One of my favorite frequented studios is holding a Gratitude Challenge. It IS that time of year, and while the level of stress climbs, it is so vitally important to take time to reflect and feel gratitude for the lives we live. It can be extremely challenging to weed out the negativity for me at times, but I have to learn to open up and drop the attitude so that I can feel positive about myself, my work, and life in general.
Yoga has been a great way for me to relieve the pressure of my life as a performer. I do use a bit of philosophy in my one on one lessons, but really, I feel like yoga offers me the opportunity to be myself without the stigma of being "a singer" - I have been feeling the need to connect with myself on a different level lately, and "being a singer" has dominated so much of WHO I AM for so long, that I have started to forget what on earth I liked outside of singing. And because singing, teaching singers, and directing choir are now my employment, I've had to reconnect with who I am as a person and learn to avoid pinning my entire identity on what I do for a living. Is an accountant fully consumed by accounting 24/7? No, well, maybe during tax season - but most people have hobbies. My hobby became my career, and while that's awesome and all, I miss some of the joy of making music for fun and without repercussions and deadlines and stigmas and blah, blah, blah...
If it seems like I've been more withdrawn lately, it is true. Please, I ask that no one takes it personally. I have been taking more time to reflect, ponder, dream, and shape my future. And I've been driving to a lot of different places, listening to a zillion audio-books (May I recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert... It was one of the best pieces I have read in a long time and put tons of things into perspective. Will link at the bottom).
So! I have always loved a good class, but I'm giving it a lot more attention lately: Yoga! I feel so strongly that there is a form of yoga for every type of person. I've been on a personal quest to build strength and find mental stability in my practice. It has led me to find that I can grow stronger, I can concentrate, I can LET GO of the outside world, if only for that hour and a half of the yoga class.
I am so excited about this part of my life becoming more prominent, I'm hoping to take some teacher training and intensives so that not only will my own practice deepen, but I can begin to incorporate even more into my voice teaching and really understand some of the greater depths of yogic philosophy. And maybe this will lead to new things in my life. Maybe I do not have to SOLELY identify as a singer. Maybe I can help someone else navigate their wild paths down the line. But right now, I've become very excited about entering a new community and making these self-discoveries.
I'm yearning to improve more. The more time spent on the mat, the more time I WANT to be on the mat. It's pretty amazing. So, I'd just like to share that bit of gratitude with you all today.
By the way.... (Yes affiliate link, ALSO a coupon, though so, I'd call it a win-win - 20BPYOGAMAT - 20% off BestsharedPlus yoga mat. Available now through 11/13, while supplies last.)
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