Updated: Aug 13
I admit it, I used to be a on/off yoga practitioner. My fascination with yoga started 25 years ago, but my daily practice started only 5 years ago. When I was practicing once a week or sometimes once every month, I still thought of myself as practicing yoga, so I couldn‘t understand why I still had so many issues with stage anxiety, imposter syndrome and lacking self confidence. I decided to ultimately leave the solo opera singer career path as I got to the point that my nerves were just dissolving under the stress of my career. I forged a new path in the professional chorus at the opera in Zürich, Switzerland, finally relieved from my existential and stage anxiety as it was seldomly triggered in a group dynamic. A nice, cushy life on the big stage in a big group. However, this sense of security was short-lived as I often had to sing tiny solo roles, sometimes consisting of a few words to a few pages.
A tiny role has very unique challenges in that you have to nail it right away, there is no time to waste on feelings of insecurity or edgy nerves. I decided I had enough with my own tortured nerves and had to do something about it, so I signed up for an unlimited yoga membership for 2 months at a local yoga studio. I attended a 60-90 minute yoga class everyday for 2 months in the summer break and when I returned to the stage in the fall to sing a tiny solo role, I had learned a whole set of tools to calm my frazzled nerves and was even able to enjoy the experience that I usually dreaded. I was able to focus on the task with a clear mind and willingly calmed my nervous temperament with breathwork backstage before my entrance.
I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this if I hadn’t started a daily practice. Since that fateful summer, I have pretty much practiced yoga or qigong every day from 10-90 minutes. As time goes by, my daily practice has evolved, getting simpler and quieter to listen to my body and hear what it needs every morning. My experience has shown me that we don’t need a complicated or long practice, but we do need a daily ritual of movement and stillness to listen and tap into our unique energy frequency. The more often we practice, the more the practice is woven into the fabric of everyday life. As a result, we become slowly stronger, emotionally resilient and full of vitality.
My challenge for you is to go full-in, devoting yourself to a daily practice for at least 3 months. After you feel the difference, you won’t want to stop. No matter your personal issues, you will experience a dramatic shift in your energy and ability to respond instead of react to daily challenges. My daily practice changed my life and it will change yours, too!