We can jump into anything and wing it if we are feeling so moved and have enough information, knowledge, experience or background at our disposal... but when we prepare
for the task, the event, the talk- what a difference that can make to the outcome. Spontaneity is a wonderful thing. We shouldn't leave it out of the equation. Being open and having the ability to making a change in the moment as the circumstances, situation or mood guide us, is important and may also lead to results beyond what we might have hoped for or imagined.
A few years ago I heard somewhere that Sting always has his band do an hour of yoga before a concert
. Last week a friend of mine and I started teaching a class on Mindful Yoga & Sacred Chant. The effect of chanting after doing an hour of yoga is profound
! An hour of yoga is plenty enough to balance the mind and body, open up the lungs and prepare one for a luscious round of chanting or singing.
Tonight we taught our second class in a series of five. I had been practicing a particular chant all week. It was new to me and I am not very good on the harmonium so I needed a lot of practice to feel comfortable. Every day this week I sat down with it and practiced, but I didn't always spend a lot of time actually preparing
myself to chant. I would do a little breathing and a bit of warm up vocals but I tend to be impatient so I would often jump right into singing or chanting without being fully warmed up.
Both last week and this week in our class I was amazed at the difference when I opened my mouth to sing after doing a full hour of yoga first. My body was relaxed. I had more lung capacity and my whole being felt really open, allowing my voice to expand with an unusual fullness and strength. Very exciting.
And can't we apply this to any endeavor? Preparation must become part of the practice.