OM Chanting to Calm the Mind
In Yoga, OM (pronounced AUM) chanting is typically used at the beginning and end of classes. OM is a mantra, which is word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
OM chanting has roots in several different cultures, including Hinduism. It is said to be the original sound of the Universe. The 3 letters (AUM) embody the divine energy of Shakti (Hindu goddess) and its three main characteristics of creation, preservation, and liberation.
OM Chanting and Mental Health
OM chanting has been shown to enhance calm and positive mind states. It does so by:
Activating your parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for your rest and digest response).
Increasing the production of Nitrous Oxide, a molecule that is crucial for several cellular processes. Including regulation of blood flow, neurotransmitters and immunity.
Activating your Vagus Nerve, which is the nerve connecting your brain and several parts of your body, especially the gut. It is believed that poor vagal tone is related to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Activating your Pre-frontal Cortex, this portion of your brain is responsible for creativity, personality and decision making skills.
Modulating other factors such as your amygdala, dopamine neurons and hormones.
Right Way to Chant OM
In this video, Dr. Hansaji Yogendra teaches us how to correctly chant "OM" and how to harness the power of this mantra!
Yoga Knowledge Disclaimer
I am currently studying yoga through the Bhodi Yoga Center. Bodhi Yoga™ is a therapeutic style of yoga that benefits beginners and challenges advanced students of any age or ability. It utilizes the power of the "slow approach," where the journey is as important as the destination.
Consult your physician before starting any new intense workout regimen.
Yoga is a ancient tradition linked to Indian cultures. I am not of Indian cultural descent and try to practice yoga from a place of learning and deep respect for cultures that made this practice available for all of us. Any yogic knowledge you see on this page was not created or invented by me, rather established and practiced for thousands of years. For more information on the history of Yoga, click here and visit the Indian Yoga Association webpage.
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