Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Ham Mean?

Ham is one of a series of single-syllable Sanskrit mantras associated with the chakras, or metaphysical energy centers, along the spine. These bija, or seed, mantras are believed to activate the energy of their specific chakras. Ham is associated with the vishuddhi (throat) chakra and is sometimes spelled hum.

Mantras are single syllables, words, phrases or longer chants that are recited for the power of their sound vibrations. In yoga, bija mantras are chanted to calm, cleanse and balance the body and mind.


Yogapedia Explains Ham

By reciting ham, the yogi focuses on the energy of the vishuddhi chakra, which empowers the physical and spiritual voice. Vishuddhi is the first of the spiritual chakras and is associated with authentic expression. When activated, this chakra allows the yogi to listen and speak at a higher level.

The other bija mantras associated with the major chakras are:

  • Lammuladhara, or root chakra
  • Vamsvadhisthana, or sacral chakra
  • Rammanipura, or solar plexus (navel) chakra
  • Yamanahata, or heart chakra
  • Omajna, or third eye chakra
  • Om (silent) – sahasrara, or crown chakra

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