Bumper stickers, body art, t-shirts, yoga magazines… you’ve seen the symbol but what does it mean?
Om, pronounced AUM is the sound of Creation. Everything that Was, Everything that Is, and Everything that Shall Be. The past, the present and the future wrapped up into this 3-part sound. Om is also believed to be the sound of everything individually at its neutral. So for example, the sound of your partner snoring at night should really sound like “Om”, “Om”, “Om”, ok I guess that was a stretch…the phone ringing in the background, or the breath you take, the hum of the computer. Can you find the hint of “Om” in it? When we chant OM or AaUuMm we bring ourselves back to our neutral energy, bringing relief from sluggishness or hyperness. We also tap into something that transcends beyond this moment in time. We bond with the before, the now, and the after.
How to Om:
Om is pronounced Aaaa, Uuuu, Mmmm.
- Let the A sound start as a vibration near the navel or abdomen working it’s way upward. This abdominal vibration taps into our center of creation. Bringing energy and vitality to our reproductive organs.
- Let the U sound vibrate in the chest. The vibration here in the chest symbolizes preservation. “Prana” or life-force energy is the breath that flows into the chest and lungs. The breath sustains or preserves the body.
- Let the M sound roll up into the throat and head. Vibration in the head brings clarity is associated with dedication.
Om for Conception:
Everything that was, is, and shall be. When you chant Om think of all the women before you that became pregnant, all the way back to your great great great grandma…Aaaa Bringing you to the moment now, noticing the present moment, the sensation of the sound in the throat…Uuuu
Then moving forward and creating your future. See yourself pregnant. See your belly growing with a beautiful baby….Mmm
Om for Pregnancy:
Aaaaa – Visualize a healthy Uterus, Placenta, and Baby. Uuuu – Bring awareness to your heart and lungs that sustain your body and your growing baby
Mmm – Cherish this journey. Gladly be the vessel in which your baby grows.
Om for Labor and Delivery:
Vocalizing in low tones during labor can help relax the muscles of the pelvic floor, abdomen and shoulders. When we clench our jaw tight we draw our shoulders up and our pelvic floor lifts, things you would want toavoid in labor. Vocalizing relaxes the jaw, therefore relaxing the pelvic floor and shoulders! Use “Om” to bring a sense of relaxation to the muscles associated with labor. Just by opening the mouth and letting the sounds roll off the tongue you can help your body relax and open for delivery. Chanting Om during labor also helps bring focus to the mind, which can help with pain management during contractions!
Christa Tyson is a Prenatal, Postnatal and Hatha Yoga instructor at Rochester’s CNY Healing Arts. She is also a Birth Doula that assists women during labor and delivery. You can find Christa at CNY-Rochester:
Monday’s Prenatal Yoga 6-7pm, Yoga for Everyone Tuesday’s 4:30-5:45pm and Thursday’s 6-7:15pm Saturday’s Baby and Me Yoga 9-10am Saturday’s Prenatal 10:15 to 11:15am, or you can contact her at: Christa@YogaDoulaRochester.com.