In yoga, it’s common for students to chant OM in the breaths between postures. The practice is said to build a healthy and positive atmosphere in the class, and is often believed to help students calm and focus. But some yogis say that the mystical sounds may not really help them achieve their form.
Chanting OM sounds like a piece of mystic wisdom. It’s found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is a part of some yoga practices. But how much do you know about it? It’s part of a Sanskrit mantra that translates to something like “I am feeling blissful.”
After doing a little research, I have found that the OM Chant is a relatively new phenomenon. An internet search will show you that the chant has very little empirical evidence. Nothing from any of the major religions or yoga sects actually include the OM Chant. There has been talk about its effectiveness, but actual proof is very hard to come by.
It may be daunting to go into a yoga class for the first time. To someone new with yoga, the sight of people warming up in odd postures, loud breathing, and peculiar odors may be overpowering.
I was nervous about a number of things as a beginner yoga student, including breathing loudly enough for the person next to me to hear me, attempting new and difficult postures, and even speaking to anybody in the class. But there was one thing I swore I’d never, ever do: OM.
The chanting was uncomfortable, awkward, and just plain strange to me. The irony is that this is now my favorite portion of class. It took a long time for me to feel safe enough to participate, but once I did, I was hooked.
I receive a lot of inquiries about OM-ing from new students, and I know that it’s tough for new instructors to integrate this practice into their classes. So, should you OM or should you not OM? I’ll offer my views on how students and instructors alike may make an informed decision.
So, what exactly is this OM-ing business?
The sound OM (pronounced A-u-m with three syllables) is believed to contain all of the universe’s vibrating energy. It’s a sound that connects us to everything and everyone around us. It’s a mantra that’s said in meditation as one sits in search of enlightenment.
Chanting OM in a yoga class, in a room full of people, pulls you out of your own body and space and connects you to others around you, in my opinion.
The Benefits of OM-ing
While I felt very self-conscious the first time I let out a timid “Om,” as my voice became stronger, I began to gain a lot of confidence in myself. When you undertake anything outside of your comfort zone, your ego breaks down. One of those things is making a weird noise in a room full of strangers.
I felt something huge when I began to shift my focus away from myself and attempt to match my voice to the people around me. I didn’t feel all that different from the other people there. I wasn’t comparing my yoga pants to theirs or imagining how toned their bellies were. I felt completely equal and even strong.
I still have a hard time being present for the whole of a yoga session. Breathing alone may be difficult for me at times since my mind travels to a million different places.
Chanting, on the other hand, has the power to fully immerse you in your body and mind. When you’re focused on producing this deep, rich sound, it’s difficult to think about anything else. This is something that most people don’t get to do on a regular basis, and it’s something really unique to give to yourself or your yoga students.
Vibrations are very high.
It may seem strange to suggest that music generates energy, but I find it very powerful to feel the vibration coming from my belly and how it synchronizes with the people around me while I’m OM-ing. At the conclusion of the OM, there is usually a noticeable change in the room. I like sitting in the quiet that follows the music and experiencing a feeling of oneness and fulfillment.
The Argument Against Silence
I don’t believe you can ever push someone to do things or experience things they aren’t ready for in life. If you don’t think chanting is for you, that’s OK! Simply sit and listen to the students and instructor in your class until you feel ready. Try to appreciate the music they’re creating without feeling obligated to participate or to pass judgment on yourself or others.
For teachers, if you don’t feel a sense of connection to the OM practice, it does not make sense to try and bring it to your students. Your fear, self-consciousness, or lack of authenticity will come through if you try to force it, which totally defeats the purpose. They key is to be true to yourself and do what you feel comfortable with.
Without chanting or making new students feel uncomfortable, there are several methods to establish a feeling of togetherness in your yoga classroom. To finish the exercise, I like to take three deep breaths together.
After Savasana, I instruct my students to locate a comfortable seat and place their hands over their hearts. We all take three deep inhales and audible exhales simultaneously after that. That gives you a sense of belonging to everyone in the room, a sense of peace, and a sense of presence in the body and mind, but in a manner that is more approachable to everyone.
For instructors and students who aren’t ready to express their voice in OM, I believe this is a wonderful place to start.
The goal, like with any aspect of the physical yoga practice, is to connect with oneself. I constantly tell my students that they are more knowledgeable about their bodies than I am, and it is their responsibility to appreciate and respect them. The same may be said for each person’s degree of comfort in participating in the OM.
It’s typically our mind telling us we can’t do something—and that notion isn’t necessarily accurate, like in my experience with postures I was previously too afraid to attempt. It wasn’t as as awful as I anticipated after I got out of my mind and tried the OM. In fact, it was really fantastic. Give it a go when you’re ready, and until then, simply do what feels right!
OM Mantra is a simple sound that is sung by many people during Yoga and other spiritual practices. It is said that OM can remove all karmic debts and in the practice it can help induce enlightenment and many people have become so attached to it that they will not stop chanting until they reach their goals.. Read more about om chanting benefits scientific research and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you chant in yoga?
I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
How do you chant Om in yoga?
Om is a sacred sound that has been chanted in yoga for thousands of years. It is said to have the power to cleanse and purify the body, mind, and soul.
Why should we chant Om?
It is a spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years.
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