Don’t let the tranquil sound fool you, OM is mighty powerful. When I first started practicing yoga I avoided chanting OM because I felt awkward and didn’t quite understand the importance of it. Early on, no one had explained to me that the mantra creates inner peace, presence and connection to the Whole.
After looking deeper into the meaning and benefits of chanting OM, I became committed to making this a part of my regular practice. The mantra is best experienced first hand, so here are a few reasons to OM it up, yogis!
MENTAL PEACE & FOCUS
Chanting OM improves our concentration, increases inner peace and decreases stress. Science has proven that repeating the mantra on a regular basis can improve our overall state of mind. A study published by the International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security showed that people’s focus, concentration, steadiness and inner peace improved after chanting the OM mantra on a regular basis, even just for a few days. It is very calming to the body and the mind to recite the sound, much like meditation.
THE “SILENT SYLLABLE”
OM is a vibration that comes from Hinduism. It is technically comprised of four, not two syllables. Despite its spelling, OM is vocalized as A, U, M and the “silent syllable.” The three audible letters (A, U, and M) symbolize creation, divine energy and liberation. The last silent syllable represents the space we create in this brief silence, which is often believed to open us up to divine wisdom and our connection to the Universe.
CONNECTION TO THE UNIVERSE
OM is all inclusive, spiritual, and it does not create any exclusions. We can chant the mantra at any time, any place and feel that we are exquisitely tapping into the pathway to the Universe. To get technical, OM vibrates at the same frequency that is found in nature (at 432 HZ). This is why many believe that OM is our call to home. It is the sound of our Universe and our connection to it.
When we chant this vibration, we give ourselves an opportunity to acknowledge and be grateful for our bond to all other living beings and the life we’ve been given. And that, my friends, is a truly wonderful thing.
Written By: Eryl McCaffrey, CYA-RYT 200, is a yoga teacher, wellness writer and public speaker living in Toronto. She's passionate about breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness and believes physical activity can help heal the mind, body and soul. When she's not in her busy mode, you can find Eryl hiking, singing and meditating.