Om Is The Word
The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated. Yet there is a multitude of philosophical ideas developed by looking into the deeper dimensions of the body, mind and spirit. Let’s demystify one area of Yoga that many people practice, but may not even know why. This is covered in Hot 8 Yoga’s Foundation 1 & 2 classes. The meaning, significance and philosophy of “Om.”
Even the design for Om's symbol is sacred, with each curve, dot, and stroke symbolizing a key component of the mind. The bottom-most curve on the left reflects the waking mind, the curves above that illustrate the mind in deep sleep, the curve to the far right reflects the dreaming mind, and the dot represents the fourth, unknown state of consciousness, which is believed to be so far from the human experience that it must be separated by the semicircle you see beneath the dot. Altogether, Om is the sum of all four states of consciousness.
Now that you're a little more familiar with Om's spiritual significance, let's go back to that yoga class. Since yoga is a major part of Indian philosophy and often involves meditation, chanting "Om" at the opening and closing of a practice is totally appropriate. It serves as a reminder that yoga is, at its core, an exercise in spiritual development. Plus, chanting Om has even been found to promote a quieter mental state — which is exactly what we're looking for when we hit the mat.