The Observer Effect

Last week I wrote about an experiment I was going to try in class. At the beginning of my yoga classes I told the group about a person who noticed that the “OM” we chant at the beginning of class doesn’t have the same harmony and resonance than what the “OM” we chant at the end of class has.

I had a few theories about why this might be, but nothing prepared me for what happened when I told the groups, “Notice how you feel chanting at the beginning of our time together. Feel the atmosphere on your shoulders and the space inside you. Notice how the chanting sounds to you, then observe how this might have changed at the end of our time together today.”

Well let me tell you something; once I mentioned OM and its qualities at the beginning of class and then we chanted, the resonance was that of a chant after an hour and a half of moving meditation. Let me put that another way – once yoga class participants brought their awareness to their chanting and the voices of those around them they automatically came into harmony with each other.

Awareness. That’s what it’s all about my friend.

Then, the weekend sneaks up on me I read an article about the power of cleaning one’s toilet. Actually, the author wrote about the premise of how you do one thing is how you do everything and related this with how one cleans the toilette.

She stated (so emphatically I tried it) that if you take thirty minutes to clean the toilette with bleach and comet and all the things you’re not supposed to mix together in a caustic cauldron of sparkling porcelain so sterile one’s not nearly potty trained niece could perch on its seat, hold on with both hands and not horrify one single person – if you clean your toilette that clean and then leave for thirty minutes, perhaps get a snack, upon your return there will be a nearly effervescent energy that stimulates endorphin release and monetary abundance in your neighborhood.

I like natural endorphin releases and I like monetary abundance so I cleaned my toilet that good. I went and got a snack and thirty minutes later went in to check things out. Yeah, it was pretty effervescent in there.

Because this caused faith in the author of that article I went to her website where she promises to change your life in 40 days. You may not know this about me dear Reader, but I am a fan of 40 day practices. I am not a fan of paying over a hundred dollars a week to participant in one and that’s kind of the game this person was running.

But I like the whole toilet premise so I’m sharing it with you here. What I gathered since I’ve been mulling it over is that if we don’t half ass our lives then we’re bound to be okay. If we give equal attention and awareness to everything we do then we’re likely to be successful and possibly even, dare I say, happy.

Now we are cooking with gas. We have the observer effect and now the toilette premise. I am so heartened and inspired by this new wealth and happiness that comes from cleaning my own toilette that I’m going to see what happens when I clean out the refrigerator. I invite you to try this with me and let me know if you win the lottery or get otherwise impossible and amazing news. If nothing else, you’ll be ready for drop-in company.



8 thoughts on “The Observer Effect

  1. Great post on mindfulness in all things, Nikki. It isn’t always easy being the participant and the observer in one’s own life. Thanks for the reminder about all the benefits of being fully present in all aspects of our lives, even the mundane parts.

    • Thank you Patti! A little attention goes a long way and I’m still feeling that effervescent and fresh sensation of coming home to a clean toilette 😉 I’m going to try to keep this practice on my mind for a while and see what I can do with it, and more importantly, how I can not do with it, too.

  2. I love this Nickie! Making yoga accessible…to me, that is what it is all about, even if it means beginning by cleaning your toilet. The message is beautiful.
    Nancy began a class one time talking about Om and how it isn’t about being the loudest and most drawn out OOOO like many try to do. She then broke down each sound to silence. Once we all became more aware of our chant, it was really beautiful and this was all at the very beginning. Awareness is a powerful thing.

    • Awareness is such a powerful thing and I would have loved to been in that class when Nancy did that, I bet it was magical, as most of her classes are. Sometimes the most potent Om and, for me, chanting in general isn’t from volume but that baritone quality that originates in the heart. I love chanting!

  3. stacy made us do an om-over in teacher training, which I have yet to have the balls to do when I teach. but she said that we needed to think of it as a tapestry that we all listen to what is happening at the moment and adjust to each other. not out oming each other. My om moves from the back of the mount to the the front and it is the same octave as my voice when i speak. every one’s oms are so different, sometime i hear some one om and I’m where the heck did that come from?

    • Chanting is so personal and introspective while at the same time being something other people are privy to. I haven’t had anyone do an “om-over” but have just been paying more attention and trying to guide the class to pay attention to chanting in particular at the beginning and end of class.

  4. Nick I.E. Very nice, I like the site/blog. Thanks for taking time to help me with my wrists, I’m hopeful you have found a solution for me. I’ve been noticing some interesting correlations with Judaism in yoga practice…interesting. Btw 40 is kind of a special number in Judaism for what it’s worth.. Thanks again!

    • Howard I have noticed some correlations between Yoga and Judaism and am intrigued. I sometimes read Kabbalah Center’s blog and in particular their astrology for insights and inspiration. Beautiful spirituality. It makes me very happy to know we might have a solution for your wrist. Thank you for checking out my site.

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