Every time there is a mantra chanting practice in my yoga class, whether during pranayama (breathing) or dyana (meditation), the chant we use is "Aum", which is known as the moola mantra (root mantra) that signifies the very first sound of the universe.
It is believed that the soul, body and the universe revives around a vibrating energy, and by chanting "Aum", we create an energy which activates the inner self.
"Aum" is not just a sound. According to many spiritual scriptures, this mantra is a representation of power that you need to meditate on its meaning.
Each letter of this mantra is said to carry a different meaning. "A" represents the ultimate beginning of the universe, and Hindus associate it with Brahma - The Creator.
"U" indicates the stability of the energy channel that preserves and sustains us and the universe. In Hinduism, it symbolizes Lord Vishnu - The Preserver.
"M" meanwhile, symbolizes the closing and the beginning of the end. Hindus see this as a representation of Lord Shiva - The Destroyer, the force of culmination, completion and finalization.
Now let's see how the "Aum" mantra can better our lives:
1) Connects With Your Core
"Aum" connects your inner self to the universe. After a hectic day at work, just sit cross-legged in a quiet room and chant "Aum" to create internal and external harmony.
2) Calms You Down
The sound of "Aum" is an energy and it holds a lot of positivity. It has a calming effect on the brain and central nervous system, keeping you in the present moment and being mindful. If you have difficulties in focusing or concentrating, then try to hold your thoughts together with this "Aum" mantra.
3) Tunes the body
When you chant the "Aum" mantra, the vibrations resonate through your chest, and then through your throat and skull. This gives you an instant sensory connection with the body's energy which can help you feel more in tune with yourself and your physical being.
4) Tool of communication
"Aum" is also a tool of communication, especially when it's done in a group, or with your family or partner. It brings a lot of positive aura and is incredibly powerful. All positive energy, when it's pooled together, produce a lot of vibrations that can heal bad thoughts. If you are being bogged down by any issues, try chanting this mantra with people you trust and you will see a lot of difference.
5) Good start to the day
If you do yoga asana in the morning, you are doing right by your body. But how about training your mind to face the rest of the day? Chanting "aum" in the morning provides a dynamic start to the day.
Beginners could possibly start by chanting "Aum" 108 timesa day, and gradually increase as per their convenience. Remember that this mantra is not necessarily associated to any religion. Instead, it is a universal sound that can be uttered by anyone.
Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.