Karma yoga

In the four paths of yoga, KARMA YOGA intrigues me, as I feel like I’m right now doing the same with singing. I guess, for every wisdom/theories that I learn in class, I apply it to my own circumstances to really understand.

The tirisula book says, “Karma yoga is performed only when the act only exists with enthusiasm, intensity and uninterrupted continuous practice, without the intent and the fruits of the action.” Which I am really learning to do with singing for about two years now. In my teens, I was so proud of how everyone thought I was a good singer that I kind of dropped practicing singing. I thought I was just born to be a star, winning all the competitions and with the praises, and that I didn’t need to really practice anymore. Naturally the muscles for singing soon died out. And I became no longer able to do the things that I used to.

The inner conflict, of course, set in. And I just decided not to sing anymore. Felt betrayed in the weirdest sense. I would just go in for straight acting than doing musicals, because I can and I would. I became so afraid to sing during my college years. Then the problem arose upon my return to Korea, because I was cast in these big musicals as the leads with big numbers. My audition for the first role was great that things kept rolling in. But I knew in my soul that I was not in a friendly, comfortable zone with my ultimate betrayer, singing. I felt unequipped to sing 11 giant numbers in a big theater. I felt unprepared and vulnerable–so scared that people would find out that I can’t really do this. During and before my debut musical rehearsals, I would sing those numbers so many times a day, I would constantly lose voice. And I would go crazy whenever I felt like I could not do this.

Then I found this voice teacher who just lifted me up from that hellhole. He made me come everyday for lessons and would just do the most basic things. The most basic warm-ups. And beautiful Italian ariettas that had NOTHING to do with my musical theater career. I found joy in singing again. I would swim in those beautiful lyrics about beautiful moon, dappling with silver. And how the beautiful melody carried the silver moon out. The lyrics would often touch me, and I would feel whole again. And I didn’t care one bit about how I am sounding right now. I was serving and carrying these beautiful songs as one. Everyday. Just practicing and playing with my teacher.

The muscles grew back in, stronger and fuller, and I do it everyday. Even as I moved to Sinapore, apart from my teacher, I do it with the precious recordings that I made of previous lessons. And thank him in my soul. The vulnerability and inner trauma still exists about singing. Still working through it to break through. But without the intent and the fruits of the action; with enthusiasm, intensity and uninterrupted continuous practice, I do it everyday. Because I do. I love it.

Y.H.