The origin of the Om mantra can be traced back to ancient Vedic texts, and is first mentioned in the Upanishads. The meaning of Om has many interpretations, but more often than not, it is referred to as the sound of the universe.

Also referred to as “Aum” or “Ohm”, we often find ourselves chanting Om at the beginning and end of a yoga class, to open and close the space with a positive vibration. The meaning behind the sacred chant of Om is grounded in this vibrational energy. When chanted, Om vibrates at a frequency of 432hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout nature and the universe at large. Om is thought to have a high spiritual and creative power, can help us achieve single focused attention, and is thought to connect us with universal energy and abundance; its vibrational energy attunes to our true nature and its sound carries immense pranic force.

From a yogic perspective, sound is prana in action, and there is an important connection between speech (the expression of our thoughts) and prana (our life energy carried by the breath). Thus, when we chant Om, we acknowledge our connection to nature and the universe, and honour a higher power acting within and throughout us. The sound of Om unifies us with the universe.

Om can be broken down into three syllables or components: A, U, and M. A, invokes Brahma, the creative deity and is pronounced as an elongated [awe]. You should feel the sound begin at the back of the throat, and you may be able to notice your solar plexus and chest vibrate. The second syllable, U, is pronounced as [ooo] and invokes Vishnu, the preserver. Feel this sound in your throat and upper palate. The third syllable, M, represents Shiva, the destroyer. You should feel this [mmmm] sound as a vibration in your mouth and third eye. You might also feel your teeth vibrate to touch. Together, these sounds A-U-M “Om” represent all aspects of the Divine: creation, preservation, and liberation.

In essence, we chant Om to connect with the divine, to cultivate the vibration of the universe within us, and honour our higher nature and connection with all life. Physically, the vibrations of Om meditation can slow down the nervous system and calm the mind. When we are in a state of such relaxation, our heart beats slower and our blood pressure decreases. It has many physical and spiritual benefits, and we should take the time to appreciate this vibration acting within us when we chant Om in our next yoga or mediation class.

Author's Bio: 

Kranti Yoga Goa is a Yoga Teacher Training School, directly on Patnem Beach, South Goa. We offer 200 Hour Yoga TTC, 300 Hour Yoga TTC, 500 Hour Yoga TTC in Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Flow alongside Yoga Intensives, Yoga Immersions and Yoga Holidays right on the beach in beautiful Goa.