These 5 things will elevate your OM and revolutionize your practice
Historically, yogis believed that there was an inseparable relationship between yoga and sound/sound vibrations. Since the earliest ages the sages chanted devotional hymns, meditated on the sound of chakras, and recited mantras -traditions that live on into this day.
Perhaps you have experienced some of these practices yourself within the modern day gym or studio. Or, if nothing else, are familiar with the practice of chanting AUM (also spelled OM). Many core concepts are imbedded within the sound of OM that are integral to traditional yoga.
To begin, AUM or OM is regarded as the vibrational undercurrent that underlies all of the manifest creation, the background reverberation that echoes the Big Bang, the sound of the universe. With repeated practice, we can get a hint of OM’s greater cosmology or, if nothing else, experience the inherent peace that accompanies the sincere repetition of the sound. While an earnest, even reverent approach to chanting OM will magnify its power, there are also some technical aspects to uttering the sound that will also amplify its potency. Here are five tips to enhance the power of OM in your personal practice:
5 Simple Ways to Invigorate Your OM
First, OM is commonly chanted in one in one of two ways, as indicated by the two ways in which it is spelled. In the case of the most frequent spelling (OM) the sound is rendered very much like it is spelled O-M. (According to Sanskrit rules of grammar the A and U sounds collapse into one another to make the O sound). From the tantric-yoga perspective, the sounds are more distinct: A as in “car”, U as in “soup”, and M sounds more like the vibrational-drown of a bee. Either pronunciation will suffice.
- The Mouth – An Instrument of Infinity
Being the genesis of all manifestation, OM is regarded as the sound that contains all sounds. There are a number of schema that describes how this process works the simplest of which is the trajectory of how the sound directs itself through the mouth. The A sound begins in the back of the throat, it then fills the cavern of the mouth with the U sound and finally closes at the lips with the M sound; thereby covering the entire spectrum of potential sound as expressed through the mouth. Integrate this understanding the next time you express the sound of OM. Bring your conscious attention to how the entire range of the sound travels from the back of the throat to the lips, articulating each sound along the way.
- The Spine – An instrument of Awareness
The same methodology can be applied to extending the sound from the base of the spine and up and out of the crown of the head. According to the yoga tradition, the spine is the axis of awareness. There are many forms of meditation (such as meditating upon chakras) that utilize this principle to cultivate expanded states of consciousness. In this way, one can direct the sound of A from the pelvic floor to the navel, the U sound from the navel to the throat and finally the M sound through skull and up and out through the top of the head. Try it!
- Loose Yourself in OM
You can incorporate either of these OM expanding techniques to the practice of AUM-Kar or the successive, unbridled repetition of OM. This is best practiced with a group of your fellow yogis. The rules are rather simple, chant OM as many times as you can! Each individual chants OM at their own pace, creating a symphony of voices as the sound of each chanter overlaps with one another. At some point, the sound will naturally subside, leaving a palpable stillness and calm. If you are a teacher, consider doing this practice in your next class, or practice with home with friends!
- Essential Silence
It is essential to pause and immerse yourself in the resounding silent echo of the sound to fully appreciate every aspect of OM. The silence after chanting this sacred syllable is actually consider to be a fourth sound called turya, which simple means “the fourth”. Turya is the all subsuming, transcendent aspect of PM – beyond time and space. The sound returns to is origin, which it never left. Immerse yourself in the peace and stillness!
The sound of OM and its primal, elemental qualities are accessible to anyone. Consider both the technical, emotive and spiritual aspects of chanting it as you move deeper into its significance and meaning. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain :)
Sonic Gong Bath for Healing and Renewal – Nov. 18
We are pleased to announce a very special guest performance by none other than Denver’s beloved hero of sound healing, Mr. Gary Fishman. Gary’s “Gong Baths” are extraordinarily soothing and renewing to the entire nervous system. See more at Gary’s personal website, songs of the milky way. Bring something comfortable to rest on the ground with.
Any and all are welcome to attend this interstellar voyage of cellular renewal. Bring something to lye down on such as a blanket, a yoga mat or some combination of the above. Click here for more information.
Saturday, Nov. 18th. 7-8:30pm | 3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC
Suggested Donation ($15-20)