OM – What It Is And How To Use It In Your Yoga Practice


OM is a mystical and sacred symbol used in Hinduism, Buddhism and other Dharmic religions. OM appears in Vedic Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language practiced by the Vedas. In Vedic Sanskrit, OM is used as a word of solemn affirmation and respectful assent, and it is often translated as “yes, verily so be it”, which is much like the Hebrew “amen!” In Hinduism, OM represents the manifest and unmanifest aspects of God or the Unknowable.

OM is actually not a word, but rather a sound, more like music. OM is believed to be the sounds of the world and contains within it all the other sounds in the world. OM is a prayer or a mantra in and of itself. When OM is repeated with a proper intonation, it resonates through the body so it penetrates into one’s body and soul. In the sound of OM, there is a peace, and harmony, yet it is a symbol of very deep meaning.

OM is also a written symbol, which encompasses all potential and all possibility; it is everything that was, is, or can be. It is omnipotent.

OM is also spelled AUM, where each letter symbolizes a meaning. A symbolizes the conscious mind or waking state of your mind, the letter U symbolizes the dream state and the letter M symbolizes the dreamless sleep state of mind and spirit. All three letters together, according to important texts on the subject, symbolize the realization of men’s divinity within himself.

OM and Yoga

In yoga practice, teachers often begin and end their yoga session with one or more long OM’s. It can help to center and energize the body before and after yoga. It should be noted that OM is pronounced OM like in the word home.

There is a certain type of yoga that has OM heavily integrated with it, it’s 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 say the word OM while meditating. OM yoga meditation is basically about centering your awareness in the “Chidakasha” area and experiencing your breathing and intonations of the word 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.

OM is also typically used during meditation to help reach a state of calm and relaxation. OM is an excellent way to begin or end your yoga session and can enhance your yoga sessions. Meditation using OM can help to greatly reduce your stress and to center your body and mind.

OM and yoga separate or together can help you to reduce stress and help in many areas of your health and life.

Lydia Quinn writes for Attapinya, offering the finest quality in yoga bags, yoga jewelry and yoga accessories made using fair trade practices by talented artisans in Thailand. Visit us at: []

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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