Don’t worry, be happy

Tomorrow I teach my first full-hour yoga class. The residence hall is currently full of nervous energy as everyone attempts to lay their mats in a quiet corner and practice their sequences. After only 3 weeks of intensive training, we are now teachers: attempting to create beautiful and beneficial poses for our students, helping them to find their breath, and including bits of everyday wisdom. Most of all, we are just trying not to pass out while teaching! It’s a daunting task, to be sure. While I would normally be panicking, speaking through the sequences constantly in my head and practicing for hours on end, I now find that I am the one trying to calm everyone else down. I ran through my class twice and I called it quits. I probably won’t revisit my notes until I teach tomorrow. Neither run-throughs were perfect by any account, but what good would exhausting myself and worrying incessantly do? A month ago, I would have acted the exact opposite in a frazzled bundle of nervous energy. While preparing for an audition, I always sang through the pieces for hours and hours, attempting to find that perfect performance in the practice room. Needless to say, that perfect performance never came and all I did was work myself up and exhaust my voice… always culminating in an worn-down voice and over-active mind when the audition finally arrived. That’s not exactly how you want to enter an audition, performance, or your first yoga teaching experience.
When the singer Wah! came to perform on Friday night, she told this amazing story about an Indian guru who gave away cards containing the mantra “Don’t worry; Be happy.” Somewhere down the road Bobby McFerrin got ahold of one of these cards and the rest is history. This guru’s message was blasted all over the radio and is now a pop cultural catch-phrase. Many know this song and sing along, but the true challenge is in living this mantra. Don’t worry. Be happy. Life is short. Worrying wastes those precious minutes. So, here goes, for the next month, anytime I find myself worrying, I’ll hum a few bars of this catchy tune, smile, and let it go. I challenge you to do the same.

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Wah! Telling us not to worry.

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