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Why We Om In Yoga

Om and The Force

I was watching Star Wars movies with my daughter this weekend. Talk of “the force” in Star Wars has always reminded me of Om (or Aum) in yogic philosophy.

We chant Om (also known as the Pranava Mantra) at the beginning and/or end of a yoga session to align ourselves vibrationally with the divine energy of the universe and to recognize that that divine energy, as Maz Kanata says in The Force Awakens, “moves through and surrounds every living thing”. Including us. This vibrational representation of divine energy is evoked because it is believed that no word, thought or image can accurately represent the mysterious spark that ignites and sustains life.

Om (Aum) is comprised of 3 distinct sounds: A ("ahh") - the sound of creation, U ("oo") - the sound of sustaining, and M ("mmm...") - the sound of dissolution; a whole life-cycle is contained within.

The word ‘yoga’ means ‘yoke’ or ‘unite’ and it is with this divine energy that we seek unite. Actually, it’s more about remembering that we already are – and have always been – united. In yoga practice we use breath and breathing practices (pranayama) to move energy (prana) throughout our physical body so that we can better remember this essential truth.

May "the force" be with you.

Karin Weinstein teaches classes and private yoga lessons in Monmouth County New Jersey.

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