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The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Om

The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews

Can’t you just hear Julie Andrews blasting out those lyrics while twirling around on a beautiful Austrian mountainside? The sound of music can just sweep you away, and I got to have one of those Julie Andrews musical moments last week while practicing yoga.

I showed up for yoga class a little late (imagine that), and when I walked in the room, the class was jam-packed. I surveyed the room quickly to find a small patch of floor that I could shnorkel* my mat into, but there was no room left. Everyone in the class just kind of gave me a look like, ‘Don’t even try to fit in here next to me.’ I looked up at the instructor, and she waved me up to the front of the class as she picked up her mat and motioned me to take her place on the floor. Not wanting to further disrupt the class, I walked to the front of the room, placed my mat horizontally, and, with a huge amount of unease and angst, I started class with everyone staring at me.

I always wanted to know what it felt like to be a yoga instructor, and now I was getting my opportunity with 20 people facing me head on. I decided the best way to get over my stage fright was by closing my eyes and just getting into the flow. I really like closing my eyes and losing myself during yoga class, so it ended up being a really great class.

After savasana we were all seated for the final moments of class, and the instructor asked us to participate in a few chants of om. Everyone took a deep breath and started their om, and when they did, this beautiful wave of sound washed over me. I was surprised by how loud and strong the sound was as it reverberated off the walls in the front of the room. It felt like I was being bathed in a glorious, magical song—it was uplifting and soothing. Just as the first wave had settled over me, another one came in just as forceful, and I allowed it to flow over me with delight.

If you ever get the chance to face the oms, I highly recommend it. Just like Maria spinning around in the mountains in the Sound of Music, it was a religious experience that I’ll never forget.

*shnor-kel ((shnôrkl) verb – a word that was originally developed by Maria’s husband Vince that has crept into her daily vocabulary meaning to connive, sneak, or get yourself into place in a line, an event, or a crowded area. Used in a sentence…That dude shnorkeled his way into the mosh pit to get a better view of the stage.

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