Saturday, February 26, 2011
After I forced Eddie to join a gym with me so I could get some running in during the winter months, my plan backfired. Eddie has a bad lower back and insists that yoga does wonders for his back muscles (he also makes me play raquet ball with him once a week and I wake up with nightmares of that stupid rubber ball shooting straight at my head). I have no doubt of yoga's benefits for the human body, I just prefer a work out that lets me use my iPod.
At the beginning of the class, the instructor directed us to hang forward at the waist, allowing our fingertips to reach as low as possible towards the ground. Mine went to about mid-shin. I spent the next hour breathing, stretching, contorting, and bending into every unnatural shape imaginable. At one point, I looked like a sad little, messed up pretzel that wouldn't make it through quality control. Everything was painful and I couldn't even form the full poses like the rest of the class. At the very end of the session however, she again had us bend forward and hang down. This time I was shocked to see my fingertips actually make it to the ground.
Almost the exact same thing happened the other day when I had my very first professional vocal lesson. I had been growing frustrated with myself in the last few weeks, trying to record my songs. I so desire to sing with an energetic, full voice, but feel constricted with my untrained vocals. The coach had me make the most absurd, goofy sounds. I was terribly embarrassed, scrunching my nose to get the nasal, Fran Drescher sound that he wanted. I couldn't imagine how this would make my singing voice sound better. After 2 hours of what sounded and looked like utter nonsense, he finally had me sing the chorus of my song. And what I heard was a clear, cutting, power in my voice.
Those exercises opened up a part of my muscles that I never even knew existed. It was like they were awakened from a winter hibernation, fresh and brand new. I'm still a looong way from doing a one-legged king pigeon pose in yoga....or touching the ground with my palms for that matter. And I still couldn't belt a high C if my life depended on it. But now I see that it's possible for me, with exercises, work, and practice. It is possible...anything is, for you, for anyone.