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What is Om?

At the beginning and end of every class we chant "Om", but what is it?  Cursory research will say that it has variously been related to concepts of "cosmic sound" or "mystical syllable" or "affirmation to something divine", or as symbolism for abstract spiritual concepts.  It's also associated with the frequency with which everything around us pulses, providing us a way to connect with the world.  Om Charlotte believes this is an integral part to every practice, taking a moment to clear the mind, preparing a space for your practice as well as resetting when you are finished.  It is also a terrific way to establish a connection with your classmates, and you will definitely notice the synchronization built over the course of the practice.

 

How to Chant Om

While it may seem a bit intimidating to chant, especially in a group setting, like most things that scare us the fear is easier to overcome than to maintain.  Focus more on creating a vibration than a sound, and with a little practice it becomes second nature.  Studies have shown that it can help to relax the body and slow down the nervous system, so it is worth a try.  When pronounced correctly, it sounds more like "AUM" and consists of four syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable.

Start with a deep breath

Take a nice long inhale, slowly creating space in the chest in all directions.

A - Pronounced as "AWE"

The A should be delivered with a wide mouth and a relaxed tongue for about a second.  It is related to our waking state and unites our conscious to the lower part of the body.

U - Pronounced as "OO"

The second syllable should create a smooth bridge between the open mouth associated with the A and the closed mouth of the M.
It is associated with the dreaming state and connects our subtle consciousness to the middle part of the body.

M - Pronounced as "MMMMM"

The third syllable is held for five seconds with the teeth lightly touching, creating a slight vibration at the top of the mouth.
It is associated with the deep sleep state and routing our casual consciousness to the upper part of the body.

Silence

As the third syllable is completed, the silent syllable is a short moment to softly reset before the next round of chanting.