If you are looking to know about What Does Om Mean In Yoga? then this article is for you. Here we explain to you The Significance And Power Of Om to help you understand better. Stay Tuned.
If you aren’t a Hindu but a yogi, you must have very well come across the word or sound “om”. It is the sound chanted at the beginning or at the end of a yoga class or during several spiritual practices.
What Does "Om" Mean In Yoga? The Power Of Om
So, what is it? Well, to begin with, “Om” is a mantra or a vibration which has its origin in Hinduism. It is known to be the ‘sound of the Universe’. Considering it is the primordial sound of our whole existence it comes with spiritual and creative power. It has a significant meaning to it going far beyond chanting mindlessly.
“Om” when spelled out, contains only three syllables- “a”, “u” and “m”. Although it may seem to be a very simple sound, it comes with a complex meaning and a deeper significance. The entire universe is brought into this sound which signifies the meaning of yoga at heart- the union of the body, mind and soul.
Significance of Om- The Sound
Om appears several times in the founding philosophical texts of Hinduism- the Upanishads. Here, it is described as the core of worship and therefore it is chanted three times in the beginning and at the end of prayers. This clears away spiritual obstacles and paves way for reaffirming intentions.According to Hinduism, both the sound and the symbol of “Om” illustrates the union of the three worlds- the earth, the heaven and the atmosphere. It signifies “Shakti” meaning ‘divine cosmic energy’. Along with this representation, it embodies the three major Hindu Gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Meaning Of Om- The Symbol
Like the sound, the symbol of Om is sacred too. The symbol represents three continuous curves with a dot and a stroke. The symbol has a deeper meaning which signifies the key components of our mind.
The bottom-most curve reflects our waking state of mind, the curve above that signifies our mind in deep sleep and the top-most curve reflects our dreaming mind. The dot above symbolizes our fourth or unknown state of consciousness which is way far from human experience and is separated by the semi-circle just beneath the dot.Therefore, to sum it all up, “Aum” is the power which sums up all our four states of consciousness which is our existence.
The Power Of Om
The power and importance of “Om” is something which is very difficult to state in a few words. It is way beyond just a sound or a symbol. As mentioned earlier, Om is an ancient mantra of Hinduism which signifies and contains the entire universe.
Therefore, its spiritual and creative power is quite difficult to fathom through simple human understanding. However, in simple language, one can say that it is like the building block of all the other mantras of Hinduism.Om is the sound of the universe and is regarded as the first sound from the beginning of time- encompassing the present and the future. It associates with our chakra system and is connected to the Ajna Chakra which is the ‘third eye’ signifying intuition and self-knowledge.
Why We Chant Om?
There’s nothing in this universe which stands still- literally nothing. Everything around us is in a state of constant movement and vibration. Being the sound of the universe, the basic sound of everything in existence, it has the same vibration frequency of everything else that is found throughout nature.
So, when we chant “Om” it is like acknowledging our connection with nature, living beings and the Universe- both physically and symbolically. It helps us connect to our existence in a deeper and in a more significant way.Physically, chanting “Om” also relaxes our body by calming down our mind and our nervous system. It brings about peacefulness and mindfulness within us.
What Does Om Mean In Yoga?
Now that we are quite familiar with the spiritual significance of “Om” let us understand what “Om” means in yoga.Yoga, as we all know is an important part of Indian philosophy. It is considered as a spiritual practice. Therefore, chanting “om” at the beginning or at the end of a yoga class is therefore appropriate and significant. After all, both yoga and “Om” helps to relax our body, delineating us from the world.
It brings us to a place where we care for ourselves and practice being mindful. As Hinduism philosophy states, chanting “Om” at the beginning and at the end of any spiritual practice helps us connect with ourselves and the Universe. That is what exactly yoga achieves to do- unite the body, mind and soul with the higher being. Therefore, it can be said that it is an exercise for spiritual development which promotes a quieter mental state.
Significance Of “Om” In Yoga
When attending a yoga session, we see "Om" is chanted at the beginning. This is because chanting “Om” brings the practitioners to a time and state bringing about calmness in their minds to begin their journey of meditation.
Meditation is a spiritual practice and thus it ends with chanting “om” too- signifying the closure of the spiritual practice and re-entering the society.In yoga classes, chanting “Om” also acts as a unifying element for the group, creating a sense of community. This helps you connect deeper with everyone else around you and with the Universe.
Also Read our Post on Meaning of The Word Yoga
Reasons To Chant “Om Mantra” During Yoga Sessions
Apart from coming together with our surroundings and the Universe, there are various other reasons why we chant “Om” at a yoga class. This is because both yoga and “Om” delineates us from our everyday lives, marking the beginning and the end of our spiritual journey.
"Om" is also chanted in yoga for the following reasons :
- When we chant “Om” it produces a sound vibration of 432Hz. It is that frequency which aligns us with all the living things around us.
- Being the sound of the universe, it deeply connects us physically and symbolically to everything in the world and in the Universe and acknowledges the connection.
- The rhythmic pronunciation and vibration calm our body, mind and soul which are similar to the effects of meditation. This too has a benefit on our physical existence by keeping our body healthy.
Therefore, in a nutshell, we can say that “Om” has a significant role to play in yoga as it connects us to our practice while deepening our spiritual bond with the Universe. This significance thus goes far beyond our imagination and understanding.
Yoga is a spiritual practice which unites and balances our mind, body and soul and brings about a deeper connection with the Universe. So, does the sound and symbol of “Om”. So, when you bring yourself to the yoga mat, it is important to chant “Om” at least three times in the beginning and in the end.
This way it helps you separate yourself from the world calms your mind and brings about unison in your physical and mental state- in order to embark on a beautiful spiritual journey. Also, read our interesting post on Yoga Nidra and How Start Doing Yoga At Home.