I have always wondered why Yoga sessions always begin and end with OM chanting, and what does it actually mean?
And here’s what I’ve learnt.
OM, also can be spelt and pronounced as AUM, is the highest sacred symbol in Hinduism.
It is a basic, yet sacred sound of the universe, and when pronounced correctly, you will realise it is actually a four-syllabus word.
‘A’ begins in the solar plexus and it sends a vibration up into the chest, which represents ‘creation’. ‘U’ will roll and move that sound up into the throat through the upper palate, representing ‘manifestation’. M is a prolonged syllabus that enhances the vibration and then bring your teeth together, representing ‘destruction’. The last part is merging the chant into a blissful state of deep silence. And as a whole, it represents a union of the mind, body and spirit.
By repeating this chant for 3 times before yoga, it increase your mental and emotional vibrations. It allow us to separate our practice from the rest of our day, reminding ourself to be mindful that this is a sacred time dedicated to the practise. The rhythmic pronunciation when done correctly causes vibrations that results in a calming effect on the body and the nervous system, which in turn may help to lower the blood pressure and increases the health of the heart. This vibration that is felt through your vocal cord can also clear and open up sinuses!
I hope this explanation can give the shy ones a little push! So, the next time when you join a yoga class, don’t be shy and give it a try! Join in the chanting of OM, loud and proud. Your body will thank you for it after that!