Skip to main content

The Joys of Singing

It's been a bit of a rough week.  It's been a rough start to 2014 overall, I'd have to say - my morale is up and down with the injury (although I am miles and miles better, I'm still not yet back to my old active self), this winter seems absolutely endless, I've been missing my husband like crazy, and I have friends who've been dealing with far bigger problems than me which makes me feel incredibly sad and low for them.  There's just been a lot of overall stress and more down moments and days than I normally have.

I've been looking toward more gentle yoga and meditation to help me deal with that and with the frustration of having temporarily lost running, cycling, and sweaty yoga as a stress reliever.  Sometimes, though, it winds up just marinating in whatever's bumming me out instead of shaking myself out of the stress or the blahs.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but it was a Buzzfeed "article" that really crystalized what I needed to do as a pure mood booster, and thus what to write about this week!  The seeds had started to be planted a bit a couple of weeks ago when my good friend and fellow kid's yoga teacher and I saw Frozen together - Skyler was leading a Frozen themed birthday party for Karma Kids Yoga, so, you know, it was work.  (It's sentences like that that make me internally slap myself upside the head for ever feeling stressed about work.)  We were finally able to see for ourselves why every single kid who has walked through the door lately is obsessed with and/or singing Let it Go - we laughed, we cried, we loved it, and we had so much fun that we're planning a sleepover almost entirely devoted to singing.

Thinking about that, and then reading this Buzzfeed article (which at least has links to more legit articles within it), I resolved to spend my entire morning yesterday while getting ready for work singing to my Happy Love Songs playlist.  Sure enough, after waking up in a questionable mood due to some bizarre dreams, I was incredibly cheered walking out the door.

When we explain chanting and "Om" to kids, we often compare it to singing.  It's an accurate comparison, and chanting and singing share a lot of the same benefits.  Chanting 3 Om's, singing to a Disney (or whatever your poison) song - you're engaging the same muscles, creating the same vibrations, and literally changing the energy in your body.

Sometimes just sitting or gentle child's pose isn't enough.  I feel it even with teaching - if I'm in a crummy mood and don't feel like teaching a class, 9 times out of 10 I feel so much better after having done it.  I'm smiling even when I don't feel like it (not that that's something you should do all the time), I'm moving my body, I'm using my voice (and singing, if it's a kid's class).

I also realized, since I haven't driven in about 3 1/2 years, I don't sing nearly as much for myself as I used to.  Some people sing in the shower, but I always would sing in the car.  Especially when I'd regularly make trips between Newport News and Richmond, road trips to visit my sister or my mom, or when I was in company management where driving was a huge part of the job, I'd exhaust myself belting out (trying to anyway) The Last Five Years, Wicked, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell - and when my voice was exhausted, my love Bob Dylan was always there for me, and I could always sound better than him!

So if you're still struggling with the winter blues, two things.  First, head outside because it's all the way up to the 40's today (!!!!!!), and then - sing a little something.  Even if you feel silly.  Just do it.  See what happens!


Popular posts from this blog

The Magic of Brain Gym

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about Brain Gym yet!  That is absolutely bananas, and also sort of great because after a few years of incorporating the little bits and pieces I learned from Shari (founder & director of Karma Kids Yoga and the only boss I've ever had with whom I've also done crazy things like the pose on the right, which she named "fart neck"), I finally took the "Brain Gym 101" course this past weekend to learn more in depth about the what's and wherefore's.

Brain Gym is a lot of things, but what it is primarily is a way to facilitate better learning through movement.  Although it started in the field of education and helping children learn better, everyone can benefit from it.  You may be reading and writing just fine, but do you have a situation where you struggle to communicate your needs clearly to a partner, a friend, a co-worker?  Do you struggle with random bouts of unexplained anxiety that you struggle to release…

Faith in Humanity

The oft-quoted Kathrine Switzer, long distance female trailblazer, once wrote, "If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."

Marathon Sunday is always one of my favorite days of the year in New York City.  I've spent these Sunday's over the last eight years that I've been here as a spectator and cheerleader, both in person and on the couch in my boot nursing my injury last year, I've been a volunteer, I went down with other marathoners and marathon volunteers to Staten Island after Sandy in 2012 after the race was canceled - and I've spent the last two years fighting to qualify for it.

Next year will be my year, along with my 'sole sister' (I'm making it happen) and work wife Laura, so this year was another year spent being absolutely inspired beyond measure cheering on the sidelines.  Seeing the heart, the raw emotion, the joy, the pain, the absolute love from the sidelines and from the runners is awe inspiring.  Ye…


It's been eight years today since I've been with the love of my life.

A few months from five years married (Costa Rica, here we come).

Eight years and a couple months since living in the city.

Seven years of Friendsgivings in NYC with my chosen family.

Seven years of Karma Kids Yoga - more chosen family and buckets of kids.

Ten years since college; fourteen of the friendships.

One picked-clean, no leftovers turkey last night.  A table of desserts.

And in ten days we do it again with family.

This morning I'm tired, still full, and grateful.