What I couldn’t do was sing….Chorus Line
To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. ~Ben Jonson
I would skip asana class any day of the week for some really great kirtan (call and response chanting ala Krishna Das et al) when I experience a great interactive sing-a-long in Sanskrit I experience a blissed out state like no other, next to parachuting and motorcycling on a long stretches of open highways it is the closest I have felt to god, ever. Prior to participating in kirtan I still recall being moved by listening to Tibetan monks AUM (OM), and I have always loved the sound of gregorian chants.
CHURCHES THAT ROCK…RULED
Growing up catholic the only part of church that resonated with me (pun not intended but recognized :0) was singing the hymns…going to “Rock Church” in Virginia Beach (they had electric guitars and drums!!) or the “Folk” mask with the “progressive” priest (Father Alvin, played the guitar…probably where my hippy roots were watered and nutured singing Michael Row your boat ashore and such) were the highlights of my church going experience…OK well that and Christmas music; I still love christmas music. (I may bust out into We Three Kings and Do you hear what I hear) Get it…Music, chanting the like they have always been my connection to the divine (well that and adrenaline rushes apparently)
S0 says the silent yoga guide…???
Yep, for the last 5 plus years, not a single AUM or chant in class. Sure I theme my classes and you can always hear how the music selection supports my theme and the mood of the class. Sure I may encourage you to sing-a-long even, still believing that music, all music is sacred and a part of the divine…but lead a chant? NO WAY…as the title says “I would do anything for love…but I can’t do that”
Fear is the mind killer
I am deathly afraid of public singing. OH sure, in the safety of a kirtan group, led by a “real” singer I’m all passion and throw caution to the wind…but lead myself? let others actually hear me??? OMG (oh my ghandi) *choke* *gas* *falter* …. yep, all my big talk goes right out the window when it came to this fear. I can actually feel that lump forming in my throat just thinking about it…*shivers*
Sometimes you have to leap
So, I decided to practice what I preach (I don’t like that word…hmmmmm the thesaurus gave me lecture as an alternative…meh, don’t like that conotation either….) I guess I’ll fall back on “walk the talk”…You see, I am a big proponent of “face your fear” or at least understand it, what it means, what it teaches you, where it leads you…so as usual the universe offered me an opportunity to apply my beliefs.
That first step is a doozy…
It’s monday morning, I have my plan to talk about how Visudha, the 5th Chakra, is all about communication and self expression. Speaking your truth, trusting your knowing, listening as well, both internally and externally. I’m going to talk about how art and writing are still ways to express your inner world and are therefore also connected to this chakra. The color of this chakra is Blue..bright blue…and the main practice to activate this chakra is chanting…I can’t, I simply can’t get away with not chanting anymore. I’m about to bring up the subject I can’t just let it be an elephant in the room. I wanted to call in sick to yoga class that day. That’s how deep seeded (is the phrase seeded or seated??? weird…) this fear is and how much I wanted to avoid facing this issue.
Sure you can still be a great teacher and never chant…sure you don’t need AUM…but I LOVE IT…why would i deny myself and my students when I believe that all fears and doubts can be overcome??? (I could give you a whole “I blame my father tirade, but dang my blogs have been getting stupid long as it is!!) So I suck it up…I went in…and OI VAY…that first AUM was shaky and flat…and…and…it didn’t matter it still felt good, the vibrations still happened. The next one was stronger….the next sounded almost relaxed. The first step was difficult but it kept getting easier and easier and by the end of the week? Hold onto your yogi toes…I led a chant to Ganesh at a Sutra Social a friend organized. And now, now it seems silly that I ever was that self concious about the whole thing…it reminds me of when I first started teaching and I didn’t think I was skinny enough…well that’s a whole other Oprah.
Just sing, sing a song….
Bottome line? Ifeel soooooo much better now, freer, clearer and dare I say even happier…
What ways are you keeping yourself stuck becuase of fear? Would you love to write, to draw, to paint, to speak, to sing but have been too afraid of what others may think? Well my enlightened friends, take a leap sometimes…doesn’t matter if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear…just sing (or write or draw…)
Anodea Judith has this to say about it: The essence of this chakra is to find resonance and harmony with all that is vibrating around you. It is to open to speakingand listening, toning and singing, moving and dancing, and from this synergy you open to your creativity to express your deepest self. To open the fith chakra is to commune, a word which forms the root of communication, and literally means to be one with. To commune with self and spirit is to take yet another step toward the realization of unity with all things.
And From www.allgoodthings.com
visuddha = pure (wisdom)
Animal—Elephant (Gaja) Associations—The auric layers of the Will and Spirit Bodies that can extend for miles from the person. Correlates to the heart, the solar plexus and the sexual centers through expressions. Externalizing mind. Atma (auric envelope) Color—Blue, aqua, sky blue, turquoise, gray, gold, light blues; Yantra color: violet. Feeling Blueis a good way to express how this Chakra expresses itself emotionally when it is blocked. The color of the thymus center is turquoise.
The light spectrum of the violet-blue ray flashes upwards to the throat, where it seems to divide itself, the light blue remaining to course through and quicken the throat center, while the dark blue and violet pass in into the brain.” —The Chakras – A Monographby C.W. Leadbeater, The Theosophical Publishing House (1927).
Element—Ether principle (Akasha), all-pervading. In physics ether is a hypothetical medium for transmitting electromagnetic radiation that fills all unoccupied space. Endocrine gland—Thyroid. Everything about our physical growth is related to the thyroid gland. Energetic Life Force—Intention, will, the etheric, or space, dreaming, heart chambers open for higher frequency Essential Oils—Lavender, patchouli, Clarey sage. Also for aromatherapy: lilac, patchouli, frankincense Female Spin—Counter clockwise; Male Spin: Clockwise Flower Essences—Cosmos, Trumpet vine, larch Function—The first 3 Chakras unite to form their powers here, speech, self-expression, the song of life. Separates the physical from the astral at death. This is where you take in and assimilate. Controls yawning. Gemstone—Aquamarine, azurite, blue lace agate, blue opal, blue quartz, blue topaz, blue tourmaline, chrysocolla, Lapis lazuli, turquoise, sapphire, sodalite, pearl, carnelian, jasper, bloodstone, hematite, malachite, kyanite Goddess—Shakini Keywords—Communication center, externalizing mind, purification, honesty, expression of individual will, speech, creative center, mysticism, mystic, the mental body, psyche Lotus Petals—16 (smoky purple) Mantra—HAM (called Chakra seedsby my teacher) There are meditations given later in this series for each Chakra. Meditation purpose—Chanting the song of love, to become a yogishwar, knower of the Vedas. OM (aum) and the tone is huuuuuu Meridians—Lung (ether energy Yin organ); Large Intestine (ether energy Yang organ) Musical Tone—G (Sol) Some use G#
Yoga Pose of the week: Deaf Man’s Pose
Wellness Tip of the Week: Unburden yourself. If you think that your thoughts are only in your mind, guess again that repressed emotion is living in every cell of your being. This week, open the throat chakra by expressing something that needs to leave the body. Think you can’t say what you really feel? Well maybe you can’t say it to someone’s face…but you can type that email (just don’t send it) you can write a letter and burn it…you can make up a silly song…doesn’t matter. Just get it out of your body and let the healing begin.
Mantra for the week:
inhale: healthy exhale: expression