It is said that the first vibrations that made sound in the creation of the universe was 'om'. Om, a simple word comprised of three primary sounds, 'a', 'u', 'm', is an incredibly complex meaning and diverse usage. Om in Hinduism is a sacred syllable that represents the Brahman, or the omnipotent energy of the universe. The sanskrit character for om (pictured right) represents the three states in which om represents and brings into symbiotic harmony. The large lower curve to the left of the character symbolizes the waking state-'jagat'-one of complete consciousness and awareness of the world around you. The smaller upper curve to the left of the character symbolizes a state of deep sleep-'sushupti'-in which one's mind is vacant of thought and want. The large curve in the lower right hand-side of the character represents a dreamlike state-'swapna'-in which one turns powers of observation inwards in meditation and realization of self. The dot separated from the rest of the character by a semicircle represents a state-'turiya'-in which the three separate states are united. In yoga, Om represents the unity of mind, body, and spirit. The resonance of the sounds and vibrations created when chanting 'om' engage different parts of the body in a central focus and serve to clear the mind of any distractions. In this way, we can fully surrender to a 'divine light' within us and focus our energies in a positive and productive way when moving through the asana.