Physiological Aspects, Explanation and Importance of Om

Yogacharya K. B. Sahastrabudhe

Om is first word uttered by God. Om is a word of power. Om is root of language and end of vision. Om together with scent of Dhoop Agarbatti (an incense with a sandalwood base) pervades the ashram and makes the atmosphere pure, pleasant and cheerful. Om is unique sound. Sitting in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) lips apart, breath in very deeply and exhale slowing down the expulsion of the breath which in its passage causes the vocal cords to vibrate in a prolonged sound O....O....O.... continued until the lungs are almost completely emptied, at the end of exhalation close the mouth and contracting the stomach muscles to expel the remnants of air.

There is more to Om, considered by oriental philosophers to be the basis of all human sound, the long drawn pronunciation of it will cause the whole of your head to vibrate (to enormous physical benefit) in a way that no other syllable is an equal.

While exhaling in a prolonged 'Au' sound you will feel vibrations from the base of your throat to the palate of your mouth and a hand on your chest will show that these vibrations reach right down to your thoracic cage, massaging nerves and endocrine glands so deeply seated that they are not efficiently reached by the practice of Asanas. Closing the mouth and pronouncing a prolonged 'MMMM' you can feel your brain vibrating gently.

It reduces depression, often alleviates feelings and other emotional distress.

Scientific experiments say that sounding of Om during exhalation automatically massages the organs by vibrations. These vibrations reach the deep lying tissues and organs involved.

The ductless glands which pour hormones directly into the blood and the lymph are stimulated (pituitary, thyroid, thymus, suprarenal and gonads), breathing improves and with it provision of the oxygen to the whole body. Electromagnetic waves are produced by the vibrations, which multiply all through the body, increasing energy and concentration.

The entire body relaxes under the influence of the vibrational vibro-massage which frees inhibitions and reduces depressions and inferiority complexes, unifying or integrating the whole psyche. After all, it is only through vibration that music produces the most complex emotions in us.

Mental Effects

The visual faculty is a prime necessity for concentrating the mind for acquiring certain power within yourself. While the air is slowly leaving your lungs and causing your vocal chords to vibrate, it fills the entire field of conscious and is a way to dispel ferment in yourself and reduce calm loss. Chant Om in your mind internally and then experience the calm and the peace which it brings. It increases the power of the lungs. The duration of the exhaling should be up to 55 or 59 seconds.

While chanting try to gaze at Om picture on the wall - Trataka - and do not allow any outside thoughts to come in your mind for one minute and have deep concentration while chanting.

The process of chanting Om is taught and practised throughout all the yoga centres under the guidance of Gurudev Swami Satyanandaji of Monghyr. Cases of stammering have been cured by Om chanting (21 times a day) at Bombay.