Driving home yesterday I was smiling to myself as I thought about my morning.
You see, I teach Yoga and I love to Chant.. go to Kirtans. However, it hasn’t always been this way.
I am/was scared of singing. And yes, I get that chanting is not singing but if your the teacher and your leading a chant or an Om, I think you need to feel comfortable in that space. And I didn’t. Not. At. All.
But through the persistence of some students in my classes, I ended up ….(with a bit of kicking and screaming) …. moving forward to begin to learn to sing. And I am loving it! Its certainly hard work and I have new appreciation for all Voice contestants, and anyone that can dance & sing! You blow my mind people.
Anyway one day during singing lessons with my teacher Rama, we got to talking about the big gap/leap from practising yoga on the mat and going to a Kirtan. Its big. But I feel that there is a place in between, where we as teachers can begin to share the benefit and joy from chanting to music but not a full blown Kirtan, a sort of bridge if you like.
So Rama and I planned for him to come to the last half of a class with his guitar as a surprise. Here’s where I became the bridge. I knew that it was a bit of a gamble and that some may not like it, but we did it because I knew the majority of the class would love it. They love to chant but many won’t come to a Kirtan.
So on Wednesday, half way into the class I collected Rama from the hallway and bought he and his girlfriend into the class and introduced them to the class talking about what we were going to do today. My ladies, or my Om Girls as I now call them were so excited. They were “on high”.
After I handed out the chant sheet, we broke each one down, discussed it, laughed and chanted:
Om Namah Shivaya (I bow to my highest)
Om Tara Tuttare Ture So Hum (I recognise that there is a star, guiding the way for me in life)
Om – and om and om it went for a minute
It was so much fun. It was joyous, they were smiling, laughing, clapping and singing their hearts out. They were so happy after, so appreciative and loved their surprise.
And I’m so happy because of that.
I’m proud of myself because I truly stepped out of my comfort zone to start singing lessons, that’s me moving forward. I then again stepped out of it to bring this to them, to my regulars that I see each Wednesday at 10am. I am certainly not Deva Premal or Norah Jones, but I am trying and practising.
And after all, in Sutra 1.12 its the practice without attachment that is part of Yoga. I may not have been able to release the attachment part yet (as I really really wanted them to like it) but I’m practising working on that….. insert laugh here.
Sutra 1.12 The vritti states of mind are stilled by practice and dispassion (Edwin F Bryant) or The combination of practice and non-attachment leads to becoming an individual who develops his or her capacities to the fullest and who is guided by a clear, selfless mind.
Happy Oms to you.