Teaching Ashtanga,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras for Modern Day Life: Why Chant OM?

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1:27-29-The sound of Isvara is OM. Repetition leads to its essence. From this practice comes knowledge of the inner self and the absence of obstacles.


Defining the Sutra:

OM is another name for Isvara and also a sound associated with Isvara. Chanting it helps you connect to supreme consciousness and the silent voice within.


Why It is Important:

There are numerous diagrams that break down the Om symbol and its sound.  OM is also explained further in other texts like the Upanishads.  For this post, we will keep it simple.  In the previous sutras, Patanjali says, if we can connect to Isvara we can be free with suffering. For more on this, see the previous Yoga Sutras For Modern Day Life posts.  OM is one of the easiest ways to connect to Supreme Consciousness.



Modern Day Application: Why OM Rocks

  • Anyone who has listened to a strong clear OM or chanted it with an open heart, cannot deny its power. If you are open to it, the sound of OM alone can bring you enlightenment and samadhi.
  • Practicing poses, getting on your mat or going to class can be difficult. The Sutras can seem complicated. OM is simple. You can chant it in your head or out loud. You can chant it anywhere and anytime. You don’t need to find an authorized/certified teacher to teach it to you. You don’t need 200 hours from the Yoga Alliance, Lululemon pants or a Manduka mat. You don’t need the perfect proportion of arms to torso. You can simply chant OM.
  • Even if the idea of OM being a connection to supreme consciousnesses sounds far fetched, OM as a point of meditation is highly effective. Try to OM and think about your day at the same time. Try to OM and think about your past at the same time. Try to OM and think about your bills at the same time. Go ahead. Try it. You can’t do it. OM is a great tool for silencing the mind.


Giving away one copy of the Ashtanga Yoga Anusthana by Sharath Jois. Enter by September 12 2015. Also a coupon code for 15% off Go here for details.

Shanna Small has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga and studying the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in Mysore with Sharath Jois and is the Director of AYS Charlotte, a school for traditional Ashtanga in Charlotte NC. She has written for Yoga International and the Ashtanga Dispatch. Go here for more information on AYS Charlotte. For information on workshops, please e-mail shanna@shannasmallyoga.com.