Om Symbol Meaning

You've probably heard Om chanted either at the beginning or at the end of a yoga class. Don't be shy - it's a super fun thing to do to connect with others using your voice! Here's the low-down on what it actually means.

Om is a Sanskrit word that was originally used for chanting and meditating. It's difficult to translate Om directly to english, but Om is everything. It is meant to define all that is seen and unseen relevant to creation.

There are four parts to chanting Om...

The A - "ah" - Represents the waking state. This sound comes from the back of the throat, and is often the first sound uttered by human beings when they're born. Thus, it also represents creation. 

The U - "oh" - Represents the dreaming state. One must transition from "ah" to "oh," hold steady for a period of time, and than transition from "oh" to "mm." Therefore, it also signifies the energy of the universe, which includes both change and stagnation.

The M - "mm" - Represents the state of deep sleep.  When one utters this sound, they must fully close their lips, signifying the end. 

The silence at the end - Represents infinite consciousness of Self.

So, in short, Om is the experience of everything: beginning, middle, end and the consciousness of it.

And now you know! Go ahead and try chanting Om a few times to either open or close your yoga/meditation practice. See if you can connect with the meaning of it as you're chanting. As always, feel free to post your experience in the comments below!