I'm sure most of us have heard the phrase, "OM," at least once or twice. I want to briefly explain why we chant this word & why everyone can find resonance with it.
First things first, OM & AUM are one & the same. OM is usually used in shorter chanting or used at the beginning of a longer mantra. Whereas AUM is used for extended chanting, making AUM a mantra all on its own.
Each letter in the word AUM is its own syllable & has its own meaning.
"A" meaning the conscious.
"U" meaning the dream state.
"M" meaning the dreamless sleep state.
They also respectively represent gender: male, female & neuter. They represent speech, the mind & the breath of life. They represent the absence of desire, fear & anger. They represent the mother, the father & the guru. They represent earth, atmosphere & heaven. They represent past, present & future. They represent Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), & Shiva (the destroyer).
AUM is the sound of the universe. There is harmony, divinity & strength in this phrase.
The reason we chant this phrase in yoga class is to bring us closer to a higher purpose, closer to the divine, closer to true harmony with the creator. When we chant AUM, it can help find places of stagnant or blocked energy in your being & that can be really powerful & daunting.
So, with an open mind & an open heart, we chant AUM. Loud, resonating, tuning the mind, body & spirit with the universe.