OM is a symbol. OM is a mantra. OM is sound. OM is the initial sound of the universe. It vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature. Meaning, by chanting OM, we are physically tuning in to that frequency. The physical effect on the body is a slowing down of the nervous system and calming the mind, which also allows our blood pressure to decrease. Next to that, chanting OM at the beginning and ending of a yoga class, sets the practice into a frame and helps us to kind of login to our practice.
Honestly, when I started practicing yoga, I was particularly looking for a class without chanting, incense sticks, Hindu gods, singing bowls or any other stuff, that I related to this ‘spiritual chichi’. Well, now I know, it was nothing but this childish behavior of ‘when I close my eyes with my hands and can’t see anything, nobody can see me’. Practicing yoga just on a physical level is simply not possible. This doesn’t mean, that all of a sudden every yogi turns into a highly spiritual being 😉 However yoga is working in and on us, on different levels, body and mind. Thank god, I wasn’t aware of it when I started!
The first class I attended with an opening OM scared me a lot. I tried to just ignore it, as I liked the rest of the class. But one day, I just did it. Ups. What an amazing vibration in my body! It felt awesome. Just that. Getting more used to it over time, I learned to love it. Not caring about the sound of my voice, we do it all together and hey, no judgment please! Hearing my own voice is sometimes embarrassing, particularly when teaching Ashtanga and doing the opening prayer as call-and-response…. However, that’s part of the game! And beautifully settling in our cells….
Due to my own experience, I was quite careful with my students, but finally started to finish my classes with an OM. I love this grounding feeling going through my body, that completes a class. As expected, my students were scared. All I could hear was a little humming somewhere in the back. Next time I told them, we will continue doing this and it’s not religious, no spiritual reason, but physical. Be bold and give it a try, the louder the more vibration you’ll feel in your body. I could hear some tender OMs….
Yes yogis, go for it!