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What “Om” Means In Yoga And Why It’s Important

Life can be chaotic.

Stress is almost inevitable in this fast-paced world of ours, whether it be from work, home life, school, or all of the above. Given this, many of us will have different ways to relax and recollect ourselves from our intense lives. However, being aware of new ideas and techniques that can help you on this quest is important as it can open your mind to refreshing concepts that may possibly work in your own life.

Yoga is an ancient practice, with some academics speculating that the practice originated from around the 6th to 5th centuries BC. Recognizable as a group of mental, physical and spiritual practices, yoga today is quite often solely used as a form of exercise. However, this collection of age-old disciplines can be used even further, and can increase your sense of peace and well-being through the symbiosis of our mind, body, and spirit.

This is where “Om” comes in.

What Is Om?

Simply speaking, Om (pronounced “aum”is a sacred sound or spiritual icon from Hindu religion.

However, this ancient symbol goes far deeper than this and is often said to be indescribable, as it is a feeling to be experienced, as opposed to a word to be categorized. In saying this, Om has varying meanings and connotations between the many diverse schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Nonetheless, it is altogether agreed upon as being the entirety of the universe fused into one word; the seed of all creation in the cosmos, representing the very core purpose of yoga: the melding of mind, body, and spirit.

Om In Yoga

A yoga session has only truly begun after the chanting of three successive Om’s.

By vocalizing Om within a group of other individuals signifies your oneness through the activity you are about to participate in, and encourages the letting go of any barriers between each person within that space. In doing so, this also assists the connection of mind, body, and spirit, and allows singular thoughts to drop away to provide a quiet mental space for meditation.

In short, Om within yoga is a way to achieve peace, calmness, and tranquility in a space of connection between your centered self and the universe.

Why Is Om Important In Your Life

We all strive for happiness, and this can be a daunting task. However, incorporating rituals such as the chanting of Om in your daily growth as a person can be a life-changing experience.

By centering you, mantras encourage contemplative thinking
and therefore allow for the objective consideration of your life and where you are mentally in that moment. This can be a blessing if you have any important decisions to make, or just need some space to recollect your thoughts, and re-align your mind, body, and spirit.

How To Incorporate Om Into Your Life

While this may all sound well and good, actually practicing Om in your life can be intimidating to start.

We recommend doing some research, maybe go to a local yoga class or two and talk to people there. Your instructor should be quite knowledgeable in this area and could offer a unique insight into how to incorporate this concept into your everyday life.

Here are some tips from us:

  • Find a recording of Om chanting that appeals to you and listen along in your free time (YouTube is great for this)
  • Chant in the morning to inject positivity and collectiveness into the rest of your day
  • Hang an image of the written Om in your home (ideally the Eastern wall) to encourage positive energy into your household

When putting the time aside to chant, begin by sitting in a quiet, soothing space. Seat yourself in a comfortable, cross-legged position with a lifted yet relaxed posture, ensuring your neck and spine are vertically aligned. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. On the exhale, begin your Om. You will feel the vibration of sound initially in the top section of your throat, and it will eventually slide downwards towards your chest as you form the “M” sound. Repeat the chant as many times as you desire, and as the chant ends, remain seated and feel the final vibrations of the Om reverberating throughout your body.

Finding your center is incredibly important, as it can often be one of the only ways to escape the seeming insanity of the world around us. By utilizing this ancient technique, we can find peace within ourselves, and simultaneously help further our pursuit of happiness.


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