The Sanskrit word Om is pronounced as ‘Aum.’ Om is a sacred mantra often used to calm the mind and create a peaceful ambiance and higher levels of consciousness. It represents the highest state of divinity and is used as one of the ways to reach enlightenment. It is both a sound and a symbol that has a religious essence attached to it.
Om in the Hindu Culture
Om is a sacred sound according to the Hindu religion. Many Hindus also consider it to be a sound of creation. It is believed that every creation in the universe originated from Om. Om is equated to the inner silence that can be heard and experienced with practice. Hindus use the word ‘Om’ in their daily lives, either by chanting it at the beginning of the day, before starting a journey or when faced with a difficult situation. It is an integral part of the architecture of Hindu temples and religious places. Many Hindus consider it auspicious to name their children after the word ‘Om.’
Om in Yoga
Yoga teachers often begin and end their sessions with the sacred chanting of the ‘om’ mantra. Especially during the meditation session, the mantra ‘om’ is frequently used. It is believed that the om mantra creates a positive vibration around the surroundings and leads to harmony and unity between the teacher and the students. Whether the chanting is observed in a group class or during an individual practice, the results of the Om mantra aligns the inner self with the universe, where the positive energy is let in and the negative energy is released out.
Benefits of Om
1. Improves mental alertness
Research proved that chanting Om at regular intervals helps the mind get distracted and eventually achieve alertness and physiological rest. It allows the body to receive adequate rest, thus resulting in greater mental alertness.
2. Strengthen the backbone
While chanting ‘om,’ the first sound that one makes is ‘Aaaa’ sound which generates a vibration in the abdomen that directly supports the spinal cord. The more often one chants the mantra, the stronger the spinal cord or backbone becomes.
3. Eliminates stomach problems
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) reduce considerably with the practice of chanting Om. It helps to reduce anxiety, nervousness, lack of confidence, and improve the overall well-being of an individual. It induces a relaxation response, and thus when faced with a stomach ache, the vibrations created with the Om mantra could result in relaxation of the stomach muscles.
4. Strengthens the heart health
This benefit is directly correlated to the chanting of the Om mantra during the transcendental meditation. This type of mediation requires the chanting of the Om mantra at regular intervals, multiple times in a row. It is believed to improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
5. Balance your emotions
When feelings of disappointment or depression trouble your mind, chanting Om is of great help as the one constant rhythmic sound of Om calms the mind and allows it to clear. It allows the individual to concentrate on one thing and connect with the inner self that leads to happiness.
Other benefits include helps to relieve negative energy, reduce stress and improve concentration.
In conclusion, there is no right or wrong method to chant the universal mantra ‘Om.’ Everyone can practice it and it may sound differently. There is no specific place for chanting the mantra so you may chant it while driving, before going to bed, or during yoga. Its purpose is to calm the mind and help one look inward. Use this short and simple mantra every day to witness a positive transformation in your life, where you will feel more happy, relaxed, and content. With continuous use, you will also pass on the positive vibrations of the om mantra to the people around you.