The meaning of OM and how it is used in yoga

OM symbol meaning

Meaning of OM

The simple sound “OM” is heard in almost every yoga class. However, many people need to learn the OM symbol meaning and get confused when they hear it being chanted. So, to begin with, OM, also spelled as AUM, is the most sacred syllable in Hinduism. OM, like the Swastika, is seen in every Hindu temple and shrine. OM appears in Vedic Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language practiced by the Vedas. It is a word of solemn affirmation and respectful assent, often translated as “yes, verily so be it.” AUM is referred to in almost all Upanishads-Spiritual Books of Wisdom.

OM or AUM represents the Hindu Trimurti or Trinity- “A”: Brahma representing the principle of creation, “U”: Vishnu, the principle of sustenance, “M”: Mahesh or Shiva-the principle of dissolution for further creation. OM is believed to be the world’s sound and contains, within it, all the other sounds in the world. When OM is repeated with proper intonation, it resonates through the body and penetrates one’s body and soul.

OM symbol meaning

OM symbol in Yoga

The shape of the OM symbol somehow looks to the number ‘30’, having a hat on top. When you attend a yoga class as a beginner, the yoga guru there will first explain your yoga symbols and meanings and then start with the yoga asanas. It is essential as the symbols add meaning to our understanding and yoga practice.

The yoga symbol “OM” represents the oneness of all creation, including the earth, heavens, and the underworld. The symbol represents four states of consciousness: dreaming, deep sleep, Samadhi, and wakefulness. Hence, Om is considered a powerful mantra, and the ritual of OM mantra chanting has been carried out for thousands of years.

Why do we chant OM?

The entire universe is made up of vibrating, pulsating energy. Om is the humming sound of this cosmic energy. It is considered the all-pervading, all-connecting sound of the universe and the vibration that connects us all. So, when we chant OM, we symbolically and physically tune in to the sound of the universe and realize our connection with nature and other living beings.

The vibrations created while chanting the word OM also calm the mind as they slow down the nervous system. So when the mind is relaxed, the blood pressure decreases, improving the heart’s health.

At the end of a tiring day, chanting OM gives a special feeling, as it is when you take care of yourself and practice being mindful.

How is OM used in Yoga?

OM is the most critical and significant sound in the Mantra tradition of Yoga. Chanting is an integral part of yoga practice. Yoga OM Chant is the root mantra and is the most often chanted sound in a yoga class. Teachers often begin and end their yoga session in yoga practice with one or more long OM’s.

Using the mantra Om as an opening chant in Yoga class is a beautiful and effective way to help set the proper tone for the class. It assists you in turning your focus inward, becoming centered, and approaching your practice from your heart. Closing chants are used as a way of tying everything together.

There is a specific type of Yoga with OM heavily integrated, called Pranava yoga, sometimes even known as “OM yoga” or “OM yoga meditation.” Practitioners sit comfortably with their hands on their knees or thighs, and then, along with breathing, they mentally chant the word OM while meditating.

OM yoga is about centering your concentration, experiencing your breathing, and chanting OM along with the breath as though they are taking place together. During this time, you should remain completely calm and relaxed. Breathing during OM yoga should be slow, deep, and relaxed.

In a yoga class, OM is also used during meditation to help reach a state of calm and relaxation. OM chanting meditation can help significantly reduce stress, center your body and mind, and help in many areas of your health and life.