The Significance Of OM In Yoga And Meditation
The sound ‘OM,’ while simple to pronounce, carries a profound connotation. All that exists in the cosmos has been compressed into a single word that symbolises the unity of mind, body, and spirit in yoga.
The ancient Sanskrit word and mantra “Om” is commonly utilised in Hinduism and Buddhism. This mantra is sometimes repeated three times before and after a yoga session. It can also be spelt “aum,” although OM is the most common spelling.
An ancient Indian belief holds that all things are contained inside the sound of Om. At the same time, it embraces the past, present, and future all at once. Consequently, it is difficult to overestimate its significance and force. It is linked to the Ajna chakra, the third eye, which signifies intuition and self-knowledge in the chakra system.
The seed syllable Om is also employed as a building component for many different mantras when meditating. Om namah shivaya, for example, means “I revere the divine inside myself.” An alternative to saying farewell, Om shanti means “peace be with you,” and is used to express the same sentiment.
Despite the fact that yoga is not a religion, om and om-containing mantras are frequently employed in spiritual activities and are treated with great reverence for this reason. Knowing its religious and historical importance makes it simpler to incorporate it into your daily life or yoga practise with the same reverence.
It is customary in yoga to say the mantra “Om”
As the class begins with the chanting of om, it signals to students that they are about to begin their time on the mat or in meditation. An om at the end of class also signals the end of your physical practise and the beginning of your re-entry into the outside world.
Chanting in a group also helps to bring people together and fosters a sense of belonging within the group. It is possible to feel at one with other people and even with the cosmos when you feel the vibration of the chant and lose the sound of your own voice amid that of your classmates.
How to Say ‘Om’ Correctly
There are occasions when an om is taught by making a lengthy sound followed by an exaggerated vibrating sound. The ah-oo-mm sound is more common when the a and u sounds are kept distinct.
So, what does Om chanting do?
Relaxes the body and mind
As reported in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry, a 2018 study found that the practise of om chanting is associated with a sense of well-being, citing beneficial changes in the autonomic nervous system (which controls heart rate as well as other internal functions) and deactivation of limbic brain regions (an area that controls emotion, memories, etc).
In another 2018 study, theta brain waves were observed to increase considerably after 30 minutes of chanting om loudly. Delta waves, which are the same waves experienced when in deep, dreamless sleep, were found to be altered by the supplement in a research published in 2019.