I like to chant OM 3 times at the beginning and end of all my classes. I’m sure over the course of my teaching this might have put some people off coming to yoga – it is a bit weird to the Western ear. But I still like to do it even for people at their very first class. It makes me feel very calm and ready to teach the class. Everyone has the choice to chant or just listen.
It also helps students become ready for their class too. There are may theorised benefits about chanting or listening to OM –
- helps to elongate the breath – this has many benefits including fully oxygenating the tissues of the body and gentle massaging of the heart by the diaphragm.
- The sound vibrations help to calm the nervous system.
- The single focus helps to clear the mind of daily clutter.
How to chant a good OM
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Lift the ribcage and elongate the spine.
Breath quietly and calmly for a few breaths.
Take a lovely, long deep inhale – expand you ribcage out to the sides of the room.
On the exhalation begin chanting OM – there are 4 distinct parts –
Chant twice more. (3 oms a day help you work, rest and play!)
There was an article recently published in the FT about how OM chanting affected the brain waves and is very good for your mental health – you can read it here – but again, more theory!! I think as with most things in life you have to suck it and see for yourself.
Try it, you might like it!