Mantra meditation is a broad practice that can help practitioners with many different intentions. Whether you’re hoping to feel grounded, motivate yourself toward your goals, or relax at the end of the day, incorporating mantra meditation into your routine offers many benefits.
Because there are many mantras to choose from, selecting just one for your practice may be difficult. If you’re seeking an all-encompassing mantra for any location or occasion, bring your practice back to basics and use this ancient and versatile mantra: aum.
Introduction to Aum
If you know a single mantra meditation, odds are you know “aum.” This age-old mantra dates back to the early days of Hinduism when practitioners would use it to connect with their higher being. Though some people still use this mantra for religious purposes today, many yogis take aum to have a broader meaning.
Aum is not a simple word with a dictionary definition; it is a complex idea with many layers. One common translation is “the sound of the universe.” Practitioners who take this approach chant om to feel connected with the world around them and understand the connection between all living things. This practice enables them to see and embrace the world’s universal energy through mantra meditation. Another translation of aum popular in Hinduism is “what has been, what is, and what shall be,” which speaks to the all-encompassing energy this mantra carries.
Additionally, each syllable within an aum mantra meditation has meaning. Dissecting these syllables can help build your understanding:
- The “A” sound represents the universe and all things within it.
- The “U” sound speaks to energy and life force that sustains you as you walk through the world. It helps you find steady rhythm and balance in life
- The “M” sound serves as a closing. It represents a peace and finality in life.
Others may break down each syllable in the following way:
- “A” represents a waking state
- “U” embodies the dream state
- “M” represents a state of deep sleep
Grasping a single, all-encompassing definition of aum may be difficult because it has so many layers of meaning. Rather than getting bogged down in how others interpret this mantra meditation, you may best spend your energy thinking about what it means for you. The depths and versatility of this mantra is what makes it the perfect mantra meditation for any time, any location, and all occasions.
Inspiration For Your Aum Mantra Meditation
Now that you have a basic understanding of what this mantra meditation means, it’s time to put it into practice. Because it’s a multifunctional meditation that serves many purposes, there’s not a single correct way to practice it.
Regardless of your intention, start your mantra meditation in a comfortable, quiet place. Take a few deep breaths before you start chanting your mantra. Then inhale, and on your exhale, chant your “aum” and feel each sound within the word. You may want to bring your attention to the feeling of warm air on your skin, or calming sounds of nature or music. Advanced practitioners may start chanting at medium volume and lower their voice to a whisper throughout their practice.
When to Use the Aum Mantra Meditation
In terms of setting your intention for this mantra meditation, consider some of the following times where you may want to use this mantra:
- When you first wake up. Starting your day off with this mantra meditation may give your morning a jump start. Make this the first thing you do in the morning by taking a few calming breaths and reciting the mantra aloud. Let the vibrations flow through your body as you feel the earth’s energy at the start of your day. This practice can keep your mind clear and alert from the moment you wake up.
- When you’re feeling stressed. Aum can also help you feel centered and focused during your work or school day. Whether it’s before a big presentation or when you’re feeling overwhelmed by a long list of tasks, taking a few moments to recenter yourself and focus on your breath may be the stress reliever you need.
- When you want to feel grounded and connected. Because aum is a mantra that speaks to connection with the universe, it’s the perfect phrase to chant when you need to feel grounded. Taking some time to practice aum may help you find your peace by bringing your attention to the way you fit into the world around you.
- To embrace the present moment. What better way to practice mindfulness than to take a moment to connect with the world around you? Whether you’re enjoying the view from the top of a beautiful mountain or relishing in a lazy Sunday afternoon in your home, practicing aum to bring your energy to the moment at hand is a great way to embrace your current moment.
- To clear your mind before sleep. If you tend to toss and turn with too many things on your mind, try practicing aum before bed and let the vibrations ease your busy mind. Taking some deep breaths and letting your mind slide into sleep may be the perfect way to end your day.
At Alo Moves, we love helping people embrace the power of yoga for mind, body, and spirit. To begin your meditation practice, check out our most popular guided meditation videos.