Ask The Teacher . . . What is Om?
I really like starting class singing Om, but what does it mean?
Om or Aum is a Sanskrit word meaning omnipresence, all-encompassing. It is said to be the sound of the universe, being the basic sound of the world – the word that contains all other sounds.
Aum is spoken as three sounds ah–ohh—um–and is a vibration or mantra.
Here are a few meanings of AUM in reference to yoga:
1. A symbolizes the wakeful state or the conscious state; U-is the dream state; and M- the dreamless sleep state.
2. The combined letters A-U-M- stand for speech, mind, and breath.
3. A-U-M stands for the person who is without desire, fear, or anger.
4. A-U-M represents the feminine, male and neuter genders. When taken as a whole, the entire symbol represents all creation, as well as the creator.
5. A-U-M represents the past, present and future.
6. When we sing Aum at the beginning of class we are preparing the space, it can give us a feeling of oneness with everyone.
Chanting Aum allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves-the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Aum, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.