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Chanting Om

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One of my favorite parts of yoga class is chanting Om…
in lotus position, hands calmly resting on our knees
thumb and forefingers together.


Sometimes class will begin this way, and sometimes it’s how it ends
But
Some yoga teachers don’t dare tread there.
It’s too “out there”
though
Some go there whole-heartedly
with full and resonant “Ah-oh-mmm …”


But why chant Om in the first place?
The answer is simple.


It unites us.


Om is believed to be
the sound of the Universe
made up of three principle sounds


ah
oh
mm
And generally it is chanted three times,
each a full breath’s worth


And when you gather up your courage,
and close your eyes if you must
take a deep, courageous, preparatory breath
open your mouth and trust—
a sound will indeed come out
and if you can suspend judgment of how you sound
or if it sounds “right”
or how you look
or if you look “right”
You’ll notice something very interesting:


Even though each participant may not start on cue
when all are exhaling the three-part sound together
each at his or her own pacing
and breath rate


The sound does indeed become one sound
and it couldn’t sound more
right


and this three-part sound of the mantra Om
can be felt as a resonance within each one
at the heart center
and all around the body
For the Oms have joined hands
And the Oms have joined hands with all of the Oms
chanted before we were even born
since the sound itself is energy
which is neither created nor destroyed
It just exists


but together
we are bringing it forth
Intentionally


And the truth is
It keeps resonating
It keeps traveling forth
And when our Oms are exhaled
They are neither created
nor destroyed
—but brought together—
Intentionally—Recycled
and in so doing
We utter audible evidence
of our
One Voice



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