How Om Represents The Stages Of Life…

How Om Represents The Stages Of Life


In yoga there layers of patterns that can be linked with each other. I find the life cycle to be symbolized time and time again. The pattern of physical practice that usually begins with quiet meditation, active asana, then savasana.

The sun salutation as an exemplification of the day, seasons, and life cycle.

Even the chanting of om.

SEE ALSO: Is It Wrong To Wear Om?

Creation, Preservation, Destruction, and Silence

The sound “om” that is often chanted in yoga classes is the sound of the universe.

There are four parts to this sound and each part corresponds with a point of life: The sounds are A, U, M, and silence. The “a” is the beginning, “u” is the middle, “m” is the (beginning of the) end, and silence is death and beyond — as well as the silence prior to the next beginning.

When chanting, each sound is made with a different vibration. The sounds blend from one to the other within one breath. If you’ve never tried holding each sound for an equal amount of time, I highly recommend it. The beginning, the middle, the end, and silence.

Creation, preservation, destruction, and silence.

The Hindu trinity associated with each of the three vocalized states are respectively Brahma, Vinshnu, and Shiva. Depending on your interpretation and perspective, you might consider them aspects of the human condition.

This Very Moment

While chanting om, it becomes very real to me that at some point during my chanting I am passing over this very moment. In this current, physical life I know that I have passed “a” and am not yet at the silence, but that’s really all I know. I could be in the “u” or the “m.”

If I am in one of those points, where along that spectrum do I lie? I could be smack in the middle or in the final breaths of the end and there is absolutely no way for me to know.

Each and every time I chant om it is a reminder that we only have this very moment. I think of how the om timeline could be applied in a numerical sense to the people I love who have passed on and those who are still here.

The middle of “u” somewhere around 13 years old. The silence at 106. The possible “m” beginning at 34.

Where am I? I am here. Om.


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Courtney Hans

Courtney Hans is a yoga teacher in Austin, TX. As a teacher, she strives to help her students realize and…

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