Om we are all one.
I believe in my core that we are all connected. You’ve heard the law of seven degrees of separation? It states that any two people in the world are separated by at most seven connections connecting one person (acquaintance, friend, relative, or other) to another. But it’s more than just that. I can’t even begin to name all the times I have walked into class to hear multiple echoes of the same sentiment. Whether it’s tiredness, a death in the family, an illness, a birth, a recipe, a milestone achieved… the same comes up from different people, seemingly disconnected. I have heard of different teachers at the studio teaching the same exact class, unplanned! It seems there is this silent force, connecting us all. Call it the weather, or world events or whatever you like, I believe we are all one.
And I feel here at the studio, that I have found my people that I feel most connected with. The people who choose to come together to silently support each other through breath, meditation and movement. The people who are healing current wounds and old patterns. The people who try to live a more present, more mindful, more engaged life. The people who aren’t afraid to walk in the door and say “my father just died, and I feel like crying all class”. Or the people who walk in the door and don’t say anything at all! The people who are keeping it real. I see you and I am here for it all.
And this is why I want to chant OM with you.
It wasn’t too long ago that chanting “OM” made me uncomfortable. I am still not 100% sure why it made me uncomfortable. Perhaps that I was too shy to let my voice be heard. Or perhaps it felt cultish to me? But even up until last year, I did not whole heartedly OM. And leading an OM was something I just could not do. What if the sound was off key? What if my voice cracked? What if no one joined and I was the only one Oming!? The list of fears was too unsurmountable and so I simply did not OM.
But now, I will OM in every class with anyone who shows up and wants to join me. So what has changed? I am still not 100% sure why I feel differently than I did just last year. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s the weather. But there is something in me that wants to celebrate each class and each unique group of people that show up to practice with me. I want to mark this moment in time with a sound that only we could create on this day, with these people. Never again will that exact same sound occur! How magical is that!? I want to honour this moment, and this community. The people who are healing,who are trying to slow down their minds, who are moving their bodies and their energy. I see you, I honour you and I respect you. Whether you choose to OM or not. You do you.
So that is my reason for Oming. To mark this moment with you. But, there are many, many other good reasons to OM in yoga class. I found this list at MasterClass.com, and you might find these reasons motivating:
- To symbolize the philosophy of yoga. The om symbol ॐ in Sanskrit is commonly seen painted on the wall in yoga studios, as a decoration on yoga mats, and even worn as a pendant.
- To connect to the oneness of all things. Yogis chant om to begin or end a yoga practice, and it is common to repeat the sound together as a class one to three times. You can chant the sacred syllable alone or together as a group, always in coordination with your conscious breath.
- To increase the quality of meditation. Focusing in and up towards your third eye chakra with your eyes closed while chanting om can help deepen your state of meditation.
- To harmonize systems of the body. The sacred sound also balances and harmonizes the nervous system through energetic vibrations created by the sound.
- To form more complex mantras. You can add om to other Sanskrit words to create more complex, advanced mantras like “Om Mani Padme Hum,” which is a part of some Buddhist teachings. Mani means jewel, Padme means lotus flower, and Hum implies a state of enlightenment.
Written by Prestonne Sehn