Thursday, November 12, 2015

Getting "Rooted" for Winter -- Through the Voice

Here we are, in the late fall, moving rapidly towards the cold, dark season of winter. We've been watching the leaves on the trees turn many glorious colors and then gradually fall to Earth to become compost.

 As the trees let go of the energy that supports the growth and maintenance of leaves on their upper branches, I imagine that energy moving down towards the Roots of the tree. After all, those tree Roots have to really dig into the Earth and become strong and stable in order to maintain that tree over the harshness of our Canadian winters.

 In the more gentle climate of Spring, the tree's energy will once again move up into the upper branches to support the growth of new life, new leaves unfolding.

What do Trees and Roots have to do with the Voice?

The dark, cold season that we call winter usually is associated with drawing our energy inward and dropping  it deeply into the mystery and depth of our Soul's journey and into our own Roots. This is a good time to reflect and to connect a little more deeply with our lower Chakras. This, in turn, helps us to become more fully present in our physical body.

Connecting with the lower Chakras and feeling more deeply into the physical body and Roots requires a lower vocal vibration. In other words, Fall and Winter are the ideal time to practice those scales and exercises that help us develop the lower range of our Voices. This is the time to play around with singing songs that challenge us to explore and develop our lower range. It is an especially good time to re-connect our voices with our bodies -- as in re-developing an "Embodied Voice".

Dropping the Voice Deeply into the Body and into our Roots

Whenever we sing, sound, communicate through the voice or pretty much anything we do vocally, we are always aiming to project our voices "out there" into the world. What if, instead, we changed directions and explored the possibility of dropping the voice down through the body and even down through the feet into the Earth and into our own Roots? Imagine opening up that inner vocal channel and allowing the voice to become "embodied" or fully connected within the body.

 As infants, vocalizing (cooing, crying, laughing, all those infant sounds) comes from deep within the body. When an infant breathes, the whole body is engaged. The whole body breathes. When an infant makes sound, that sound is supported by the entire physical body. As we get older and muscular tension builds up, particularly in the lower body, our breath becomes more restricted and is often confined to the upper chest area. Same thing happens with our voice. The same muscle tension that  obstructs the breathing also obstructs the depth of the voice so that it becomes shallow, restricted and functions primarily from the throat. A voice that is held back in this way is restrained and unstable. This makes it difficult for us to really experience and enjoy our voices. A voice that is not connected deeply in the body is NOT connected with the Heart or Soul. A disconnected voice makes it difficult to speak our truth, to speak our needs, to communicate with ease.

The Body is the Instrument -- The Voice is the Sound that Instrument Makes

In my "younger" days, I used to play clarinet. I still adore the sound and vibration of that instrument.

The clarinet, or any wind instrument, is played by moving breath and energy through the instrument and the sound emerges through the widened, or bell-like end of the instrument. Of course the instrument is held out, away from the body and the sound is projected outward. Here is the master of clarinet, Benny Goodman showing us how!

If you want to hear a little of his amazing clarinet playing, click here  Benny Goodman -- Clarinet

The Inner Clarinet

Because I still feel very connected to the clarinet, I like to imagine that I actually have an Inner Clarinet -- also known as my Inner Vocal Channel -- which runs through the centre of my body. The wider bell--like structure at the end of the clarinet relates to my Root Chakra. I imagine myself dropping my voice, my awareness and my breath down through that inner vocal channel so that I actually begin to feel those vocal vibrations deep in my body. The voice then can emerge through the depths of the Root Chakra, or pelvic floor, and run right down into the Earth. This image and practice can help create a very connected, resonant voice. A good sound to move down through that inner vocal channel could be something like Ahhh.....Awww..... It can be a simple slide down or, drop the sound into one Chakra at a time from Throat to Root. Later, once you feel well grounded, you can bring the sound up and through the head or higher Chakras -- preferably with a narrower sound like OOO.....(with rounded lips).

More to Come

I will be posting more on this fascinating topic of Re-connecting Voice and Body in the near future. If you are interested in having an "embodied voice" experience, please join me in my upcoming workshop on Nov. 20, 2015

***This will be the final workshop until Spring.

Re-Connecting Voice and Heart

The Centering Space
59 Cambridge Ave. (Broadview and Danforth)
Friday Nov. 20, 2015
7:15 pm -- 9:15 pm
Cost: $30.00

RSVP please

**for more info, click on May 2015 in the archive section, or keep scrolling down.

In the meantime,




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