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THE RESEARCH: BENEFITS OF CHANTING OM

OM IS EXPERIENTIAL

Singing out loud isn’t my forte.  Either I am off-pitch or struggling to remember the words. No doubt, both frequently apply. This makes singing awkward rather than enjoyable. 

When I was first asked to try chanting in a Yoga class, my immediate response was a resounding “Thanks but NO thanks.” The last thing I wanted to do was “sing” in public.I didn’t understand the difference between chanting and singing – and assumed it would be uncomfortable, and I didn’t even know how to pronounce OM.

For months I sat quietly in  Yoga class while the others chanted. I was closed-minded but wanted to appear engaged, so I pretended to chant occasionally. I had no idea what the OM symbolized and refused to try chanting. 

Finally, I did break down and reluctantly joined in. Similar to my singing experiences,  I struggled to pronounce OM. Each OM sounded differently, disrupting my rhythm and tone. 

Surprisingly,  I actually liked chanting the OM. It was a totally different experience from singing. The repetitive nature of chanting held a meditative and soothing quality that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I decided to ask Andrew, my yoga guide, how to say OM.  He suggested, “Make an O shape the size of a quarter with your mouth. Then make an A sound as you bring your lips together; the OM forms naturally.” 

Immediately it worked. My voice sounded calm, steady, and soothing, and the OM flowed effortlessly. Chanting Om is so enjoyable that not only participate during Yoga class, but I’ve also made it a part of my daily routine.

The OM is experiential.  It is a personal experience. Its proven benefits bring a great sense of calmness.

The Proven Scientific Benefits

Studies show that OM chanting and Yoga Nidra effectively manage stress and high blood pressure. These practices have reduced depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms while improving sleep and bodily functions. They’ve also helped improve lipid levels in hypertensive patients. OM chanting even synchronized heart rate and certain bodily rhythms at specific frequencies. These findings make OM chanting and Yoga Nidra valuable, safe complements to traditional treatments for stress and hypertension.

Scientific Research — 1

Effect of Om chanting and Yoga Nidra on depression anxiety stress, sleep quality and autonomic functions of hypertensive subjects – a randomized controlled trial.

Source

[J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol] 2022 Jun 13; Vol. 34 (1), pp. 69-75. Date of Electronic Publication: 2022 Jun 13

Background

Hypertension (HTN) is a common and growing public health challenge with severe risk factors. Hence, this study aimed to assess the effect of Om chanting and Yoga Nidra on depression, anxiety, stress, sleep quality and autonomic functions on individuals with hypertension.

Conclusion

The current study validates the effectiveness of Om chanting and Yoga Nidra in reducing depression, anxiety, stress and improving sleep quality and autonomic functions in hypertensive patients. These interventions could thus be considered a safer form of complementary therapy in managing stress and hypertension.

Scientific Research — 2

Effect of om chanting and yoga nidra on blood pressure and lipid profile in hypertension – A randomized controlled trial.

Source

 [J Ayurveda Integr Med] 2022 Oct-Dec; Vol. 13 (4), pp. 100657. Date of Electronic Publication: 2022 Nov 11.

OBJECTIVE

Considering the growing evidence of yoga interventions in the management of hypertension, the objective of the current randomized controlled study is to assess the effect of OM chanting and Yoga nidra (Relaxation technique) on BP and lipid profile in individuals with HTN.

Conclusion

The current study demonstrates the efficacy of Om chanting and Yoga nidra in reducing blood pressure and improving lipid profiles in patients with HTN. These particular yoga interventions could thus be considered a safer form of complementary therapy in the management of HTN, alongside conventional management.

 

Scientific Research — 3

Unexpected Cardiovascular Oscillations at 0.1 Hz During Slow Speech Guided Breathing (OM Chanting) at 0.05 Hz.

Source

[Front Physiol] 2022 May 10; Vol. 13, pp. 875583. Date of Electronic Publication: 2022 May 10 (Print Publication: 2022).

ABSTRACT

Slow breathing at 0.1 Hz (i.e., 6 cycles per minute, cpm) leads to strong cardiovascular oscillations. However, the impact of breathing below 6 cpm is rarely addressed. We investigated the influence of OM chanting, an ancient Indian mantra, with approx. 3 respiratory cpm (0.05 Hz) on the synchronisation of heart period (RR), respiration (RESP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Nine healthy, trained speech practitioners chanted three sequences of five subsequent OM with 2 min pauses in between. Each single OM chanting consisted of taking a deep breath and a long “OM” during expiration and lasted approx. 20 s. ECG, respiration and blood pressure were recorded continuously, of which the RR tachogram, RESP and SBP were derived. Synchronisation between the signals was computed using the phase difference between two signals. During OM chanting synchronisation among the oscillations of RR, SBP and RESP was significantly increased compared to rest. Furthermore, OM chanting at breathing frequencies between 0.046 and 0.057 Hz resulted in 0.1 Hz oscillations in RR and SBP. In conclusion, OM chanting strongly synchronized cardiorespiratory and blood pressure oscillations. Unexpected oscillations at 0.1 Hz in SBP and RR appear at breathing frequencies of approx. 0.05 Hz. Such frequency doubling may originate from an interaction of breathing frequency with endogenous Mayer waves.

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