Maybe you’ve seen this symbol on a pendant hanging from someone’s neck who’s just come back from India, or tattooed on to an arm or shoulder, or on the incense stick holder in the local hippy shop you used to go to. The symbol is Om, and it’s a very important symbol to us yogis.
The symbol represents the 3 sounds of Om, A-Ooh-M. But why is it featured so much in Yoga? Well it is believed that Om was the first sound the universe made; the first vibration that was felt. Before Om, there was a state of nothingness, a state of darkness full of potential. The vibration kick-started the universe into existence, and on to it’s journey of becoming conscious.
The three sounds of Om represent different states and levels of consciousness. “A” represents the waking state, how we as individuals experience the world around us; “U” is the dreaming state, how we experience our inner world of thoughts, memories, dreams, and “M” is that state of deep sleep, deep rest, beyond thoughts and dreams. The final stage of Om is silence. We silently observe a state of peace and unity with our surroundings as the sound dissolves into the ether.
We open and seal the yoga practice with the sound of Om as a way of honouring the origins of what we are practicing, and by making a connection with each other and our surroundings, through a sound that we all share a relationship to.