Gearing up for the second wave of holiday adventure means we're either spending time decorating and preparing our own homes, or we're traveling to another. But there's also another home that we can come to when we're feeling stressed, frenzied and busy - our yoga mats. We've all had that 'ahhhh' moment after kicking off our shoes, unrolling our mats, and settling into our practice with a resounding "Om". Our mats are our sanctuaries; our place for coming back to ourselves. While holiday festivities can take us in many different directions, we encourage you to come "om" for the holidays.
Ahh-ooh-mmm. We’ve all heard it, the resonant sound chanted at the beginning and end of yoga class. Some teachers describe it as “the sound of the Universe” or “the sound of peace”, and it is, but it also symbolizes much more than that. The origins of Om are found in the Mandukya Upanishad, a collection of sacred Hindu texts, saying, “Om is the imperishable word. Om is the universe, and this is the exposition of om. The past, the present, and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be is om. Likewise, all else that may exist beyond the bounds of time, that too is om.” In a nutshell, Om is everything. It is the entire Universe wrapped up in three syllables. This chant gathers our focus and ability to drop in – to body, mind, and spirit.
The sound of Om also brings us all together, just as the holidays tend to do. Chanting this ancient sound seems to bring about feelings of peacefulness and alignment with one another. For us, the holidays are about the love shared between family and friends. They’re about connection, comfort and feeling grounded – all of the ways we might feel after chanting Om. Mindy Arbuckle of Yogi Times states, “this mantra allows the energy of the group to begin the process of harmony by breathing together and sharing in this mantra. It tunes each person into themselves and reminds the body and mind to set aside worldly concerns and to turn your attention inward to the everlasting joy yoga can bring.” Amen, to that!
This holiday season, we invite you to come “om” for the holidays – back to that place inside where your truest self dwells. Whether you’re traveling far and wide, or cozied up in your home with your family by your side – try repeating the mantra sound of “Om” and allow the silence that follows to be your time to connect to the feeling of oneness. Come practice with us if you’re in town, grow and nurture that connection with the “om”ies in our kula! Namaste!