I love this question!
I just tried it out...
I think singing carries a little more physical vibration for me.
I said “hi” and my tones did carry a bit ...
I sang “hi” and noticed an elongating of the vowel tones, a bigger breath.
I prayed, “Hi” and I noticed I was talking to god and it made me smile and my crown lit up with tingles.
Voice Yoga is useful for all three; praying, speaking and singing.
In relaxing my body sound can move through me with more ease.
From a physically relaxed place, (in my parasympathetic nervous system state) my prefrontal cortex is fully online so I can remember what I want to say and speak it with some eloquence.
In the stress response state I forget the words, go blank, feel how fear tightens and restricts me and draws attention to my pounding heart and sweaty palms.
In Voice Yoga we practice relaxing our physical bodies AS the voice comes through (rather than later, which is what I experienced through much of my life ... I would do yoga or meditate and then the sounds would flow through because I was in a creatively open state).
In voice yoga we take out the personal “I’m
doing it “ experience and tap into the listening that allows prayer to move through us with words, tones, sounds, beats and more.
Just like in yoga, we notice the tensions and allow them. We gently encourage the vibrations created by each person including the self to soothe us like the purr soothes and heals the cat.
We allow parts of our bodies to express their sounds.
We practice courage to speak or sing even if we feel fear (or even terror!). This is edgy work for lots of people!
We notice how those tensions wrapping around our life force energy restrict and with courage choose to step through the threshold of fear to discover what’s on the other side. And it takes the time it takes. No rush. Just like yoga - no instagram asana to get to - just allowing the practice to enliven us.
This allowing the power of our own voices can create a healing repatterning - you will be held in a community of people holding the intention of inclusivity, non judgmental witness and loving kindness.
Of course, this is not to say speaking or praying are less than for connecting with something larger than ourselves. . .
All three are welcome in this space as part of the poetic tapestry.
We are creating voice yoga as one hour use of our voices for the prayer that is connection with sourcespiritgoduniononessunconditionallovemamabeing!
What do you think is the distinction between speaking, singing and praying?
Thanks for inspiring me to write tonight 😊 My heart is so full of love from this experience.
Art by @minhamusicfavorite - follow on Instagram!
Read til the end for a simple practice is seeing how your voice shapes the world. . .
In yoga, the particular shapes we take are designed to awaken us.
So in singing the seed syllables, chants and prayers that hold meaning in our collective over time (like ho’oponopono), we awaken, these song postures are the equivalent to the yoga postures that serve the purpose of waking up.
I would add singing “in key” to this. Key is just a particular form in relation to other forms. More on this another time.
Just like in yoga, in voice yoga, we love ourselves where we are as we aspire and create new possibility through the aspiration. Anyone can grow in their capacity to sing in key.
There is also this absolutely magical (and scientific) quality of humans making sound together called entrainment which works both rhythmically and tonally (and with our heats and brains!) to help us come into alignment and harmony with each other. This just amazes me because it shows me on a micro level how human being CAN live in harmony together and just how powerful vibration is. And anything that can occur on the micro level can occur on the macro level. It’s just, what are we tuning to? DT or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? (As an example).
And I will say this a million times because I want it to be heard that this tuning does not mean to repress the shadow or negativity. If that worked then my early childhood traumas would have been erased through my ignoring them 😂
No, no. Ignoring is not tuning. Tuning is working with (and loving) what is to go where we want to go.
It’s integrating, and getting it “wrong” (because you really can’t get it wrong) and trying and “failing” and then trying again and sounding “bad” or “ugly” and letting the tears flow (or laughter - it’s just energy moving)- all within the sacred container of kindness - a real space to explore. There will be beauty created in voice yoga, but it doesn’t have to be beautiful.
Alternately in a dance practice like 5 rhythms, we track of our sensations in the formless.
We allow our awareness to be the aliveness that it is! Old forms evolve, and sometimes we access entirely new patterns of movement.
This I would relate to what we call “group or spirit song” and “signature song” the former being a collective soundscape created by regarding the body as a conduit between heaven and earth.
This practice is one of awareness through deep listening to the field to let the sounds we hear in our minds ear, or the pictures floating through our minds sky, or the images arising from our minds heart to bubble up and out our mouths or through our palms to flow rhythm through our bodies.
Signature sound is where each person has an opportunity to take the lead and the community reflect and enhances through their listening, picking up motifs from the leader and the field.
It’s here that we often hit resistance from our logical mind. We might encounter the limiting conditioning we have received from the world, our families, and past experiences telling us “No! Don’t sing that sound ! You’ll sound like a fool” or whatever the limiting habit might be. I’ve certainly encountered that thought. And what I found, reliably, when I regard my fear as an invitation and have had the courage to step through the threshold of that fear to make (or attempt) the sound anyway, is new possibility and FREEDOM!
And of course so often we forget... the voice is LITERALLY the instrument of the human body. It’s physical. Vibration effects physical matter.
The best example I have for this is how a yoga teachers voice guides you twice a week into plank pose, and suddenly after 55 minutes of plank, three months later, you can see your abs! The teacher literally shaped your body with her guiding words (and your willingness).
So it’s my intention through voice yoga to call attention to this profundity. Your voice shapes your life. Your voice shapes your friends and loved ones.
And you don’t have to just take my word for it either.
Just try it out, “Hey ____, I really love that _____ on you.” And notice the PHYSICAL response they have to the praise. Watch. Do they smile? Do they shake their head? Do they blush? Do they wear that piece again next time they see you?
Your voice shapes communities. Your voice shapes your city. Your voice shapes this world.
Voice Yoga @ Earth Yoga @ 4:30 pm
Cost: Donation - all levels of offering welcome.
Art by Nayamoon Art
Malaine Snow, Naropa Grad & Women’s Work Nonprofit founder of Haven
Ellen Pierce, Psychotherapist, musician and +1200 hr yoga teacher
Compassion + Integrity = Powerful Leadership - What's your vision for the world?