Card for the Day: Om

I know some of  you will groan when you see that the card I have pulled for today is “Om” (from one of my favorite decks, the Universal Wisdom deck by Toni Carmine Salerno. This card depicts a woman meditating. Each of her seven chakras is marked with its corresponding color, and her aura stands out brightly around her. The instruction book for the deck contains a suggested “Om” meditation in which you chant “Om” once for each chakra, beginning with the root chakra (in red) and working your way up.

Since today is January 2, a day that many people take off from work, it’s the ideal day to start integrating a practice such as meditation, or meditation and chanting, into your daily routine. I know that you may not be convinced. But consider:

  • Singing improves your mood and gives you more energy.
  • Laughing improves your mood and gives you more energy.
  • Why wouldn’t chanting have the same effect?

Singing or laughing can raise your vibration and even improve the efficiency of your body’s healing response. They are wonderful tools for reducing stress and the physiological effects of stress. But we don’t always feel like singing or laughing. At a time when you don’t feel like singing or laughing, “om” offers a practice that you can just do — without having to already be in a positive mood.

Moreover, chanting “om” is not just some crazy out there yoga practice. It’s supported by scientific research which shows that like meditation itself, chanting “om” can reduce your heart rate, make your heart rate steadier and more synchronized, slow your breathing, relax your muscles, improve your alertness and ability to focus, give you more energy, and even normalize your body’s release of hormones (especially hormones related to stress, which many of us tend to be awash in during our daily lives).

Here is a practice that is free, easily accessible, that you can learn in seconds, that can be done anywhere, and that can help improve both your mood and your ability to get things done for the rest of the day (not to mention improving your health). So–don’t throw the idea out just because it sounds a little weird. Give it a try.

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