What is the correct way to chant OM?

Q:

What is the correct way to chant OM?

A:

During the chanting of Om, or Aum, silence is maintained between two consecutive utterances. The state of silence is a state of consciousness known as turiya. This is a state of bliss. And it is this state when one’s identification with the Supreme happens.

(You may be wondering, How do I prepare for being in silence?)

Before you begin chanting, find a calm space. Sit in a comfortable position. For maximum comfort, sit cross-legged with an erect back. Make sure you are comfortable in your clothes. Wear loose clothes in light shades so that you feel free and not held back. Immense comfort is required for letting the channels of your body flow freely.

Now, here are the steps to take to correctly chant Om:

  1. Turn your left palm up and keep it close to your navel. Place the back of your right hand onto your left palm. Maintain this position for the rest of the steps.
  2. Close the eyes and get into a relaxed mode. Make sure both your body and mind are at ease.
  3. Feel the vibrations that run through the body.
  4. Once you have paid attention to the sounds and vibrations in your body, breathe in and count to five. As you exhale, count to seven. As you practice more, you will be able to breathe in and breathe out for longer durations. This should be repeated thrice.
  5. As you breathe out for the third time, chant “AAAAA” and feel your abdomen vibrating.
  6. Breathe out completely and simply relax.
  7. Then take a deep and slow inhalation. As you breathe out, chant “OOOOO” and feel your chest and neck vibrating.
  8. Breathe out completely and relax again.
  9. Exercise a slow and deep inhalation. As you breathe out, chant “MMMMM” and feel your head and neck vibrating.
  10. Exercise exhalation, followed by relaxation.
  11. Again, exercise a slow and deep inhalation. Utter Om as you breathe out. You should spend 80 percent of your breath chanting "A-U," and only 20 percent should be devoted to the syllable, "M."
  12. The chanting of Om should initially be done for three times. Slowly, you can work your way up to nine times.
  13. As soon as your meditation ends, start breathing normally and spend five minutes concentrating on the breath.

(Read on for the answer to How do we control our breath?)

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Written by Devakar Sandhu
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Devakar Sandhu is a yoga expert with profound knowledge in this field. He is also owner of Ekam Yogashala (RYS 200 Yoga School Rishikesh). Ekam Yogashala offers 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in India and Nepal.

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