Chanting the AUM or OM?

The sound AUM has changed in India in recent years, becoming often an OM sound, rather than a AUM, but originally it was chanted in 3 basic syllables that melt into 1 sound.

Meaning of AUM.

AUM is known as the basic sound that created the universe.

It is also the basic sound In our physical experience. A sound that does not require the use of the lips or tongue.

It means infinite and represents the whole entire universe and all that it contains.

In the first syllabus, A represents the beginning of the universe, O represents the present energy of the universe, and M represents the transformation or future.

It contains the 3 stages:

Past, present and future.

Birth, life and death.

The creation, the preservation and the liberation.

Benefits of chanting the AUM.

Various studies are indicating that chanting is stimulating the vagus nerve, responsible to create a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Therefore, it will be helpful in cases of psychological disorders such as anxiety, fear, unstable mind, restlessness, and attention disorders in children, but also bad dreams, low immune system, sinus congestion, digestive problems, you name it…

Daily chanting AUM for a few minutes is known to calm and lower stress levels, as it triggers happy hormones in our body, reduces depression and tension, helps your concentration, and helps to strengthen your immune system.

The frequency when chanting the AUM is 432 Hz, which is also the vibrational frequency of everything in nature

Chanting the AUM connects you with universal energy and improves your own bio-energy.

It benefits all levels: your physical, mental, emotional, and energetic bodies.

The use of chanting AUM / OM in Yoga.

When we chant the AUM we should exhale really long and slowly. This long exhale is calming the mind and the body. And the sound creates a vibration, which creates energy. So chanting the AUM is energising the body and calming the mind.

Therefore, when chanting the AUM, avoid doing it mechanically, but instead be fully present with your breath, the sound and the vibration created by the sound in the body.

Chanting at the beginning of the Yoga class

When chanted at the beginning of the Yoga class, the AUM or OM is automatically drawing your attention to your breath, and therefore to the present moment. It creates a shift where the busy mind can now focus on the here and the now and become calmer.

It is the entrance gate to a sacralised space, a time to tune in, a moment you are offering to your body and soul for a peaceful and joyful practice.

By drawing your awareness to the sound, and breath, it is a Pranayama, a breathing technique, and the perfect preparation for the physical practice of the Asanas, or physical postures.

Chanting the AUM / OM at the end of the Yoga class

After the practice of the Asanas, Savasana (or corpse pose) is practised to induce a deep relaxed state.

In Savasana, the body is completely soft but the mind shall remain present, not lost in a thought stream, nor falling asleep.

A state of full consciousness with a still and soft body.

As we slowly come out of the relaxation, the mind might feel a little foggy. Hence it is a good moment to seal the practice to chant the AUM/ OM and to use it as an exit door. As it clears the energy of deep relaxation to reconnect with a more active state of mind, while still feeling refreshed from the Yoga practice.

It is a way to ground yourself and acknowledge the physical world around you, the Yoga Shala, and the other practitioners before you step back into the outside world.

Position of the body.

When chanting the AUM, you need to find a comfortable sitting position, on the floor or even on a chair, so that your spine can be long and keep its natural curves; so not with a hunched back, or leaning against a wall or a chair. Only when your spine is erected then the vibration of the sound can energise all 7 chakras in the body.

How to chant the AUM.

The sound AUM is divided into 3 parts. You can use more or less an equal length of time for each sound.

The sound AAAA is coming from the abdominal area, created in the belly, so when starting with the mouth open for the A, feel the vibration in the lower region of the torso, so your lower chakras get activated.

Muladhara and Svastikana chakra.

The UUUU sound comes from the middle region of the torso, and energises the middle chakras,

Manipura and Anahata chakras.

The MMMM sound is coming from the upper region of the body and energises the upper chakras.

Vishuda, Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras.

You can visualise the sound moving top from the root chakra to the crown chakra, through all 7 chakras.

Observing how the sound is creating vibrations that energise our whole body and mind.

Don’t try to separate the 3 sounds, but rather let them melt into each other, starting with an open mouth for the AAAA, gradually closing it for the UUUU until the MMM naturally appears, as the lips are joining..


Please do not be scared of the sound of your own voice.

You do not need to have a beautiful voice to make the sound AUM.

Make it sound loud, with no restrictions.

Let it flow out of your body. So you can merge into it and experience contentment.

To conclude.

If you have ever joined a Yoga class and chanted the AUM / Om together with other practitioners, there is a big chance that you have felt a moment of unity, of charing, of presence, as there is no way out other than immersing yourself into the one sound created by the group.

The joined vibrations generate an experience of connection, peace and joy.


If you wish to further read further about studies during AUM/ OM chanting:

 Science direct article 1

science direct article 2