction, gently transforming into an U (ooo), then evolving into a long M (mmm) that closes as (ng), then merges with silence. Allow yourself to embrace the last syllable of silence before your next AUM.