The meaning of Om yoga
Om yoga also called pranava yoga is one of the oldest forms of meditation mentioned in the Upanishads and other Hindu holy books. Patanjali, the first formal teacher of yoga, also mentions Om yoga in his book Yoga Sutras. A few postures and chants of Om yoga form the first steps of practice in all styles of yoga.
‘OM’ is regarded in ancient Hindu texts as the single word that encompasses mankind’s creator: Brahma. The entire concept of Om yoga is best explained in the Upanishad as follows in Prashna Upanishad 5:1, 5, 7: “If he meditates on the Supreme Being with the syllable Aum, he becomes one with the Light, he is led to the world of Brahman [the Absolute Being].“
Patanjali prescribed it as the greatest step to overcome hurdles such as distractions and no-appetite for life. Om yoga is essentially the oral chanting of the word ‘AUM.’ It is explained as the option that will allow you to lead the pathway to enlightenment.
This is best explained by the modern teacher of Yoga. The reverend BKS Iyengar who brought a modern interpretation to Patanjali’s yogic teaching says that: “A symbolizes the conscious or waking state, the letter U the dream state and the letter M the dreamless sleep state of the mind and spirit. The entire symbol means the “realization of man’s divinity within himself.”
The word Om or Aum is repeatedly chanted, while one moves through the set of postures. The constant repetition creates a reverberation, which seeps through the human body. The energy created is a transcendental feeling that leads one away to freedom from suffering.
Almost every great guru and yogi in ancient India expounds the benefits of pranava yoga to steady the mind and bring regularity, calmness and stability. Pranava yoga or Om Yoga is also extolled by other great yogis. According to Parmahamsa Yogananda, Om yoga is ‘the great vibration of the Cosmic Motor.’
The aim of Om yoga is to ensure that the rhythmic breathing: inhalation and exhalation of breath will automatically lead to the remembrance of the ultimate truth of fearless, of the almighty: pranava. The constant reverberation of the holy word, “AUM” penetrates the body, bringing constant thought of the greatness surrounding us.