What is OM?

Yoga classes often start and finish with chanting together the sound OM. Why? What does it mean?

In Sanskrit, the meaning of OM is Avati or Rakshati. Om is also sometimes in English spelled AUM. In English, Avati or Rakshati means, “One who protects and sustains.” That one who protects and sustains is really each of us.

Ultimately yoga teaches that we can protect and sustain ourselves – whatever we are dealing with in our bodies.

Om is not a word, but a sound made up of three parts: “Aa,” “Uu” and “Mm.” Each of three parts represents three aspects of living. The “Aa” is the physical world – all that it is possible to see and experience. “Uu” is the thought world –all that is in your consciousness, your dreams and imagination. “Mm” is the sleep