The Om symbol is a popular icon for yoga practitioners, appearing on T-shirts, yoga mats, jewelry, tattoos and artwork. In Yogic tradition, many yoga teachers begin and end their classes by chanting Om in order to create harmony and unity between the students and teacher. Many believe that chanting Om in class or in private meditation aligns their own vibration with the sacred vibration of the universe, which provides a peaceful, calming effect and puts the practitioner in an excellent frame of mind for yoga posing.
The Om symbol is also used in meditation as a symbolic representation of the four states of consciousness. The long lower curve represents the first state of consciousness, known as Vaishvanara, which is the waking state focused on the material world. The curve that emanates from the center represents the second state of consciousness, or Taijasa, which is the dreaming state focused inward on the mind. The upper curve represents the third state of consciousness, or Prajna, which is the dreamless state revealed by deep meditation. The crescent stands for the veil of material illusion that seekers must pass before achieving the fourth and final state, represented by the dot in the upper right. This is Turiya, the transcendental self, and the ultimate goal of Hindu meditation.
What a great way to start fall! September kicks off National Yoga Month! A great place to find out more is at Yoga Health Foundation! Sign up to get a free week at a studio near you! click the Image below to find out more!
To read more about National Yoga Month check out this link on WikiPedia
Another great place to get your Yoga on is with my dear pal Carrie Hensley and her 30 Day Yoga Un-Challenge! Sign up anytime and watch her videos to get your yoga on! I love Carrie’s Style because it is adaptive to all! If you think you can’t do Yoga, you’re wrong. With Carrie, I think ANYONE could do Yoga! CLICK HERE to JOIN
Her 30 Day Facebook Yoga Un-challenge Group is here as well! Come Join The fun!
Here are a few om-tastic deals to check out as well from Prevention:
Freebie classes at Athleta. Swing by any Athleta store every Saturday in September for a free stretch session led by a local instructor. Bonus: While there, you can enter for a chance to win a private yoga session and shopping party, with one winner selected per store…as well as shop for a new cute yoga top! Find your local store and schedule of free yoga classes at athleta.com/stores.
Free online classes. Love to practice at home? Check out ekhartyoga.com. The site will be offering three free classes a week throughout the month of September. The classes will range from 20 to 90 minutes in length, and each week will have a specific theme. Week 1 will focus on standing poses, and will be geared toward developing strength and stability. Week 2 is all about twists, with a goal of creating circulation in the organs for a healthier body. Week 3 will be all about the hamstrings and hips—a great week for runners—filled with poses that will loosen the lower back and quiet the mind. The fourth and final week will be focused on heart-opening postures, which will help clear your mind and body of negative emotions. Also, check out our easy-to-follow fat-blasting yoga workout for more moves.
A chance to connect with other yogis around the globe. On September 30th, National Yoga Month will conclude with Time for Yoga, a global community practice. Yogis from around the world will practice the 90-minute sequence (60 minutes of yoga, 15 minutes of relaxation, and 15 minutes of meditation), at 7PM in their local time zone. Search for a Time for Yoga event (or any other Yoga Month event) in your area here.
Get Your Yoga On!
In the Hindu religion Om is considered a sacred sound. Many Hindus consider Om to be the first sound of creation. Hindus also believe that everything in the universe, even inorganic objects, originated in Om and are therefore alive, with a vibration based on the sound Om. According to yogic tradition, once you are able to achieve true silence within yourself, you can hear, experience and even participate in these universal vibrations. This is why Om is also considered to be the sound of silence, the silence within yourself that allows you to tune out your thoughts and listen to the world within and around you. In India, Hindus use the Om symbol throughout their daily life. They may chant it at the beginning of the day, at the beginning of a journey or before undertaking a difficult task. The symbol is an integral part of the design of all temples and family shrines.
The Mandukya Upanishad, a sacred Hindu text written in 800-500 BC, presents the concept behind both the sound and the symbol. The first paragraph of the Mandukya states, “The syllable OM, which is the imperishable Brahman, is the universe. Whatsoever has existed, whatsoever exists, and whatsoever shall exist hereafter, is OM. And whatsoever transcends past, present, and future, that also is OM.” Om is thus a broad universal concept with many mystical meanings, rather than a specific definition in the traditional sense.
Alright universe…what are you trying to tell me here?
I have had two mala bracelets now within three months of each other.
One was a tiger eye and one was sandalwood.
Both of them broke.
The tiger eye I had for a year. Ironically it was one my spouse bought for me on our honeymoon. It broke two weeks before our one year anniversary. I thought, “How symbolic is THAT?” I am no longer a “newlywed” so I could see that mala breaking. It no longer has that same meaning.
But then I felt I needed another mala but wasn’t sure what.
Everyone was wearing mala necklaces at Denver Yoga Fest but I bought a kit to make with my mom when I go see her in September, but I still wanted one now.
When I went to go see my friends Donna & Susan in Arvada, Co I came upon this place called Rolling Sands that had some very amazing and unique mala necklaces and bracelets. I found this one sandalwood one that kept calling my name. I swear. I felt like it was saying my name “Trixie. Trixie” I even told the girl I felt like it was calling me. She told me this cute story about this singing bowl she wanted and never bought though she knew and felt she should have. She even walked the girl who bought it out of the store and told her that if she wasn’t happy with it , they offer a refund! lol. We got to talking and found we were both from Iowa and had a connection. I left her my card and told her that I have found when you have a connection to an item, that I felt you just have to buy it or you end up having that “longing” feeling.
Mind you. this was last week.
I have been chanting “Om Shanti shanti shanti” with my mala which means…
Om is believed to be a sound of the whole cosmic manifestation. And Shanti is the “Peace”. It means ‘Om Shanti‘ means peace for the all human kind, peace for all living and non living beings, peace for the universe, peace for each and every things in this whole cosmic manifestation.
I was thinking of peace for my upcoming trip, peace for my family, peace for thsoe who I have had negative feelings for lately, peace for those around me, peace in my heart.
Today, right as we were getting ready to leave for our vacation, my mala broke.
So what is the universe trying to tell me I wondered. So I had to look this up and share it with you before I left for my VACAY…
**In Buddhism, they believe that when you mala breaks you have learned something, you’ve made progress and now its time to move on to the next step**
**The history and tradition of mala beads believes that if your mala breaks it represents karma breaking or a breakthrough. (This is not a bad thing, but rather a positive sign of progression.**
A very famous and enlightened yogi was wearing one of our malas for several months when it suddenly broke –
“I think this is a good thing she said.” After we explained the energetic links of a mala to karma she related it back to an experience that she had just had where she felt like a massive block for herself had just disappeared – shortly after – the mala representing this block became caught on something and broke.** (Breath of Sunshine)
There are tons of articles all over the internet and in books to explain this phenomenon…so oddly enough, I was chanting for peace, my mala broke and now I have peace understanding my my mala keeps breaking.
So, what is the lesson here?
I need to restring my mala and I need a different chant, a different mantra to focus on.
For now, at this moment, I am leaving on my journey to spend time with my HUNEPANTS, my sweetheart of one full year of marriage.
I guess he is my mantra for this week. 🙂
Though this is a NEW term, In the past TWO weeks, I have already heard this term almost DAILY. This is nearly becoming my new mantra…
This weekend I was helping out at the Denver Yoga Festival. On Thursday I wanted to take a class but when I heard that over 13 of the volunteers who were assigned to show up just bailed on the volunteer coordinator, I decided to opt out of the class and offer up my services to her instead. Incredibly grateful she utilized my services and kept thanking me and hugging me. I was just being me.
A few other volunteers who DID show up were talking to me and one of them said “you may not be doing the other yoga classes you wanted to do but you are doing Karma Yoga instead and that has more weight!”
I actually hadn’t ever heard this phrase.
They explained it as “Yoga in service to others that come back around as good”
Sunday when I had time and things settled down…
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Om or Aum is a mantra that is often chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. Om is both a sound and a symbol rich in religious meaning and depth. It is said to be both the sound of the creation of the universe, and the sound of silence. It represents both the highest level of divinity and the path to enlightenment. Om is often used as a yogic chant to calm the mind, create a peaceful setting or achieve a higher level of consciousness.