I’m all for innovating yoga practice.
Incorporating new forms of movement and cultivating new ways to be well and connect to one’s Self.

I’m also a big fan of history, honoring culture, and ruminating on philosophy or in the case of yoga, Philosophies.

There is perhaps no easier or more direct way to honor and study the roots of yoga than practicing the Mantra AUM.

I’ve noticed in some settings there’s a disease with sharing voice in public space and I totally get that. It’s scary because you’re kind of exposed and any practice is shaky when you first learn it.
Remember your first DownDog?

Just like any other tool I offer in practice you’re not required to keep it and you can interface with it as much as feels comfortable to you.

I feel another reason there’s some uncertainty about it is that teachers assume a level of proficiency and understanding that may not yet be there.

This month I’m breaking it down.
We’ll listen.
And sing.
Explore the myths of AUM.
See where it’s defined in the texts, namely the Mandukya Upanishad.
See it both as a stand-alone practice and where it is space-holder or what’s called a bija mantra.

I can’t guarantee you’ll love working with AUM but it is the golden thread that connects us through time practicing in this discipline of yoga. Most of the shapes we make on the mat are not all that old, but AUM is timeless.
At the very least it’s an opportunity to watch what comes up when you give voice to your practice and can be a powerful tool to deeply connect to and nourish yourself.

WEEK 2&3

This week we explore OM as Invocation.⁣
As indicator of the sacred and special space we get to share together in the yoga room.⁣
In texts and ceremony, you'll often see or hear OM before anything else. ⁣
It's the space facilitator and reminder of our shared connection both through the practice and on in the journey of being human.⁣
⠀ ⁣
Whatever reason you come to class, at the center is the impulse to be well. ⁣
When we show up together with this shared sacred intention we participate in our own kind of ceremony. ⁣
One worth celebrating. ⁣
⠀ ⁣
We'll end practice in OM Shanti the other end of the parenthesis. OM Shanti is the big finish. You'll see it written at the end of many sacred prayers in the Vedas and Upanishads. It is the prayer of peace and freedom from obstacles.⁣

Melissa McLaughlin