At Spotted Dog Yoga, we begin and end each class with 3 Oms. I’ve been to many yoga studios and tried many classes. Some Om. Some don’t. Recently I started wondering “why do we Om?”
But before asking why, I wanted to understand what. What does Om mean? Does it even have a meaning? So I turned to Google for information, searching “why do we say Om in yoga?” Got 1.2 million possibilities! The first was from the site Mindbodygreen.com, where they had this to say:
“Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. Coming from Hinduism and Yoga, the mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power but despite this, it is a mantra that can be recited by anyone. It’s both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth and when pronounced correctly it is actually AUM.”
Interesting. Ok. So why do we Om at Spotted Dog? Here’s Nick’s take on Oming:
“The main reason that I believe we Om is to bring all of the energy in the room into sync. Om, being the sound of the universe, is a very powerful way to clear any unwanted/old energy that is blocking people from being in their natural state. This is typically why Om’s sound better at the end of class than they do at the beginning of class.
As a teacher and a student, I can tell a whole lot about the effectiveness of my practice based off of the sound of my Oms. It creates something that is measurable for me in my development of my yoga practice. Can I come back to balance?”
When I first started practicing yoga, I didn’t want to Om. It seemed weird. So I didn’t. But over time, I started Oming because to me, it creates connection with everyone in the room. It’s my way of saying “here I am and here you are!”
I have some friends who use their Oms as prayers. I know several people who have studied music who intentionally Om a different note than the teacher does, to create an improved harmony.
Coming back to Mindbodygreen.com, their article ends with this:
“Finally it is a way to delineate the time of our practice from the rest of our day and signify that this is a special time in which to care for ourselves and practice being mindful.”
See you on your mat.