Why do we practice the sound AUM in yoga?
AUM, or OM, is a vital part of the science of yoga.
1. The sound OM is the beautiful, ever-present humming SOUND of our universe. Yogis consider it to be the first ever, original sound even before the universe existed, and it is thought this same vibration continues to exist all around us today, even within us. It can be heard and felt when we are able to tune-in deep within ourselves.
2. It is traditionally practiced at the beginning and end of class. We say it together in a synchronized exhale that invites a sense of community and connection. You can practice it silently, whispered, quite vocally, or not at all. Just listening to it’s vibration you can feel Om’s peaceful resonance.
3. The sound OM is thought to produce positive vibrations that nourish the body and spirit. Practicing OM fills you with a sense of peace, calmness, tranquility, even a sense of sacredness for some. We use it as a tool to help calm and center our mind. This brings us closer to our truest nature, and can bring us closer to other human beings as well if we allow it– removing lines of separateness and cultivating a sense of oneness and harmony with the universe and with all that is.
4. There are many interpretations for OM; some that are quite complex. It speaks to each us differently. It can be mysterious and powerful. For me, OM symbolizes the sentiment of “we are all connected”. How does it resonate for you?
Experience it yourself and explore it any way you like, and let me know how it speaks to you. If it doesn’t work, drop it and let it go. Just be open and present to whatever comes up for you.
And if you want to know how to pronounce OM with the proper breakdown of sound… read on.
The sound OM can be split into 3 different sounds:
A- Pronounced “ah” as in aware. Every known language begins with the sound “ah”. It is the first letter of all almost every alphabet; it is the first sound a baby makes. Audible sound begins with A
U- Pronounced “oo”. (From the middle tongue)
M- Closing the lips make the sound “mmm”. (The end or culmination of sound)
So A-U-M encompasses the entire process of sound, and all other thoughts and speech sounds are contained in it. Thus OM is the seed from which all other sounds and words derive. It is the origin of sound. It is the vibration of energy that connects us all.