What Is Om? 5 Things You Need To Know

What Is Om? 5 Things You Need To Know

Thanks to yoga’s rise in popularity – Om is being chanted by many yoga enthusiasts from all corners of the Earth. To help you better understand all things om, why we say “Om”, and what it really means, we’ve broken it down into 5 simple points:

What is Om?

Om is a Sanskrit word, often used as a mantra in Hindu and Buddhist practices, it’s most often chanted at the beginning of yoga sessions, and also at the end.

So what is the meaning of Om?

Om is essentially described as the primordial sound of creation, which means it is the very first vibration to have been created, from which all other vibrations spring forth. This one word encompasses the union of mind, body, and spirit, and therefore plays an important role in yoga.

The Om Symbol

The om symbol is indelibly connected to yoga, it’s painted on the walls of yoga studios, used as a logo by many yoga clothing brands, and even appears on yoga mats, but the symbol is so much more than just that:

The 3 Curves

The symbol that represents om is made out of three curves, which are thought to symbolize the three states of consciousness, namely:

  • The waking state
  • Dream state
  • & Deep sleep

The Dot

The dot seen in the om symbol represents the fourth state of consciousness, a state of being somewhere in between all three states.

How Do You Pronounce The Om Sound?

Om can be broken up into 4 parts or syllables – This is important to remember when you first attempt to say the word as it’s not at all pronounced the way it’s spelled, which is why some people choose the phonetic spelling of Aum.

What are the 4 parts of Om?

  • A – The first part is pronounced “awe”, starting at the back of your throat, and vibrating in your solar plexus.
  • U- The second part is pronounced “oo”. It rolls along the roof of your mouth and vibrates in your throat.
  • M- The third part is pronounced “mmm” behind your teeth, and vibrating at the roof of your mouth.
  • The fourth part is simply the deep silence that follows the long ‘M’ sound.

Why Do We Chant Om?

When the word om is chanted, it vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, the same frequency found in every natural element, this is what makes it the primordial sound of the universe – The starting vibration from which all other vibrations are created.

When we say “Om”, we are said to spiritually and physically connect with nature and the beginning of all things. Om is also how you open or close your yoga or meditation practice to help get you into a more mindful space.

We all need to wind down from time to time, especially with the busy and often chaotic lives we lead – Chanting is said to help you relax and slow down your nervous system, helping to calm your mind, and what’s really great about it is that it can all be backed up by science!

Om According To Science

A study done in 2011, and followed up on in 2018, had participants take magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of their brains while chanting the word “Om” to measure the effect caused by the vibrations created. Other sounds such as “sss” were used as controls.

The latter study found that the participants experienced an increased sense of relaxation when chanting om compared to other sounds. There were significant changes in the autonomic nervous system – Great news for your heart, blood pressure, metabolism, and much more!

When the participants chanted om, researchers noted that it created a similar reaction in the brain as that of vagus nerve stimulation, which is used in the treatment of depression and epilepsy. Albeit only preliminary, these findings lead them to conclude that simply chanting om could help treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

What this means is that the power of om is no longer an obscure concept, but a scientifically demonstrated fact – Excellent news for anyone needing to feel a little calmer, less stressed, and more positive!

One Om Away From A Happier You

There you have it – 5 Things you need to know about om! We hope you choose to experience the power of om for yourself, so you can naturally boost your mood, lift your spirits, and improve the state of your mental wellbeing.

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