I cannot hold a tune, as my family members love to remind me, but when it comes time to chant the universal sound of OM to open and close a yoga class, this monotone and sacred sound of ancient India brings out the best of my vocal chords. It’s particularly powerful when a bunch of practitioners really belt it out, their voices resonating off the studio walls and out into greater Concord. Three OMs in a row in a rolling harmony is also tremendously pleasing. You can just imagine the power of all the yogis on the planet OM-ing together in a joint stand of peace. On the other hand, it’s a bummer when the class is filled with OM-aphobics, and the last thing they want to do is chant OM at the top of their lungs in a room full of strangers. It sometimes sounds like a room full of mooing cows, I’m sorry to say. But for me, I selfishly listen to the shockingly pure sound of my monotone voice, as I press my hands against my chest to feel its vibration. But I have nothing on our resident chanteuse and yoga teacher, no need to name her, who chants ethereally at the end of all her classes. Once she had a cold and couldn’t chant, and I was amazed at the depth of my disappointment. The minute her voice permeates the quiet room, every last bit of tension that the physical yoga didn’t release, melts away. Really. I applaud her ability to embrace all of us with the anything-but-monotonous sound of her voice. It’s pure and sacred and here.