Good Morning Yogis! We are on the last day of this round of weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the fifth of the Niyamas Ishvara Pranidhana/surrender by working on practicing acceptance rather than upset reactions to a difficult situation. Today we will focus on the literal translation from Sanskrit, surrender to all-pervading consciousness, and introduce this all-pervading consciousness by its vibration/sound/representation OM.
We are kind of getting into chanting and mantras now, which is an area that can have a religious feel to new Yogis. Try to keep your Svadhyaya from yesterday, and approach with the open mind of a scholar. But, if these practices do not resonate with you or your journey, that’s fine! Skip today, and come back tomorrow 🙂
I will just comment briefly on my experience and the linguistics of OM, since that is what drew my interest prior to my Yoga teacher training. Many of you who have attended Yoga classes at studios will have likely done some OM-ing at the start or end of class. I was honestly a bit put off by the OMs in my first Yoga class! But, after a few classes I tried just going with it, and I started really enjoying the energy in the room during the OMs.
OM is pronounced as a very long A-U-M or OOOM, not like “on” with an m. OM is familiar in the East, but often the only exposure for those in the West is at Yoga class. I was intrigued during my Yoga training to learn that the A and U/O sounds in Sanskrit are beginning and ending vowels. Japanese also has A and U/O sounds as beginning and ending vowels, and the final letter is the M/N sound as in OM. The A and U sounds are also the beginning and ending vowels in English. I cannot help but compare to Alpha and Omega from Classical Greek (first and last letters) and other traditions, and wonder about the connections of OM trickling into various languages and religions!
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try some OMs. You can do this on your own if you are practiced, or check out this video to learn how to properly OM on your own, or perhaps try this video as background for meditation.
Here is a great article on the basic pronunciation of OM and its meaning. If you want more info, please check out this article on OM and Yoga, or check out the Wikipedia article for a deep dive into OM in Yoga as well as religions across the world.
Please comment and share your experience if you got your OM on with us today! Have you tried this before, or is this new to you? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!