All about that AUM, Om, Ohm

Aum (or OM) is a mantra, or vibration. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters, aa, au and ma which, when combined together, make the sound Aum or Om. It is believed to be the basic sound of the world and to contain all other sounds.  It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?

Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us–that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Aum. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.

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.

The journey of yoga involves remembering that everything in the universe emanates from a single energy source. Yoga asanas, pranayama (breath, life force) and meditation bringing you an awareness of this unity, “I and the source are one.” A perfect exercise for your throat chakra to align you to your purpose. Take in a deep breath, as you exhale with an open mouth, say “aaa” allowing it to well up from deep within your belly, round your lips to make the “uuu” sound, then close your lips to finish with a soft “mmm”. Repeat as a mantra to feel energized, connected and calibrated. 

The Aum symbol design can be seen as a symbolic representation of the various psychological compartments of the psyche; an inner dimensional map of the various compartments of human consciousness and the relationship each has to the divine within.