The Meaning of Om: How to Use Om in Your Yoga Practice

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Om is the genesis seed, or Bija, according to Patajali's Yoga Sutras, from which all other sounds and words derive. In yoga lessons in the West, this basic seed word is sung to tune into the higher self, connect to the cosmos, and deepen meditation.

What Does Om Mean?

Many ancient philosophical books regard om or aum (pronounced ah-uu-mm) to be the sound of the cosmos, including all other sounds within it. Om is known in Sanskrit as Pranava, which means "to hum," and is regarded as an infinite or endless sound. Om chanting is a spiritual activity that transcends culture and religion and is inclusive of all conceivable definitions and interpretations of God, or Brahma. It is associated with Indian culture, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

What Are the Different Parts of Om?

The sound om is described as having three parts in the Mandukya Upanishad, an ancient Vedic text linked to Vedanta Hindu beliefs. These three stages are interpreted by Patajali, a sage who wrote and taught the first and most comprehensive yoga scriptures, as the beginning, middle, and end of all other sounds in the universe. They are:

A: The initial letter of om is "A," which is pronounced "ah."
U: The sound "U" or "oo" is a natural continuation of the sound "ah."
M: To finish the oral component of the mantra, make the "M" sound by closing your lips.

The quiet after the "M" in om is known as Anahata Nada, or "pure silence," according to the Vedas, a collection of ancient Hindu writings. This component is defined by some teachers as something beyond sound or linguistic cognition, while others say it reflects a tranquil state of mind.

How Is Om Applied in Yoga?

Om is used in numerous ways in yoga culture and individual yoga and meditation practises:

To represent the yoga philosophy. In Sanskrit, the om sign is frequently painted on the walls of yoga studios, used as a decoration on yoga mats, and even worn as a necklace.

To become aware of the interconnectedness of all things. Yoga practitioners chant om to begin or conclude their practise, and it is usual for the entire class to repeat the sound one to three times. You can chant the sacred syllable alone or in a group, as long as you keep your conscious breath in sync.

To improve the quality of one's meditation. With your eyes closed, focus in and up into your third eye chakra while chanting om to assist deepen your state of meditation.

To bring the body's systems into balance. Through the powerful vibrations caused by the music, the sacred sound also balances and harmonises the neurological system.

To create more complicated mantras. You may combine om with additional Sanskrit syllables to form more sophisticated, advanced mantras, such as "Om Mani Padme Hum," which is used in various Buddhist teachings. Mani denotes a gem, Padme denotes a lotus flower, and Hum denotes enlightenment.

How to Practice Yoga Safely and Avoid Injuries

To guarantee the safety and efficiency of a yoga practise, proper form and technique are required. Consult your doctor before beginning yoga if you have a past or pre-existing health issue. Yoga positions may be customised to meet your specific needs.

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