Since 2008 I’ve written a few posts on chanting Om which is the oldest chant in India. I’ve answered questions such as why Om, what is Om and how to Om. My last writing/blog post on Om even included a brief discussion of the yoga sutras that cover the topic of Om (see OM, OM, OM).
Om, considered to be an all-pervading sound in the universe, connects us to everything around us and within us. Comprised of three syllables –A, U, M – Om is pronounced AhhOohMmm. At least one of these syllables is typically the first sound a baby makes.
In a yoga class, the sound of Om is usually chanted at the beginning and end of class. Initially some (such as those in my office yoga classes and the college kids in the GWU yoga class I teach) are shy about Om-ing or think it’s weird. I try to break it down and simply explain that chanting Om brings life into your body and presence to your mat. I also often tell students sharing the sound of Om is a nice way to connect with one another since it is one of the few sounds (other than breath) often made in a yoga class.
Now I’m only writing about Om again with the purpose of sharing this awesome article a friend passed along to me: Om Alone: The Meaning of the Sound and Symbol by James Brown. It is by far the best explanation I’ve read on how to Om and what the symbol means. And it’s way more detail than I could ever offer. Happy Om-ing!