My Theme: Yoga. For those of you who don't know, I've been working on obtaining my yoga teacher's certification for the past year and am just a little over a month from graduating with my RYT200. As such, I figure there's no better way to spend this month than teaching you folks some of what I've learned.
Om is a Sanskrit word which represents life, the universe and everything which is chanted a a mantra in meditation practice. It is comprised of three different sounds: A, U and M. These represent three different states of being: consciousness, dreaming and deep sleep. Chanting it is meant to allow one to transcend one's limited physical being and ascend to a higher level of awareness, thereby connecting to the universal oneness that links all of us.
Om is said to be the most sacred of the mantras and is certainly the most commonly used. It is often said at the beginning and end of most meditative chants, much like the word amen at the beginning and end of a church service. While derived from Hinduism it has come to be associated with most yoga classes as a way to focus, show respect and harness power.