Don’t you love the vibrations that OM produces inside you and how it grows in your surroundings when we all do it at the same time? I do!
OM is an amazing sacred monosyllable and the mantra that accompanies us, generally, at the beginning and / or end of our yoga practice. Singing the OM gives us a unique physical sensation and, of course, for some spiritual too.
It is a term with multiple and complementary meanings, among them it refers to the essential, to the divine; also, to the feeling experienced during meditation and which its identified with the sound of the universe creation; the excellent singing, the sound from which all other sounds emerge.
Singing the OM, articulating its different syllables and the physical vibrations produced by each of them, invites us to feel a state of mindfulness, physical and emotional consciousness. From a pure physical perspective, its vibrations help slow down our nervous system and have a calming effect on our mind. Hence, there is no need to be spiritual to enjoy its benefits or sign along.
Om’s four syllables, also written as Aum (A + U + M + Silence) , have 4 meanings and refer to 3 bodies and states of consciousness:
A/ Vaisvanara, universal: refers to the physical body and wakefulness, when we are awake. It represents the origin of every sound, connecting us with our individual being or ego. This sound (aahhh) must come from the back of the throat where the tongue finds its root in our physical being.
U/ Taijasa, the Shining one: refers to the subtle body and sleep state. It represents the dreamlike, the energy of the mind and the universe. This vibration (oooh) invokes balance and clarity as it passes from the back of the tongue to the lips.
M/ Prajna, the Smart: refers to the spiritual body and the state of deep sleep. This vibration invokes the sense of unity between the body and the universe. Practitioners close their lips around the sound ((mmmm) to experience vibration in the head and body.
Silence/ Turya: the quite time at the end, with no sound, refers to transcendent consciousness, it is not a state of consciousness but from it arises the other 3 states. It is a fundamental part of the Om and invites yoga practitioners to fully experience the joy and peace of silence and the sense of unity and connection.
In Patanjali’s Yogasutras it is the word he expresses to God/Isvara. And it tells us that the repetition of the OM sound allows understanding, it is a tool to eradicate the obstacles of the mind, to take it away and get the vision of who we are, it is the way to oneself, to the depths of our being.
We usually sing the OM in meditation posture, i.e. sitting with our legs crossed or in lotus position, the hands can be in different ways; palms resting on the knee, hands on the knees joining the tip of the index finger with that of the thumb, or placing the palms together at chest height in the prayer position. The back is stretched and the chin slightly tilted downwards.
In India it is common to see the symbol of the OM on the doors of houses, temples, shops, etc., to balance and harmonize energies.
And now, deep breath and let’s OM together!