If you’ve ever been to a Yoga class, you’ve probably recited Aum either at the beginning or at the end of the class. The process of breathing together in unison, singing and chanting in harmony uplifts the collective energy of the space around us and within us. My favorite part of reciting Aum with a group is the instant when the last humming vibrations of the "M" fade away. That silence, for me is the realization that I am coming home. That silence helps me feel grounded. What’s interesting though is that “silence”, as a concept can only be understood in reference to "sound." It is the sound behind the sound. When one really "listens" to this silent sound, this unstruck vibration, one inevitably comes to stillness, to pure and open existence.
But what is Aum, and who came up with it? Aum is considered to be the ‘primordial sound’. When the Indian sages realized the Absolute through transcendental meditation, they felt the need for an adequate symbol to communicate the inexplicable Brahman or Absolute Truth. Their theological investigations led them to believe that at the beginning there was a ‘Big Bang’ which made a sound. This sound was Nada Brahman. No particular letter, or consonant or vowel of the alphabet, could aptly express this sound. Aum is considered the unit of all sounds to which all matter and energy are reduced to their primordial form. It symbolizes the manifesting vibration or the sound of the big bang.
I’m often asked by students about the importance of wearing spiritual or symbolic jewelry. Symbols are everywhere in modern society - from emojis and advertising, to religious symbols and road signs - these signs provide us with context, direction and meaning. We use them to enrich our life, wear them as a pendant or on a bracelet, tattoo them on our bodies, and place them on a shelf in our homes. Everyone gravitates towards different symbols, signs and patterns. If I see a beautiful Aum pendant, it’s really hard for me to look the other way. I just need to get it, wear it and adorn it. I have way too many (over 30!) necklaces with Aum pendants that I have collected over the years from my travels to Asia and Europe. For me, wearing Aum on me is a reminder to continue renewing my connection to my practice of yoga. It reminds me to stay in the present moment, connect to the vital force of life that is my breath, to reflect on my actions, thoughts and words, and most importantly, to remember that we are all connected to each other.
Aum takes us Home. Our essential nature, our original home, is Consciousness.
Falitaa is a Toronto-based Yoga teacher. She embarked on her yoga journey at an early age, allowing its principles to guide her personal and professional life. Her practice is rooted in Classical Hatha, but influenced by many styles and beloved gurus. Falitaa is an urban hippie, a songwriter, and a proud mama of two. She is also often found dancing, cooking, planting seeds, and project-making.