At the end of my yoga classes now we finish by chanting three ‘Aums’. You may have wondered: why do we Aum? Is Aum a mantra and how might we benefit from this practice?
I introduced the chanting of Aum at the request of a student. I then asked my other classes if they too would like to explore finishing the class with three Aums as the resulting vibrational effect was so profound. Some of my yoga students enthusiastically chant and others sit and feel. Regardless of the participation, which is absolutely voluntary, the classes finish with a stillness and connection that is amplified by the three Aums.
Aum, or Om, represents the universal consciousness, the origin of all other sounds and is considered to be a mantra on its own. Mantra comes from ‘man’, meaning ‘mind’, and ‘tra’, to transcend, so a mantra, when repeated with a heart connection, can help us to transcend the busyness of our minds. You might think of Aum as a nameless, formless, divine presence honoured through the symbol of sound. It is the truth and energy of the universe. As energetic beings we are affected by the vibration of the mantra as sound is energy.
The chanting of sacred sounds has been embraced by traditions all over the world and the accumulative effect can be felt in many places of worship: that silence and reverence you feel as you enter and sit. It is the repetition of the chant that creates the effect deep in your cellular structure, permeating your whole being and even the space around you. You see this practiced often with the use of prayer beads or malas as the mantra is chanted into each bead as a form of practice.
When we chant Aum at the end of our classes it is broken down into three parts with equal time given to each part. Ah is chanted from the region of the navel, oo from the sternum and mm from the throat as we close our mouths and let the vibration be felt all the way to our lips.
If we chant the mantra of Aum with open hearts and mindful intent it is a vibrational experience that, to my observations, assimilates all that has taken place in the class. It is as if it pulls all the intent of the day’s practice into our hearts and then vibrates out collectively for the benefit of all, leaving you in a still, connected state of being. When you surrender to the mantra and the connected state it creates, you connect with the vibration of the universe. It is powerful.
I look forward to seeing you in class soon to share the power of Aum together.