It Felt Weird, but I Did it Anyway

I’m new to yoga, but I love it already.

I started taking classes at a local yoga studio as a way to get a work out in, but in a way that replenishes instead of my usual muscle-through-the-pain type boot camp workouts I’d been doing. In the beginning, it all felt foreign and I wasn’t sure it fit with who I am. But, I had purchased a punch pass, and so I figured I’d get my money’s worth and move on.

One of the things that felt strange to me in those first few classes was the chanting of Om at the beginning and end of class.

Sitting cross-legged with my hands in prayer at my heart, I felt conspicuous.

I felt too self conscious to join in the chanting.

It felt a little hokey if I’m being honest.

I have since changed my mind.

I was starting to feel the peace-bringing effects of the yoga classes, and I really looked forward to them during the week. I began doing yoga at night in my home as a way to disconnect from a busy day and connect with myself. But, this chanting still had me squirming.

So I looked to the Google. Google, the knower of all, the wise one on the mountain top, Why the chanting? Here is what I found:

Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating — nothing is really standing still. The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature.
As such Om is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe.
In addition the vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation also have a physical affect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind similar to meditation.

With this new insight as to the reason for the chanting, I attended another class, and this time my favorite teacher said that we would close our practice that day with an Om and then she said, “If you would like to add your voice, feel free.”

I loved this.

I loved the idea of adding my voice to the world around me, to the people around me. I loved the idea of being part of everything. I added my voice to that class and every class since.

Since that day, there have been many occasions when the phrase, add your voice, comes to my mind. Starting this website for example. There are many places on the internet where you can find people telling you how to find meaning and happiness in your life. But, I felt compelled to add my voice to theirs. Maybe I’ll have something unique to add to the chorus, but even if I don’t, I am adding to the volume of a positive message. Making it a bit louder and easier to be heard by more ears.

Think about your life today. Are you adding your voice? Do you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself?

Is there something you believe in that you would like to add your voice to? Is there an opportunity you are passing over because of fear, or because it feels foreign or makes you squirm? Is there a group of people you feel drawn to for reasons you can’t explain? Maybe they need your voice. It could be because you will say something nobody else has, or it could be because you will add to the chorus. Or it could be that you are longing to connect to other living beings, your nature or the world around you.

You have something of value to say. You have something to contribute. Nobody else sees this world in the same way, nobody else has the same set of experiences as you. You are a wondrous and amazing collection of spirit, experiences, wisdom, love, opinions and insight. You were created with a purpose and a mission that only you can complete. You matter. Your voice matters. Share it with the lucky people who cross your path. Add your voice.

Originally published at on April 10, 2015.