Monday, April 1, 2013
There is something beyond the comprehension of my quotidian mind that three seemingly simple syllables followed by a rest that conveys and elicits a profound sense of deep peace, serenity and connection. How is that possible? Aum. Or Om. Oh, Om.
When I first started yoga, ages and ages ago I was a teenager, an unlikely candidate to take a yoga class offered at my high school. The very fact that it was offered surprises me now, but more than that, I see that I was the exact kind of teenager to best benefit from the alchemy of yoga.
At the time "om-ing" was so uncool. I reluctantly opened my mouth in the shape of the sound, but kept quiet, like a lip-syncer.
I floated in and out of yoga classes in the years that followed and gained a kind of purchase brought to me by having been introduced to the practice at such a young age. It made me think, "I totally Om. I Om with the best of 'em. Like a pro." I ignored my adolescent Milli-Vanilli-esque showstopping performance.
When I did finally give it a try, my voice felt small and singular. Was I doing it right? Was it Ooooooommmmm or Aaaahhhhhmmmmm or what? Why was the lady next to me so baritone?
Fast forward even further and now, on the other side (or another side) I find myself Om-ing with gusto. With fervor. With devotion. It actually isn't hard to get it wrong. It feels good. It's fun! And I see the hesitancy in new students...I can read on their faces, "You seriously want me to make that noise? Out of my body? In front of all these other people?" It can be daunting. It can feel silly. But when you get in the pocket of the primordial sound, when voices (a part of our very essence) are in harmony there is a powerful, dam breaking, overflowing, shining knowing and connection. It's pretty darn cool. But I won't try and push it on the teenage students. I'll let them figure it out on their own. Just like I did.