If there’s anything I remember about the first time I ever joined in an OM chant in a yoga class, it’s that I honestly had no idea what it meant. And for the hundreds of times following that first time, I still didn’t realize the significance of it.
What I did know, though, was that I loved the way it sounded. I loved how no matter the combination of human voices or the time of day or the location of the studio, my fellow yogis and I always created a beautiful harmony, and I loved how no two harmonies were ever the same. I loved how the initial fear of sharing my own voice dissolved into this feeling of liberation as I heard the sound of my vibration flow into those of others around me. I loved how we became one, just like that.
Now, as I’m studying the philosophy of yoga on a daily basis, I’m coming to find that my intuitive connection with OM shared the meaning with me all along. Most (and more spiritual) explanations of OM connect it with the idea of God, but that “God” can be interpreted in more ways than I ever thought possible. Yoga allows you the mental flexibility to define what God means for you, and can even let your lack of a definition take the place of one. Either way, the depiction of a deity figure isn’t the point for me.
It’s about this energy, this life force, this fire inside of you that propels you to be the truest version of you. Only when your mind is truly quiet and at peace can you fully channel into this center and experience all that it can offer you. And through the chanting of OM, you grow, step by step, closer to it.
Today in our meditation practice that followed our philosophical discussion of OM, I realized that this central energy is exactly what I’ve felt like I couldn’t tap into for months and months on end. It’s what I crave and what feels just out of reach. It’s been the focus of my daily intention this entire time. It’s my personal meaning. And every time I settle into the quiet headspace that is meditation, or allow a sea of OM from my classmates to become the fixed point of my mind in an asana practice, I feel like I get just a little bit closer to finding what I’m looking for.
And that’s more than enough to keep me coming back to the mat day after day for more.