“The biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.” -Anonymous
One concept that I have been returning to lately in my own vocal yoga practice and in my teaching is that of giving oneself permission to make mistakes. So often when we are given a new exercise or a new song we react by being overly careful, trying to get it right, and this immediately lessens the flow of breath. There is a subtle fear or doubt that arises – can we explore this fear? Are we afraid of a punishment if we get it wrong? Perhaps we are triggered into a childhood state when we were punished for a mistake. The yogic perspective reminds us to observe the fear and doubt without judgment, become curious about where it’s coming from, and see this as an opportunity to create a new pattern.
After embracing your fear in a self-compassionate way and perhaps discussing it with your teacher, try creating a new pattern of release, abandon, playfulness by giving yourself permission to make mistakes. Prioritize the breath, making sure there is always a wide river of breath flowing and resonance through your whole head and perhaps your whole body, and then explore the new exercise or song with curiosity, staying fully in the present moment. Don’t question it – go for it! Mistakes will happen – they happen to all of us! We notice them without judgment, adjust as necessary, and move on. It is only when we are afraid of making mistakes that we set ourselves up for repeated disappointment. When we instead trust our breath and resonance, we are able to be in the flow of the music and embrace each new note, each new moment.