Your Voice is YOU!
Your voice is YOU!
Your voice mirrors your natural state of being;
how calm or stressed you are, how you are feeling, or what you really think about something. If you listen carefully, you can hear everything you need to know about a person, through the sound of their voice.
Forget about X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent for a moment. I'm not talking about judgement and performance, I am talking about the real YOU, your true VOICE, your true SOUND! Remember; the thing you used as a baby to get food, communicate when you were tired, happy, sad, annoyed?
How often do you really hear your true sound, your true voice?
Maybe occasionally when you are really angry, or sad, and a voice pops out which doesn't really sound like you and what you are used to hearing? Most people are afraid to access anything close to their natural voice for fear of criticism or rejection!
Lack of connection with your voice, means a disconnection with your Self; a disconnection from all the muscles in your body that you would use to project and embody your natural, raw sound, like you did when you were a child.
This lack of connection can lead to everything from loss of confidence to anxiety, as well as stress and illness.....not to mention SHEER BOREDOM and lack of joy of living!
Alexandra's 'Discover your Voice for Health and Wellbeing' workshop will guide you to:
Begin to hear YOU again in the Sound of your Voice without Judgement
Understand Diaphragmatic Breathing - for Calm and Stress Relief
Learn Vocal Toning on the Breath
Use Body Scanning and Relaxation Meditations with Vocal Toning for Stress and Pain Relief
Reconnect To Your Natural Sound
Gain an Awareness of your Inner Voice and Use Affirmations
Understand the Power of Chant for Quietening the Mind and Finding Focus
Understand the Healing Power of Your Name (Sonic Identity)
The workshop will be a day of relaxation and fun!
No one has to vocalise alone, everything is done as a group and you don't have to know anything about singing, or believe yourself to be 'good' at it!!This workshop is for everyone!
The workshop will be held at:
The Virginia Water Community Centre,
Virginia Water, Surrey.
on Sunday 24th September 2017
Early bird £70 if booked before the 10th September 2017,
Please click here to pay your deposit online to reserve your space. Balance payable on the day.
Otherwise please contact Alexandra for more details at
I was contacted today by a blogger writing about meditation. He asked me, in my opinion, what the number one benefit of meditation is.
In my experience this would have to be is clarity of thought, even for those who feel that their mind fills with a million things as soon as they start to relax!
When we quieten the body and sit/lie still for a short while, the mind throws everything at us as it finally has our attention. Even though this feels like overload, and the opposite to relaxation, we are actually giving ourselves time to mentally and emotionally process everything we have experienced up until that point in our lives, both superficial and profound. We cannot relax and find a state of calm if we don't allow our million and one thoughts to process first.
Just like a computer processor gets overloaded when we run too many programmes, likewise our mind and body does too! Eventually, the more time we allow in our lives for this "processing" or meditation, the easier and quicker it is to find a peaceful state of being, with clarity of thought and clear direction for our lives.
We live in a world that is constantly demanding something from us, constant working, thinking, planning, worrying about what we have and don't have, but we are never taught how to cope with this lifestyle, and how our mind and body actually works. We are never taught the power of positive imagination, transporting the mind to a beautiful place of stillness.
I constantly meet people that are frustrated because they "can't meditate" as they criticise themselves for not being able to relax...and that in itself doesn't help!
What many people do not understand is that the brain has to process information before it can let go and calm itself. Therefore, if THAT happens whilst meditating, and your mind fills with thoughts, then that's a GOOD THING! Soon after there will be less thoughts to process and more space for the mind to relax. Do this a few times a week, and eventually this spills over into your conscious life, your day to day existence.
The build up of thoughts and feelings that were left unprocessed which caused your body to feel stress, gradually gets less, and you start to feel calmer.
We all know how it feels to have a problem “on our mind!” The more space you create by processing the masses of unimportant information your brain is bombarded with everyday, everything from the radio and TV to what you hear and see others doing, the more clarity of thought and peace you will have for those really important decisions that need your attention. Decisions don’t have to be stressful.
A sub note here would be, be careful what or who you expose your mind to. It doesn't take long for unimportant clutter to accumulate and it has to be processed sooner or later. You could be using your energy instead for creating wonderful things in your life.
My experience working as a Sound and Singing Therapist leads me to combine Sound and Meditation for people more and more. Therapeutic Sound distracts the left side of the brain that keeps us constantly busy and chatters away like a monkey! Sound Meditation helps us bypass the chatter by entraining (changing) our brain patterns to help us enter a meditative and calmer state, naturally. The left side of our brain can continue to process all that we need, but we are not aware of it. Instead of the mind filling with a million thoughts, it feels suspended in time, allowing the body to relax and heal if it needs.
A similar effect is created when we sing, which is why people often feel great after a singing session and why the ancient art of Toning is combined with meditation. See http://www.soundrelaxationcentre.com/sound-meditation.html for workshops on Toning and Sound Meditation.
Very often when I have finished a Sound Meditation class, people say they can’t believe they have been lying there for an hour, that instead it feels like 20 minutes. They feel time has literally altered its pace, and they feel calmer.
Anyone can access this type of relaxation. It’s not for the special few and it is not something that is ego lead. There is NO right or wrong. There just IS. If you find it harder at first, stick with it. Gradually the clouds break and the blue appears, and before you know it you have found a slice of inner peace, even if just for a moment. Next time, you will find more…..and the time after that a bit more, and....you know where I'm going with this..... :-)
It's September Already??
I just don't know where this year has gone! In my last blog I was wishing you a Happy New Year, and now, Christmas and the new, New Year are just four months away. I wanted to just touch base with anyone out there that reads my ramblings, as writing one blog a year is ridiculous! However, I would say, that if I'm not writing the blogs, it's because I'm out there teaching and learning, and gathering information that gives me fuel to write....so I would prefer it that way!
This year has brought many of new discoveries for me in my world of teaching and facilitating singing and sound, and I have been introduced to lots of lovely new students and clients through my school, private and music centre teaching, as well as whilst running some fun workshop days at the Virginia Water Community Centre on "Discovering Your Voice for Health and Wellbeing" and whilst dropping in and out of Wellbeing Centres for both Spelthorne and Epsom and Ewell Borough Councils. The Sound Meditation evenings that started back in April again at the community centre, has seen many new faces, and led me to further my work in the field of Sound Meditation.
My summer project, whilst having the summer break from schools, was to produce a couple of new CDs, and I am happy to say, that finally after, what seems like hours of focus, my first meditation CD, will be available towards the end of this year. It will give you a live sound bath very like what you would experience on a Wednesday evening class, but will also incorporate some daily quick fix meditations, for those of you that have trouble sleeping, and those that feel stressed as soon as you open your eyes in the morning! There's also something for during the day as well which you'll be able to download for free from my website as a taster, so you'll be able to plug yourself in to 10 minutes of stress free time on the train or in the office.....
.....stress eh? What's it all about? Whether I'm working with little ones, teenagers, mums and dads or even the elderly....someone is suffering. So many creative people in jobs that are, to put it simply, not creative! Creative minds bound by time and deadline....slaves to the mortgage, or whatever else we've created in this society that we think we must have...in order to be "seen" to be doing ok. The problem is though, many of us are not ok, and we're so tightly wound in this web of what we "think" we "should" do, we are so conditioned to follow a certain way of living, that breaking free from the rigidity of thinking that way, would cause too many problems, upset too many people.....Maybe. Yes. Maybe. No. Maybe, it would change everything for the better, ultimately, and happiness would start to creep back into our more simpler lives.....
I am lucky enough to see so many life journeys in my job. People come to me and we start working, whether it's unlocking the breath, or the breath and the voice, and at first it's really scary for people. In some cases deeply upsetting, for they realise how blocked they are, and how they keep themselves held in that state.
Their journey and the hard work is done, in between the sessions with me. People start to observe themselves a little bit everyday, like a bird's eye view, of themselves. They realise they are holding their body in a certain way, feeling a certain way, saying something that's not true. When they start checking in with these habits and patterns, they have to ask WHY they are feeling that way, and gradually they realise they are not living in the present moment, they are a result of past conditioning.
"What does this have to do with the voice, and singing, I hear you cry?" Everything!! Would be my answer. Why is it we vocalise freely up to a certain age, shouting, screaming, giggling, randomly sounding, and then, it just stops and we learn not to make noise anymore? That is exactly the question. Why on earth do we stop sounding? In order to sound we have to be connected to our body and emotions. In order to sound, our body needs to be an open channel for the sound to be released. In order to free our emotions to prevent illness and stress, we need to resist the urge and conditioning to push feelings down, but instead be allowed to let them out through sound and not feel judged for it.
I guess for me, in some ways, after years of opera singing both auditions and performances, I felt that to truly discover my voice, I had to be free to let it out and develop it in a profession where sound was accepted as sound and not judged conventionally.
We live in a very judgmental society. Everyone has something to say about someone and how they do what they do. Very often the saddest situation is when our loved ones judge us...for if we can't truly relax and allow our true selves and sounds with our loved ones, then how can we be free?
Judgement is a funny thing. People get very upset when they experience judgement from someone else, but in the next moment, they switch on the TV or radio and criticise the sound, appearance, or performance of whoever they are listening to. Judgement and criticism are fuelled from the same place within us, whether it's someone we know or a stranger on the telly. So think about it the next time you find yourself criticising someone. How would you feel if it was directed at you.....I actually mean that....HOW would you feel? Probably not relaxed, or stress free that's for sure, and that's where most people start when they come to develop their voice. It's about getting over the fear of judgement. Feeling free to sound your sound whatever that might be, and knowing that in doing so, YOU are better off, and closer to feeling stronger and more like the person you always thought you would be.
An interesting study was done by Fabien Mamman, a French musician, acupuncturist, scientist and sound healer. He observed under a microscope and using Kirlian Photography, (a method of photographing the electromagnetic field or "aura" around living cells) that when certain sounds and music were played to human blood cells, the cell's electromagnetic field would change colour and shape in all manner of ways, from small changes to magnificent colours and designs. The most impressive of all the experiments was when the human voice was played to the human blood cells, in particular when the the voice and the cells were from the same human. In this experiment the cells were brighter and more radiant than ever, showing radiant health and vitality. Fabien Maman also proved that cancer cells could be destroyed by applying certain frequencies to them, even something as simple as the melodic scale. Of his books, these experiments can be seen in "The Tao of Sound".
I mention the work of Fabien Mamman, because I have also found that developing the human voice leads to great healing, both physically and psychologically, and we hear in the media all the time now about the wonderful benefits of singing. Fabien takes it to a whole new level, showing us that the cells in our body appear to show super levels of health and vitality when we sing.
We can feel the vibration surging through our body when we allow our voices to truly sound, by just letting go...relinquishing control of what ever it is we "think" we need to hold on to and in turn releasing the stress of it all. Being happy. Enjoying life....realising that actually it's all very simple, we just "choose" to make it complicated.
We can open our mouth to sound and see what happens....or we can open our mouth to sound, think about it, complicate it, add a few theories, worry what someone else might say or think.....and then wonder why the sound doesn't come out, or if it does, wonder why we don't like what we hear!!!!!! (and probably end up stressed about it). Until the next time.....Happy Sounding :-)
A New Year, A New More Authentic You
May I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year!
Wow, I can't believe it is January again!!! This time last year, I had embraced full-time self employment and was unaware of the two months of intense flooding that was about to hit my local area! No one could get to me, and I could, just about, get to my teaching work in Windsor, Berkshire, with the help of some chest waders (to actually leave my house, as the water was waist deep in places) and continue with the few clients I had that I would visit away from my home. Yet, I was so sure it was time for me to make this career move, I just had to trust. I enjoyed the rest, and thought that the Universe was probably sending me some time off because the remainder of the year was about to get REALLY busy. I WAS NOT WRONG!!!!
The rest of 2014 was probably one of the busiest years of my life. I took over 5 choirs, got a sudden influx of private pupils, was offered extensive teaching and workshop leading from various schools, companies, institutions and local councils and suddenly found myself working 6 days a week, plus evenings and doing all my admin on my day off. Was I complaining? No!!! Did I want to say no to any of this work? No! Why??? Because I love it!!! Finally I was doing I job, where I was my own boss, and I genuinely loved the subject matter....and here's why.....
.......as a singing teacher, voice coach, sound therapist, and breath and relaxation therapist people seek you out for the number one obvious reason that they want to learn how to sing and develop their voice. This is usually because small part of them, sometimes very small indeed, longed to be a singer by profession. Some people are very young, and looking towards their future career, others are 40+ and always had that desire to sing professionally. Somewhere, some time in their life, something sparks, and they find themselves at their first singing lesson with me. It is quite a journey ahead.
Generally people think that to come to a singing lesson you should already "know" how to sing. This is another one of those weird judgements of society, like people shouldn't sing if it's not a "nice" sound, or they can't sing "in tune". Half the time "people" have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to "singing". People assume that the singing they hear on a CD, or on the West End stage or on TV is actually what is coming out of a person's mouth. How did we all get so disillusioned in this day and age with the presence of technology, and sound production???? Most of the singing we hear on whatever CD or professional stage, EXCEPT the genuine operatic one, has been digitally enhanced, and by that I mean made louder, fuller, warmer, you name it, it's usually been done, leaving the budding student singer at home in their living room, or more to the point in my music room, feeling somewhat disempowered and inadequate.
We forget that singing lessons are just that. Yet the obstacle I have encountered most this year are people coming to their first lesson upset that they don't sound like their favourite artist on the CD!!!! Out of what would be approximately 70 one to one students this year, not including those in the choirs I have directed, I have seen nothing but low self esteem, people that have been told they can't sing, or shouldn't sing, or worst of all, are their own worst enemy....everything that comes out of their mouth they criticise and discard.
We all understand basic psychology, if you put someone down enough, eventually they will start to believe it. I have met people in 2014 that have been put down a great deal by family and friends or past experiences and then come to their singing lesson and continue to echo those negative beliefs by putting themselves down.
BUT I have also seen those people, start to take the first steps in believing in themselves and committing to their singing without fear of who they really are, and what their voice sounds like. What we tend to forget is that our voice is individual to us, it won't sound like anyone else......if we let it! The easy thing is to copy and be the same. The challenge is to develop our own unique voice, our own individual communication tool. We can all tell our friends and family by their speaking voices, we can tell when they are happy or sad, yet, somehow when it comes to singing we are often not given the space to develop this. People are so quick to criticise, and I have seen this SO much, it makes me mad!
Interestingly enough, when I was training to be an opera singer, I was often amazed, as the people whose voices often seemed very hard to listen to close up, whether it was because of too much volume or what seemed like an ugly vocal timbre, were often the absolute best when put on the operatic stage. They could be heard all the way to the back of a theatre the size of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, over a full orchestra without amplification! And without amplification, means without MODIFICATION! Just them, their voice, sounding stunning. Their intense training (years and years!) of body and voice to produce this amazing natural sound.
Often what we hear in our own ears whilst we are singing is not what those around us hear. We are far too close to the ear canal to get an accurate sound reading of the tone we are making outside of ourself. This MUST be taken into account when learning to sing. If you feel the need to modify the sound as you produce it because you are listening to the sound as it happens.....then you are not fully producing it, you are in fact hindering it.
This is where I find that as people start to develop their voice, they re-find a physical and psychological awareness that was once there as a child but was soon lost due to parental and social conditioning. The ability to constantly monitor our actions and our responses. In monitoring, we interfere. When we were babies screaming and crying for food, or because of wind, did we monitor those cries? Yet our mother would be able to hear the difference in the sounds. She knew when we were hungry, she knew when we were experiencing discomfort.
When we sing, we have to let the voice ride the breath and be free. Initially we cannot constrict and criticise it otherwise the very instrument of body and voice retracts and distorts. We must put far from our mind our favourite recording, resist imitation allow our very own authentic sound to come forth without judgement. At first, it may not sound as you always imagined, but ALLOW this for a while. Allow yourself to discover the other sounds, the ones that "people" say are not so nice. You may find in doing so you engage with yourself, your breath and the real you that is lying underneath it all. After all, nobody ever got famous by recreating someone else's dream, only by creating something NEW. It is that something new that you bring to your singing lesson, that we work, and develop and create. In developing your true sound, you find the true you, the you that was lost under the do's and the don'ts, under the conditioning. Everyone can sing, and that's what I do. I facilitate that amazing journey of re-finding that sound, that characteristic of YOU that may have been forgotten, covered up or whatever.
Of course there is more to singing than this, but initially, we have to deal with the psyche, otherwise how can you open your body and your diaphragm to breathe? If you are afraid of your sound then subconsciously you will resist making it happen, you have to become very conscious, expanding and relaxing your diaphragm and allowing yourself to take air deep into your lungs, otherwise how can you hope to fuel your voice? The voice doesn't sound, without breath to fuel it! It is a mechanism after all!
And that's what I spent the other part of my year doing.....whether for relaxation of children from the age of five or elderly members of the community, body awareness, heightened awareness, and of course my beloved art of singing....I taught people how to breathe efficiently. Another interesting journey. Who would have "thunk" it? Human beings not understanding how to breathe and how that breath affects every aspect of their health and wellbeing from their ability to deal with day to day tasks to digesting the food they eat.
I read today a quote from James D' Angelo's book, "The Healing Power of the Human Voice".
"A brain starved of oxygen is robbed of the life force itself and results in a vegetative state."
We all know this.....yet most of us are still reluctant to introduce efficient breathing into our daily lives.
Happy 2015 y'all, may you all find your true peace and happiness according to your word.
There are many theories about why we and our fellow animal earthlings yawn, but as yet there is no conclusive evidence to suggest one particular reason. Some of the theories are as follows:
Too much carbon dioxide in the blood - therefore a need to increase oxygen
Stretching of muscles - any muscle needs to be exercised and stretched so does our tongue, muscles of the throat and voice so they do not spasm and cramp
Nervousness - there is evidence to suggest that yawning keeps a person alert when there is an impending threat
Controlling brain temperature and regulation of body temperature
All of the above and indeed the many more that can be found when one starts to research this subject seem perfectly plausible, and there are still studies being carried out to understand why animals yawn, why this can happen in herds and why primates might do it to frighten away possible predators.
However my aim for writing this blog was to emphasise that whatever the reason behind our mysterious yawn and the very contagious nature of it, it is a PERFECTLY NATURAL reflex.
So natural in fact that as yet it cannot be fully explained! Although if it is linked to such things as brain cooling and too much carbon dioxide in our blood, then we really don't want ignore this powerful natural instinct as it is there, as are all our natural responses, to HELP us! It is a warning sign, our body's way of communicating a situation that could potentially harm us.
Which leads me back to my familiar blog topic and asking the question;
Why are we so absorbed in this fake perspective of living that we think it's ok to ignore and suppress natural instincts?
The majority of the time our body gives us signals that something is not right, whether that be an emotional signal of feeling unhappy, afraid or anxious, or a more practical signal of hunger, tiredness, pain in a muscle or joint, a headache or a simple cold.
The "normal" response to these signals is to just carry on. We continue with all our pressing life commitments ignoring these messages. A couple of pain killers gets us through the day if we have a headache, or a couple of anti-depressants or bottle of wine, if the sadness gets too much!
Do we ever really ask why we have a headache or why our immune system was so low we caught a cold or a virus? If we could understand more profoundly the affect our emotions have on our immune system, known as Psychoneuroimmunology, perhaps when we feel unhappy or angry we would look deeper into what has made us feel this way. Dealing with the root cause of something, adjusting our lives and perspective of our life so we are relatively happy might prevent the stress on our immune system, keeping us stronger and happier. Most of us choose a quick fix physically or emotionally, and then wonder further down the line why we became ill.
My question as always is, why? What have we come to as a society if we allow this personal ignorance, this lack of understanding of ourselves and our bodies, what makes us ill and how we can prevent it? Looking inside and listening to the body, instead of reaching out all the time for answers from people who are no more empowered than ourselves.
The GP for one, who armed with an array of the latest drugs and potions, based on often limited clinical trials and backed by billion pound pharmaceutical companies, tries to appease our cries for help. The drugs themselves have a list of side effects which often appear worse than the original problem, but hey ho, at least we are being "pro-active" in our quest for "good" health.
The GP presented with all the illnesses, disorders and ailments that they encounter on a daily basis, does not have the time to take each individual case and look at what might be causing, or what might have caused an illness to be triggered on an emotional level. All they can do is hope to provide something to ease the symptoms, rather than make the illness go away. If doctors agree that Psychoneuroimmunology actually exists, then surely illness must stem from and be triggered by an imbalance at some point in our emotional state. Of course Eastern medicine has acknowledged this for centuries using a combination of treatments, looking at the emotional and physical combined.
The more we suppress our natural instincts, whatever they might be, the more we put our body and our health at risk.
Some examples; how often do you hold on and not go to the loo because work, school, time does not allow it?
How often have you had a stinking cold but have gone about your day anyway dosed with paracetamol, decongestants, and caffeine?
How often has your stomach growled from hunger but you didn't have time to eat even though you can feel the agitation of stomach acid on your intestine walls?
How often have your shoulders been stiff and painful because you sit in the same position at work and continue in that same position until one day you have a bad back and worse?
How often have you suppressed a yawn because you were worried what the boss or the teacher would think about you?
You may ponder over the above examples, and simply conclude that life is as such, and we all have to put up with it. Maybe we do....we'll continue with an overburdened health service, full hospitals, Depression and Dementia on the increase as people just can't cope anymore and fall down under the strain or their minds simply want to forget.
Or maybe we don't have to be this way. Surely if we take the time to listen to our body and the signals it gives us, we will learn to trust when something isn't right, we will begin to understand our body and allow it time to do what it knows naturally. If we ALLOW instead of fight and suppress we will begin to understand the process of our body, mind and emotions. We will know in advance what makes us fearful, tired, lower in resistance. If we can avoid states of mind and being that we know don't feel right, surely we can become stronger, and in becoming stronger less likely to become ill.
Negative practices are instilled within us at a very young age. So many children stand before me in a singing lesson, when we have done our breathing exercises and they start to yawn, immediately stifling it. "Noooooooo!" I cry, "Let it out!!!" and they smile with watery eyes. All of them tell me how at some point they have been told off for yawning at school, usually in a class like maths or science. This infuriates me! The whole point of our warm ups in a singing lesson is to get them to relax, open and feel engaged to sing, to express and communicate using their voice. To allow the magic and creativity of the right side of the brain to emerge and take over the moment. To let the over developed practical left brain have a rest. As soon as these children (and adult students) start breathing deeply and singing, yawning starts to happen. It allows them to get rid of all the residual tension they might be carrying around so their body is free to sing and live in the moment for a while.
Here's something I used to use yawning for. When I was a active professional opera singer, on an audition tour, very often I would drive several hours in the car, or take a plan and a taxi, ending up in a theatre or agent's office (often in Germany) with no vocal warm up facilities. Bearing in mind the audition might be at 10 o ' clock in the morning, the best of singers needs a warm up! In some situations there was literally a secretary's office to wait in and that was it, unless one wanted to warm up in the street (which often seemed like a viable option!). I found that a great silent warm up for my voice was to allow myself to yawn excessively. I would instigate the first few and then that was it. Not only did it make me feel more awake, alert and refreshed, it stretched all my throat, laryngeal ligaments and ears and affected the way I breathed.
If you have ever observed yourself amidst full yawn you will find that diaphragmatic breathing comes instinctively...meaning you do it without trying or even noticing! My voice after this would feel great and sound open and full with a range of tone and colour. It helped with my audition nerves and anxiety, calming me down and I always gave a much better performance.
If yawning could do this for me in a situation of pressure, I realised I was dealing with a very powerful reflex. I used to make myself yawn, but think on a daily basis how often your body is trying to yawn, and how often you might suppress it.
Suppressing something this powerful will only lead to body imbalance. Body imbalance over a prolonged period leads to stress and illness. If indeed a yawn is a stretch for more hard to reach internal muscles and organs to prevent spasming and cramps, then IT IS IMPORTANT.
If it serves as a reaction to prevent an imbalance of carbon dioxide in the blood, which ultimately can lead to varying degrees of hyperventilation causing stress, anxiety, digestive problems, high blood pressure and so on then IT IS IMPORTANT.
All of our natural instincts are there for a reason and should be listened to and allowed. The next time someone makes a sarcastic comment about you yawning, tell them you are doing it for your health! End of!
Are you afraid of your voice?
So much has been written on the subject of fear! Yet very few of us get to really understand it! If we did we would be free of inhibitions, doubts, illness and so many other negatives states of being and we would be able to express ourselves freely. We live in a society where fear is the norm, whether it be fear of doing something wrong, fear of how others see us, fear of losing loved ones or our job, fear of being attacked, of losing money, of not being able to pay the bills, of being alone, fear of change, of being criticised and the list goes on. On so many levels we are afraid, and those fears mentioned are just the obvious ones.
If we take a much closer look at ourselves and our personal lives, we might say on a superficial level, "I'm not afraid, I don't fear anything per say..." but is that really true?
I ask this question because in my work, week after week, I see people who are afraid of the sound of their own voice, afraid of the sound that comes out, afraid that it's not good enough, afraid that it sounds wrong, afraid that they sound stupid, afraid that they look ridiculous when they are singing (or sounding), afraid that if they take a deep breath and open themselves holding their head high, feeling their personal strength and power, someone might ask them who they think they are to be doing such a thing!
On the other extreme you have those that are afraid that they might "do" it wrong, they are so self critical that everything is perfect. They have trained themselves to swallow the feeling of self doubt and do the task anyway, but the fear continues to seep out on a physical level with tension and frustration at making any small "mistake."
I work from the perspective that our voice is the most natural thing about us. For the majority of us, when we are born we cry, scream, wail, coo, gurgle and giggle. This is how we communicate. We don't question these sounds we just "sound" them. I've mentioned this in previous blogs, but if you have the opportunity to look at a baby's stomach when s/he is crying, you will see that the sound is being produced like a type of squeeze box from the diaphragm. This is a human breathing and sounding the way nature intended. Likewise look at a dog when he barks, or a horse when she brays, the sound is being produced from the body.
I will restate that sentence, these sounds are being produced from the body, not some mystical muscle in the throat.
Our ability to sound is an emotional reaction on some level, whether we are laughing, sobbing or screaming with pain. Yet through speech and the way we are expected to speak after a certain age, we are encouraged to suppress natural emotions and not show our true feelings. We are even led to believe in some situations that it is a weakness to show emotion in our speech, hiding behind our words.
Most of us have experienced not being able to contain our emotions, whether it's being ecstatically happy about something, or so sad that our words can no longer cover the fluctuations of tone in our voice. The sensation of holding back tears is heard in the inflection of the voice and often felt as a pain in the throat.
There are of course situations when we do have to "control" our reactions as we have the intelligence to understand the consequences of situations. However we must be aware, for our own personal health and happiness that too much suppression leads to lack of sensitivity and expression. Eventually if we suppress our sensitivity and ability to express for too long, we become closed and cold. We may then look to other stimulants to help us "feel" again, whether it be our love life, sex, alcohol, drugs, food or lack of it and so on.
Some people have been forced to close down and not to feel the pain that life has presented them with, because of abuse and other despicable events and in these severe cases it is a matter of survival. Better to survive and not feel, than to die of the pain of feeling too much, and surely if we allow ourselves to feel, how will we ever forget what happened to us if the pain is there as a reminder?
For me the concept of the human body is not a rigid one. I see myself as a mass of vibrating particles being held together, just like everything else physical. You remember? This is the thing we all learnt in Physics classes at school...that everything we perceive as solid is in fact a mass of vibrating particles. This isn't hocus pocus, this is scientific fact.
So, I am made of matter, therefore if you break me down, you will eventually be able to measure the particles in my more solid parts and the particles in the fluid part of me (on average about 70%). As humans we are just matter. This means that our thoughts (non matter, therefore energy) are created from that matter and as a large part of us is made up of fluid, we can easily change and reform. Our feelings and thoughts are a product of who we are and what we experience, but nothing is concrete in the human body, it can be moved and changed.
Therefore, our past feelings, fears and experiences, if still haunting us and our minds in the present moment, must be shiftable! But how do we shift them?
Let's turn our minds back to the new born baby who screams and cries without any care of what others may think. If the baby feels a pain of hunger or wind, that pain is translated into sound and is released from the body, it also sends a signal to the mother that her child is feeling discomfort, she can then act on this signal in its early stage and solve the problem of the hunger. The baby feels better and the so does the mother as the problem has been resolved before it can escalate to something more serious. The child's voice was used to express the problem and give it a release from the physical pain....and then everything returned to normal.
As adults we might not want to scream and shout all the time, but we do need to reconnect with our ability to identify when we are unhappy, express this to ourselves and/or those around us that might be the cause of the unhappiness, and then work it out of our system so that it is over and dealt with and does not linger, causing us future pain and fear of pain.
Feeling fear is a good thing IF we can identify it as an emotion that rises within us to guide our way and show us that something isn't right. It is a temporary emotion and should be used as a guide. It is not something that we should feel all the time.
Cavemen of yore would sense something was wrong in the field, look over their shoulder, see a big bear, feel fear which would produce adrenalin into their system and give them an extra spring in their step as they legged it back to safety.
Nowadays we feel fear in the present based on past events, and we use these past events to predict how we think the future will materialise, release adrenalin, fail to act on the reason why we are afraid and neglect to burn off the adrenalin. Adrenalin left in our body causes stress, anger, insomnia, high blood pressure and so many other "unexplainable" illnesses and disorders.
So why are we feeling so afraid? That is what we need to work out. Why do I meet so many people that are afraid of singing, embarrassed by the mere suggestion that they should sing? Why do happy little toddlers sing quite naturally and at what point are they made to feel daft for doing this? Even the new born baby strings a line of gurgles and coos together when happy which is the start of the natural process of singing.
Singing is a natural and necessary action for our health and wellbeing and something we have done from birth. It helps us release our negative emotions, our pain and our fears as if we were a crying baby again.
People , or adults in particular tell me over and over that they were told to be quiet, shut up, not sing as they were deemed "out of tune." Some are afraid even of speaking their thoughts, as a critical upbringing has made them careful of the things they choose to give voice to for fear of being made to feel worthless. So fair enough, I completely understand it. But if we know that our body releases fear, tension and adrenalin by sounding with the voice, whether it's screaming, crying or laughing, these being the extremes, if we know singing can bring us the same relief as shouting, but is a more pleasurable experience, why are so many of us afraid to do it and afraid of what might come out? And WHY do we care?
The baby just sounds, the dog just barks...the human thinks and then decides if the vocalisation is good enough.
Here's a few interesting facts;
1. The inside of our mouth contains little sensors which are activated when we breathe through our mouth causing adrenalin to be released into the body.
2. A sudden intake of air, like a gasp alerts the body's nervous system to a potential problem and it also releases adrenalin into the system.
3. When adrenalin is released into your body you are on high alert. Your heart rate will increase and your breathing will become more shallow. If this adrenalin is not burnt off you will feel anxious, unable to rest, irritable, unwell, suffer a possible upset stomach, acid reflux, headaches, neck and shoulder stiffness etc.
4. Learning to control your breath helps you press the "reset" button on your body. You can control your nervous system, your mind, your heart rate and communicate more effectively when you breathe as nature intended, the way you did when you were born. Concentrate on the out breath, most people hold too much stale air in the lungs. In situations of stress, breathe out first, and then back in.
5. Using your voice expressively, like singing for example, has many proven health benefits a bit like yoga. It helps to control and calm your breathing, energising you and releasing any residual adrenalin that might have built up in your system from the day, helping you to release tension, de-stress and make clear decisions.
6. When you breathe more effectively and sing, you change your state of mind, existing in the present moment, forgetting about past experiences and fears. When you allow your body to return to this child like state you can clear your mind and relax, safely and without being afraid. Sing things you love, this adds to the feel good factor.
7. Fear is a warning sign, listen to it, and act accordingly. Then LET IT GO.
I was alerted to a quote in FHM Magazine (February 2014) by Petr Cech Chelsea FC Goalkeeper which said,
"To deal with that kind of pressure, we are taught breathing exercises in our training schedule...it's the key to absolutely everything...it helps you sleep. It is simply balanced breathing....controlling your heart rate and clearing your thoughts."
Petr Cech, Chelsea FC Goalkeeper in an interview with FHM Magazine February 2014
Being a professional opera singer, breathing was something I had to focus on in order to produce my voice and in producing my voice I found an inner calm and focus which enabled me to actually get up in front of people and perform. Often, while I was waiting to go on stage, I would be nervously shivering, wondering how on earth I was going to sing feeling like that, but as soon as I engaged by breath, support and voice, the shivering went away, and I was catapulted in to the present moment of the performance. I suppose I began to take this for granted. It was just what I did.
It wasn't until I started working with people with illness or disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, stress, stuttering, Dystonia and muscle spasms that I realised how most clients didn't understand the process of breathing, let alone how their body actually worked, but not only that, so few realised how simple health problems and day to day issues could be eased or even cured with a small adjustment to how they thought about breathing and then some exercises to build strength.
Even a simple ailment such as a tension headache would respond to diaphragmatic breathing as by expanding the upper body to allow efficient inhalation and exhalation, muscles and ligaments of the back, neck and shoulders would be encouraged to gently stretch allowing blood circulation to the area.
I would find myself teaching friends deep breathing exercises to practise throughout the day in order to relieve stress and stress related symptoms. I would ask them to observe what they were doing with their tongue during times of tension...were they gripping their jaw tightly, did they grind their teeth at night time? So many people couldn't answer these questions, because they lacked simple body awareness, until they went away for a week, observed their themselves and found all manner of tensions they were doing without even knowing it!
Examples of this were things like gritting their teeth whilst driving at 70mph on the motorway, or pulling their tongue back into their throat whilst talking with an authoritative figure, like a manager at work. Some people couldn't believe they were able to hold so much tension in their body, without being consciously aware. The problem is, all these small tension habits all over the body, which are usually emotionally charged, gradually build until one day we are stuck. It always amazes me when people are surprised they have slipped a disc in their back, or wake up with a frozen shoulder!
I think that's it really. It's about being aware of the physical self and the things it gets up to when we are not paying attention, because these things can seem really simple and harmless, but actually when they build up, for several hours a day, several days a week, we can see that they start to impair out natural functions.
Let's take for example gritting our teeth. Try it now. Grit your upper and lower back teeth together. Where do you feel the tension?
In the jaw itself definitely, but what about the forgotten bone behind the ears, linking to the muscles and ligaments at the base of the skull, and the throat? Apply this type of tension on a daily basis in situations of stress (and some people really are stressed all day!) and what do you get? At the very least you get a headache, but if that headache persists because your jaw tension is present, because you are suffering from mild anxiety due to small life challenges perhaps at home or at work, what happens? You most likely start to take pain killers, or go to the doctor who tries to appease you by prescribing something stronger, or sending you for tests.
Instead, what you could have done is been aware of how you are feeling and the affect this was having on your body. You could have identified areas of tension in the moment and how once triggered this set off a chain of related muscles which caused the tension to spread.
At this point, you would have been aware that your body was starting to release adrenalin into your system, a perfectly natural protective response to tension in case you needed to engage in a fight or flight situation and that breathing techniques or physical exercise at this point would be the only way to burn off this adrenalin, which later in the day, if not gotten rid of, would make you feel irritable, depressed or possibly give you a sleepless night.
Learning to be aware of ourselves and our tendencies and learning to listen to our bodies is the first step. Although having said that, as soon as you start some sort of breath training and awareness, it becomes easier to listen.
So, this week, challenge yourself to listen to your breath. We use such a small amount of our lung capacity on a daily basis, it's no wonder that as a nation we have the physical and emotional issues that we do. If you have the opportunity, observe a new born baby crying and notice how their breathing from a tiny little diaphragm catapults a huge vocal cry out of their body. If you don't have a baby to hand, observe the dog barking. The diaphragmatic action is the same.
Failing that, think of the last time you ran screaming, probably as a child being chased across the playground at school! You would have used your whole body to make that high pitched sound which could be heard down the road.
Observe your breathing when you are upset or crying, and notice how your diaphragm plays a huge part in sobbing, or if you are laughing uncontrollably, what area starts to feel tired? Yes that's it, the diaphragm!
Even when you let out a big yawn notice the breath you take as you breathe in at the start...it's impossible to do a superficial yawn! Whilst we are on the subject of yawning be aware that it is your body's natural way of releasing tension, the more you can instigate yawning in a stressful situation the more you will stay calm and alert, and it's an absolute crime that children in school are made to feel they are doing something wrong when they yawn in the classroom! How many people feel it is rude to yawn??!!! If we can possibly find any more natural processes to repress and hide, we might really be able to screw up our bodies! I jest, but am very serious!
To practise breath awareness and tension release have a go at this exercise:
1. Take a deep breath through your nose and imagine you a filling up with air all the way down to your belly.
2. Breathe out all the air by dropping your mouth open and letting your tongue hang forward and out of your mouth (like a dog when its panting). Breathe all the air out until you don't have any left, and then breathe out a bit more...leave your mouth and tongue open and relaxed and draw the air in again through your nose, repeating step 1.
3. Practise a cycle of 3 breaths like this after breakfast, lunch and dinner and before you go to sleep. Use these 3 breaths whenever you feel angry, sad, embarrassed, tense, and so on, and especially if you have to make a decision about something.
If you are not used to breathing in this way, go carefully, and never do more than three at a time until you build up strength. If you feel light headed sit down. Breathing the way nature intended is a powerful force and should not be undertaken lightly. Do the above exercise at your own risk, and who knows, something amazing might happen......
Singing, Dementia and Breathing
It was so encouraging this week to turn on the National Lottery show, which I hardly ever watch, and see that a charity called "Lost Chord" were given some money in support of their work. This charity puts on concerts in care homes for people with Dementia and encourages them to sing along. People that usually utter a few words, lost in their own thought, or perhaps lack of it, were singing, remembering words and tunes, smiling and positive in their experience.
People ask how is that possible?
Many different neurological studies show that when a person sings or hums, areas of the brain, both left and right light up, areas that haven't even been researched or fully understood by "modern medicine". The left side of the brain contains speech/language centres, it helps us piece our words together! When we sing, we use our creative right brain.
MIT or Melodic Intonation Therapy used by speech, and music therapists, engages right brain activity, to stimulate the left brain, therefore helping someone who has lost the ability to speak, find it again, through singing and breath control.
I stumbled upon this quite by accident. In my early student days I used to teach singing to earn extra money, and I used to find myself attracting people with similar concerns. For example, one lady had suffered a stroke and had slight paralysis of the mouth and tongue which affected her speech, another used to stutter, one lady came to me because she was depressed and lacked self confidence and thought singing would trigger memories of her youth when she was confident and happy and used to sing often.
With all these "students" I worked exercises for breath control, opening the body, which in turn opened the voice. I used the exercises I had learnt as an opera singer, some of them really sounding quite silly. Like blowing elongated "raspberries" for example, which releases the tongue, massages and releases muscles of the face, helps locate and "feel" muscles of the diaphragm and probably most importantly, helps push the boundaries of what society deems acceptable for adult behaviour. After initial nerves and most of them really not wanting to do it, they eventually pushed through the fear and it opened them, not only vocally, but physically and emotionally too. This was just the beginning of the positive benefits of vocal development.
At the time I remember acknowledging the power of the voice and learning to sing. Having been brought up with complementary therapies and the concept of "energy" flow in one's life, it all seemed connected to me. I continued this work with different people that came my way, and I began to understand fully the importance of "breathing as nature intended" using our natural reflexes, learning to identify and not suppressing or holding negative emotions and tensions in the body. I realised this, because I was spending my time, unwinding other peoples' physical and emotional tensions through the voice. As they started to unwind and respond, the way they thought about things changed. They seemed more alive, with more confidence as they learnt tools to deal with their specific concern.
It was only later in life when I trained as a Sound Therapist that I realised that ancient cultures have been using Sound and The Voice for centuries! The use of Chanting and Song has been used to cure, invigorate, worship, journey and so on, and it does so by changing brain patterns, commonly from Beta mode which is our practical "everyday" mode of existence, to Theta and Delta modes which encourage a heightened meditative state and access the intuitive Self. Buddhist monks have chanted and toned to enter deep meditative states which have been proven to enhance well-being, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. Even Christian monks, chanted several times a day as part of worship.
In conclusion I am over the moon that so many charities, the NHS and sceptics worldwide are starting to accept "alternative" forms of treatment. It's interesting though how we have gone backwards, and now can only "accept" something if it's printed in a medical journal, and the GP prescribes it. It always amazes me when I tell someone that if they were to experience any side effects from a Sound Therapy treatment, it may be a slight headache, as so much water and stagnation would have shifted in the body. Some people I encountered have actually turned down a treatment because of this, preferring to continue with their prescribed drugs. Have you ever looked at the Side Effects list, on drugs readily prescribed by the GP? In all honesty, I would rather settle for the headache and try to find out what is the root cause of the illness!
Just to leave you with some interesting reading and thoughts. Dr. Robert Fried, PH.D, Director of the Stress and Biofeedback Clinic of the Ellis Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy in NYC wrote a wonderful book called, "Breathe Well, Be Well".
In this book he looks at many common complaints for which patients are readily prescribed drugs by their GP. For example, heart palpitations, chest pain, tingling in hands and feet, dizziness and vertigo, hot and cold flashes, fear of dying and the list goes on. In his book he shares his research into Hyperventilation and how most people are suffering some form of this breath disorder in mild or extreme cases due to incorrect breathing, diet, allergies etc. He shares his case studies, and breath techniques in the book, along with his huge success with his patients.
The one thing that stood out for me, more than his success, was that all the symptoms described above, are actually accepted and noted in medical journals as symptoms relating to Hyperventilation, and of course the treatment for that, would be to understand and re-train one's breathing.
However, as stated in the book, many patients seeking help are prescribed all manner of drugs, not breath exercises, as it is assumed the symptoms the patient is experiencing are caused by a differing complaint, most likely one that is "curable" (or more likely, "suppressible") by the lastest drugs developed by the huge pharmaceutical companies that control our health and ultimately our existence by capitalising on the trust that humans place in their local doctor. The book gives examples of health professionals unable to recognise or understand the extensive relating factors and symptoms of Hyperventilation, even though it is an "accepted" ailment, defined by their professional literature and source books.
Dr. Fried's book, is definitely worth a read!
Tibetan Singing Bowls And Horses
Having focused mainly on using my voice and native american healing flutes in my sound therapy sessions I recently started working again with Tibetan Singing Bowls and thank Goodness I did! I have had some fabulous experiences with human clients for stress and pain relief, but last week I had the opportunity to work on a friend’s horses. I had been meaning to go for a while, but the time never quite presented itself. Then last Sunday the moment arose, and my subjects were four horses, three male and one female.
The main reason for going was to see Paddy, an ex race horse from Ireland who had often been subject to harsh treatment was because of his temperamental behaviour, often leading his owner to some injury, either being kicked or thrown! Only having worked briefly with horses in the past, I was eager to see what we could do. True to form, Paddy was not in the best of moods, and had been jumping at a show in the heat the day before. He had been quite annoyed, kicking and biting and had obviously not recovered from his day. Sensing him to be very unstable on my arrival (and having learnt my lesson previously with an agitated horse that stepped on my foot!!!) I turned my attention to begin with, to the other calmer souls inhabiting the same stable. I began playing one of my beautiful small bowls, and it sang so gently and sweetly, the smaller female horse immediately turned to look and later was completely entranced. She did not move, and her eyes gently began to close. A bit like the way a human being loses focus and switches brain state whilst having a treatment. Humans commonly move from Beta to Alpha. The male horse next to her was very intrigued and he to just stared, centimetres away from the bowl, slightly resisting the urge to fall completely into a trance like state!
I looked over my shoulder at Paddy behind me, to see how the sound was affecting him. He looked like a petulant teenager! He had turned completely away so that his face was in the opposite corner and his bottom was facing me. He wasn’t kicking and chewing anymore but he made it clear he wasn’t having any of this “new age” therapy! Just like a human reaction. Often in a sound therapy treatment, as blockages are cleared, the client can feel anger, annoyance, and agitation before succumbing to the feelings of relaxation. I was starting to see that Paddy was following the same pattern. His eyes were so full of anguish and upset, real aggravation that he couldn’t get over. I left him again and continued with the others. Whilst I continually played a smaller bowl, I asked my friend to accompany me with a larger bowl, just by gently striking the outside of it to produce a beautiful deep bell sound. We concentrated on the two original horses, placing the larger bowl on his back and around his body, which he seemed very happy about!
Singing bowls have been proven to strengthen the immune system and increase cells that fight infection. This horse had been suffering from a virus that had weakened him and we were hoping the bowls would do him some good. He couldn’t get enough of it. As my friend played the larger bowl, he tried over and over to place his nose into it to feel the resonance. Of course as soon as the sides of the bowl are touched they stop resonating, so eventually he placed his nose beside it.
I looked back at Paddy, who was actually looking back at me! As I turned to face him, he turned his huge body around and greeted me, centimetres away from the singing bowl I was still playing. For about the next 30 mins, he went through phases of turning his head flat on the side next to the bowls as we played them and resting his head on his owner’s (my friend’s) shoulder, eyes almost closed, interspersed with phases of coughing and sneezing, which again is a sign of a blockage being released. His eyes calmed and he looked peaceful. My friend said that she had never experienced anything like this with Paddy before. He had never allowed her this intimacy and trust.
I moved along to the final horse as my friend continued to work with Paddy. At that point her mum came in and said she could hear the bowls all the way at the back of the stable, and that a group of cows had gathered in the field behind, half entranced, staring into the stable.
After a little more, we felt the energy move and the session came to an end. We left the horses, calm and sleepy. It was their dinner time and usually they are awake and ready to eat. That night was different!
I will be going back in the next month to continue this work.
Tongues! How often do we actually notice our tongue? Do you wake up in the morning and think, “Hmmm, how does my tongue feel today?”
I suspect not, and for that you would be considered “normal”!
We tend to notice our tongue when we bite it by mistake, get an ulcer or eat something that gets stuck to it and for the most part, unless you suffer with a particular tongue related problem/illness, I would imagine your tongue just exists without you giving it much other thought.
Whenever I run a workshop, or giving a Singing Therapy session and I ask a client to stick their tongue out, wiggle it around, stretch it out as far as possible, people look at me like I am crazy. Some people refuse to do it at all. Other more courageous souls have a go and find themselves catapulted back to childhood, laughing, smiling and releasing tension.
At what age did we forget that our tongue existed? Children are only too happy to stick it out, blow raspberries and goodness knows what! When did the tongue become taboo?
I only came to really notice my tongue when I began my operatic vocal training. Suddenly it became all I could think about. Teachers and coaches were always commenting on it, telling me to relax it, bring it forward putting the tip behind the bottom teeth and it was the most difficult area to control. As soon as I started to sing, it was like it had a mind of its own! It would shoot back and remain held almost creating a block at the back of my throat, and affecting my sound production in both volume and tone.
Gradually I understood how much tension I was holding in this area. I had never realised it. The thing is, the tongue doesn’t stop at the back of your mouth, it has its roots half way down the throat, so if you are holding tension there, it will affect many things from vocal production to swallowing and because everything in the body is connected, you may find tongue tension contributes to tension in the ligaments at the side of your neck, in your jaw, behind your ears, in your temples and ultimately locking up your vocal apparatus causing headaches one end and a very tight epigastrium the other. That’s the thing about the body, you might think you have a problem in one area, but it’s actually being triggered by something else, a sort of chain reaction, and if you don’t even realise the tongue can hold tension in the first place, it is an easy thing to over look.
The reason I’m writing this blog about “The Tongue” is because I haven’t had a single client, or singing student that is yet to have a completely neutral tongue position, all the time. By neutral I mean the relaxed feeling it has when you are dropping off to sleep, its position forward and flat in the mouth. This position gives a feeling of space in the mouth. Most people when asked to observe their tongue throughout the day as they go about their lives will notice that it reacts to their emotions. For example, if they are stressed and tense they notice that their tongue is pulling back in the mouth. If they feel self conscious they start doing strange things with their tongues often inside their closed pursed lips. I have always found that I clench my teeth when driving and when I stop to check for a moment, my tongue is rigid.
There is a positive and negative to this. The negative is you will find that you have created a lot of knock on affect tension in your body. If you have been holding your tongue in a tense position for many years you will have a chain of muscles that have reacted to this. It may take some time to learn to unwind them, however the fact that you are even aware of it is the most important step. When I have worked with people with Cervical Dystonia or Stammering for example, the tension in the tongue is often incredible. However, once people start doing exercises to reverse this, they usually see results very quickly.
The key is to NOTICE what you are doing, even if at first you are not aware of it. The positive is that once you start observing your tongue, it becomes a really good indication of your emotional state. You might not realise that you are in fact holding tension when you perform certain tasks, including things we do to relax like exercise. This type of self observation helps you get to know yourself and your mind and how you are sub-consciously responding to things.
Ultimately when you are used to this, you will find that by teaching yourself to pre-empt a situation where you are likely to get tense, and stay in command of your body and tongue (!), you will relieve the stress before it happens, and it probably won’t! Just like a dog automatically puts its tail between its legs when its afraid, if you reverse this, and keep the dog’s tail up, as performed by Cesar Millan on his show, the body sends the brain a message not to be afraid. We are the same. Be aware that you may be tense when approaching a certain situation and prevent the physical symptoms from occurring in advance. Your body will remain calm and your emotional state will also!
This blog could go on forever as there are many related points and subjects I could cover, for starters, why are we all so uptight anyway and at what point, as I mentioned earlier, did we adopt the belief that being “in touch” with our tongue was a childlike pass time? As we grow and mature it seems that the definition of becoming an adult means to lose touch with oneself, and we wonder why we look and sound old, suffer stress and long term illness!
Anyway, I encourage you all to make friends with your tongue! Pay it a little attention, see what its up to and notice how your emotions affect it…..and most of all, HAVE FUN!!!!!!
Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling, my journey into Singing and Sound for healing body, mind and spirit of all beings.