Udgeeth Prananaya or Chanting of Om or Omkara, soothes the mind and induces a meditative state. Udgeeth involves chanting the sacred syllable Om. Omkara Japa is another name for Udgeeth pranyama. It calms the mind. Yoga practitioners can use it as a prelude to meditation. It is one of the simplest of the Pranayams.
How to Chant Om?
The sacred syllable Om or Aum consists of three parts – A, U and M. Traditionally, there is a way to chant Om. The first syllable “A” is pronounced as aaa…, the second syllable “U” is pronounced as ooo… and the last syllable “M” is pronounced as a humming mmm… sound. Then, concentrate on the silence that follows. The first sound “A” indicates the waking state or Jagrat Avastha, the second sound “U” indicates the dream state or Swapna Avastha and the sound “M” indicates the deep sleep state or Sushupti Avastha. The silence that follows indicates the state of transcendence or Turiya Avastha. Even though we divide Om into the three parts, the actual chanting is continuous and prolonged, done in a single breath.
How to do Udgeeth Pranayama?
- Sit in a comfortable meditative pose. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Swastikasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana can be used. Sit on a chair, if you find it difficult to sit on the floor in the traditional asanas.
- Place your palms on the thighs in Chin Mudra or Jnana Mudra.
- Breathe normally and observe the breath.
- Now, take a deep breath, filling your chest completely.
- Exhale slowly and chant loudly the sacred syllable Om. Do the chanting of Om slowly with prolonged exhalation. Maintain awareness of the breath.
- Traditionally, Om consists of three parts – A or A-kara (chanted as – aaa…), U or U-kara (as in ooo…) and M or M-kara (as in mmm….) followed by silence. Become aware of the three sounds – A, U and M as you chant the syllable Om. The sound of Om that you are chanting should be audible to yourself.
- Concentrate on your breath during the entire practice.
- At the end of Om, relax and maintain your attention on the silence that follows.
- This is one round of Udgeeth Pranayama.
- Do 5 – 10 rounds, as per your convenience.
Benefits of Udgeeth Pranayama
- Udgeeth pranayama soothes the nervous system.
- Also, it can help those suffering from high blood pressure.
- Udgeeth reduces tension and anxiety and calms the mind.
- This is a good practice to do before meditation. It prepares the mind for meditation by calming down the mental agitations.
- It is good for the nervous system and improves memory.
- Udgeeth Pranayama helps to cure insomnia.