Kiana Ng Yoga
In most yoga classes, you chant the mantra “Om” at the beginning and end. But what does it mean?
The sound OM means a lot of things. For starters, it is said to represent the sound/vibration of the universe if you take out everything in it. Om is all that is in the past, present and future. The sound Om is also the seed mantra of the third eye chakra and one of the most potent mantras. Since Om represents the entire universe, when you chant it, it raises your vibration and helps focus and calm the mind. In a group setting, such as a yoga class, when everyone chants it at the same time, it brings about a sense of unity & oneness.
Even though it’s pronounced as “OM,” it’s actually spelt “AUM” with the emphasis on sounding out the letters like “Aaaw” “Oooh” “Mmmm” and then drifting into silence afterwords. The 3 letters are said to represent different things like: heaven, earth, the underworld or waking state, dreaming state, and dreamless state.
The symbol of Om (as depicted in the picture) also has multiple interpretations on meaning. One of them being that the “3” represents “A”, the swirl represents “U”, and the bindhi/half moon represents “M”. Another interpretation is that the top curve of the “3” is the unconscious/dreamless state, the bottom curve of the “3” is the waking state because we spend most of our times here and the tip of the curve reaches out into the external world that we experience, the swirl represents the dreaming state which lies between the waking and dreamless states, the half moon represents maya or the illusion that stops us from being able to fully attain bliss (represented by the dot).