Om is a Sanskrit word, which arose from Hinduism and is known as a ‘Bija’ sound, which is a seed sound. Seed sounds are sounds that when said aloud can initiate renewal or transformation.
Om is made up of three syllables A, U, and M; which virtually encompass everything.
These three syllables individually represent:
The waking/conscious, the dreaming/subconscious, the dreamless/unconscious
Birth, life, death
Past, present, future
Body, mind, spirit
These syllables are heard when Om is chanted but there is a fourth sound which is heard afterwards, and that is silence; silence being the vibration beyond words that resonates within you. It is the sound of everlasting consciousness.
Om, the core of all creation brings into awareness the physical; both your body, and that which surrounds you, as well as, the currents of the mind which involve emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, which flow in and out, continually changing and evolving.
There are many benefits to chanting Om; it helps to slow breathing and decrease anxiety, it clears the airways and supplies the body with more oxygen, whilst also improving blood circulation and concentration. Research has even found that chanting Om can help to strengthen your spinal cord.
Om is often chanted at the beginning or the end of a yoga class, though it doesn't have to be limited to yoga. The word yoga itself comes from the word yolk, which essentially means union; when we unite in a yoga class, chanting Om together can be a powerful way to create harmony, not only within ourselves but also between one another.
Next time you chant Om, completely immerse yourself in the experience, and take the positive effects of Om with you off your mat, and allow them to touch the lives of those around you.
Written by Nicole Ander