In the ancient philosophical text, Om is sacred. ‘Om’ was also known as ‘aum’—a venerated sound of the universe. ‘Pranava’ is the term coiled in Sanskrit scripture, which means ‘hum’ and corresponds to the eternal sound.
Om’s chanting, respective to Indian culture e.g. Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, is a spiritual custom that includes the exposition of gods. In yoga sutras, ‘om’ was derived from Bija–an origin seed, that which all sounds and words occur.
Chanting Om is widely used in yoga classes to deepen the connection to the universe and heighten the focus of meditation. Patanjali—who creates and instructs yoga scriptures — explained that ‘om’ comprises three parts which are the beginning, middle, and end.
These are explicated into A, as the first sound pronounced as ‘ah’; U is the prolongation of the first sound chanted; M—the sound that is created through sealing the lips to fulfill the oral mantra, usually known as the ‘Anahita Nada’, which means ‘Pure Silence’.
Using OM in Yoga
Om is being integrated into yoga culture. May it be in individual yoga or meditation executions. The ‘om’ embodies the reasons for:
- to represent the philosophy of yoga, as the symbol itself symbolizes the wisdom of the om sacredness.
- to link deeper in all things, become one, having effective coordination with your inner self.
- to improve the sense of meditation, in a way of better focus towards your third eye chakra.
- to balance body systems, which is the nervous system along with the energetic vibrations.
- to create more complex mantras, like advanced mantras such as, “Om Mani Padme Hum”—which means jewel (Mani), a lotus flower (Padme), and hum as enlightenment.
Health benefits of the word OM
- According to Grand Master Akshar, there are many health benefits to chanting the Om and the following are just a few of them:
- Om improves sleep conditions. Difficulty in sleeping is very inconvenient and impairing to health–thus, these help a lot for those suffering insomnia.
- It disconnects one from any stress, specifically anxieties. By yoga meditation along with the chant, refine you to focus on inner self positivity instead of the mental distress.
- Able to balance emotions and maintain calmness. This helps a lot during stressful circumstances, as it avoids misleading phenomena.
- Chanting om enhances focus. It assists ones to be goal-driven, as this engulfs doubts about the opportunities and possibilities.
- Boost up memory and concentration. Negative events might cause us to be distracted and forgetful. Practicing ‘om’ is a good way to regain our memory, specifically concentration.
- Builds up optimistic and lively living. A healthy lifestyle means a happy life and positive energy.
- It is also said that chanting om can be a stomachache therapy.
- It brings tranquility to mind and soul.
- It regulates blood pressure and heart level to normal level, which helps relax the body.
How long should you chant OM?
You can always start with 108 times minimum and increase the number of chanting over time to the point of reaching 1008 times once a month. It is highly suggested to chant om during 6 in the morning, 12 noon, and 6 in the evening—which is best known for the time of auspiciousness or ‘Sandhya Kal’.
It doesn’t harm to initially start with fewer chant times, as long as there is progress from time to time and you’re committed to doing it. Maintaining the ‘om’ chanting might be a little difficult at the beginning, with all the temptations around. However, it will just go exactly on its flow after some time and achieve a deeper connection within.