Two weeks ago, I had my first open mic at the World Music Dance Centre (WMDC) organized by my music teacher Prewien Pandohi-Mishre. I sang a Mantra, Guru Vandana, which is a homage to our inner guru. And a Kirtan dedicated to Lord Ganesha who you might know as the Lord of new beginnings. My performance was accompanied by live tabla music with Stiven Strobbe. It was fun, scary and incredibly exciting!

Learning music

I started singing classes a while ago and before that I was actually quite uncomfortable singing in front of people. I felt very self-conscious and was afraid that people wouldn’t like the sound of my voice. A source of inspiration to get me started was Diepak Ramjiawan (you might know him from the Muses of Mindfulness concerts), because I really loved his satsangs, where we would all sing Kirtans and Bhajans together. This inspired me to dive into the world of Indian devotional music and a little later I decided to sign up for singing classes.

SKRV Open Mic

Fast forward to two weeks ago and there I was, in front of many people, both friends and strangers, singing and enjoying it all! Something I have learned from this experience is to really be present and enjoy the moment and to let go of thoughts about what other people may or may not think about me. It was also really inspiring to hear others sing, to see them live on stage and their interaction with the audience. This experience has motivated me to practice even more and to sing with more attention and intention.

Out of my comfort zone

If there is one thing I’d like you to remember from this sharing, it is to not let fear withhold you from doing what you love. In my case, this open mic was way out of my comfort zone, but this experience has given me so much and I know for sure that a similar experience will give you just as much!

The next open mic is in February next year. Chances are that you’ll find me there on stage again, with improved skills, a bit more comfortable and a little less scared 😉 And to all the people out there still in doubt because of fear, I’d like to invite you to give it a try, because there is magic on the other side!

Also, if you are interested in singing Mantras, meeting like minded people, please feel free to join our Kirtan sessions, satsangs and potluck lunches. On my blog, you can read more about our events and about yoga, spirituality and other awesome things going on in Rotterdam and Schiedam and my personal experience! Hope to see you there!

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti,

Pooja

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