Definition - What does Om mean?

Om is the term originally used to describe the feeling experienced by rishis, or "sages," during deep meditation. The term does not have a specific definition; rather, it refers to what the sages believed to be the sound of universal creation.

The physical sensation of sounding or chanting the Om in preparation for yoga invites the practitioner to enter a state of mindful, physical and emotional awareness.

Yogapedia explains Om

Chanting Om during the practice of yoga causes the practitioner to experience its distinct syllables and the physical vibrations they each produce. The four syllables of Om, sometimes written as Aum, consist of:

  • A (aahhh) - This syllable represents the origin of all sound, connecting us to our individual selves, or egos. This resonance should come from the back of the throat where the tongue finds its root in our physical being.
  • U (oooh) - This syllable represents the energy of the mind and the universe. This vibration invokes balance and clarity as it passes from the back of the tongue toward the lips.
  • M (mmmm) - This syllable invokes the sensation of oneness between the corporal body and the universe. Practitioners close their lips around the sound to experience the vibration throughout their head and body.
  • Anagata (silence) - This significant phase of the Om invites yoga practitioners to fully experience the blissful state of silence and the sense of unity it transmits.

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