Hello My Fellow Bright Light,
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
How to end harmful habits and create new ones:
Pruning and create new synaptic connections in that beautiful brain of yours. . .
1. Make the decision that this will be a transformative exercise. That you will stand up a new person.
2. Sit down with yourself and just feel what you feel and breathe. Can scan you body from head to toe. Any time you have a thought and you realize you're thinking come back to your breath.
3. Open your mind to the fantasies of what you really want - aside from how much money you have now, what your body is like and who you are ... Any time a thought/ feeling of what you don't want comes in remind yourself that you are having the thought and go back to fantasizing about what you do want.
4. Spend a minute or so with each image that arises. Like maybe your mind sees you hugging your grandchild. Let this be far out in the future, after you have accomplished your big goals.
5. Make it real for your body by feeling what it would actually feel like to be LIVING the result. How would you FEEL?
6. Let the pictures go - throughout the day open to opportunities and act on impulses that come from what was inspired by your vision. You can do this any time. You don’t have to know how. Let yourself be surprised and delighted.
Loving you, Ellen Pierce 💕 #leadersoftheheart #lovealltheparts
Everyone alive has a biological father.
I have one too. I was hearing the familiar ring of Skype, but this time my body felt heavy and tension swirled in my throat.
“Is there a way I can avoid this call…?” I thought to myself.
But there is another part of me that knows when I choose to show up to face my life, even when it is bothering me, I transform. . ,
I allow myself more freedom. I allow the old wounds to be seen and cleared out, kind of like a good dusting in a room full of cobwebs. First the air gets all polluted and musty, but then, when the dust clears, the room sparkles and you can BREATHE!
Not everyone received the holding, love and support that we would have wished from our fathers. We may have needed more protection, more attention, more guidance or more structure.
Inside, It’s typical to have an impression of who we wanted our dads to be, and compare it against who he is.
It is natural to make such comparisons. And, healing starts when we begin to notice that gap, and allow each other to be who we are. That includes being allowed to wish things were a little different. It is all workable.
Here is some support for those who need a little extra love while working with the father that was.
1. Feel the truth of your feelings.
In all honesty it is not necessarily convenient to feel my heart break, anger and sense of lack today.
Feeling the full spectrum of the truth of our emotions by sensing them in the body is the key to freedom and a rich life. The trick is to turn towards what is arising and investigate while staying present and awake. When an emotion is particularly stimulated by thoughts I like to keep my eyes open, and do this work in community if I can. Finding mentors who literally held me in a sacred container while I had these strong feelings was such a profound gift for me. Find someone who will not try to fix or change you but will allow you to be, and hold space for you to feel.
2. Communicate if you can.
For me, it was the pain of many failed attempts at romantic relationship that drove me to connect with my father.
I had an intuitive knowing that if I did not clean up my side of the street with him, that I would continue to act out unhealthy patterns with the men I loved most in my life, causing chaos between us, and causing me to lose them in the long run.
Luckily, my dad had recently remarried and him and his wife do a lot of personal work together. I called his wife and set up a time to talk with them. We did it therapeutic style, about one hour at a time. His wife generously served as a mediator of sorts but she is highly trained and skilled at being a neutral party. Find someone who can offer this to you if possible.
We had significant rifts to repair, and continue to work on connecting in ways that work for both of us. I am so happy to report, years later, how much easier and enjoyable our relationship has become.
Take time, deep breaths and care to be very respectful in your communicating. Some rules to stick by include the following:
- Find a therapist or skilled person to mediate.
- Speak in “I” statements - “I feel _____ when you say / do _____. I prefer ____.” It can seem really contrived at first but ultimately prevents more damage.
- Let the other person know what you heard them say. You may be surprised how much you can miss, especially when the sympathetic nervous system is running hot (think, the feelings of stress). It feels so good to KNOW you have been heard!
Finally, let it be imperfect. These are guidelines not rules.
- There needs to be room for mistakes. After harm comes repairs. If done effectively, in a way that is safe for everyone, you can become closer for the rifts. Kind of like weight lifting, the little tears can make for stronger muscles through repair.
- Set a time to talk free of distractions. Set a max and min amount of time. It's easy to bail out early or get lost in process. A time limit can help with that container.
- It doesn't have to be all heavy. Be you. Make jokes, talk about the ups and downs in your life that you are comfortable sharing.
3. Ask, “How am I holding myself?”
Maybe the most important suggestion is to hold YOURSELF in loving kindness - to find a core of strength, kindness and structure with your own being.
To show up for yourself, and to be generous with yourself. Make the day you talk with your father a self care day and give yourself what you need. If you get stuck stop, ask what your body needs, keep asking until you get something concrete, and give the body what it is asking for. Today, my body needs more water. Let it be as simple as it is. If you get stuck go for the basics… food, water, connection, sleep, nature and movement are great places to start.
My favorite exercise to remind myself that I am infinitely supported is to lie flat on my back on the earth and saying in my head “I am fully supported. I am truly supported. I feel the support of the floor (ground/ earth etc).”
A sad truth is that some of us don’t have fathers to talk with, even if they weren’t perfect. You can still do this repair work with a trusted mentor or therapist. Try writing or role playing the conversations. Family constellations can also be very powerfully healing work for fathers who have already passed on.
4. Ask for a message or a paternal ancestor.
I like to call in support from my lineage. I realized I was working almost exclusively with female guides both in my imagination and in life.
Often lineage does not have to mean blood line, although it can be really powerful to just go through and honor each paternal relative that you had contact with in this life, even if they were not what you wanted them to be. I had a really difficult time finding a paternal ally this, so I ended up working with the qualities of the male bear - fierce, protective and strong.
Here are some basic instructions for calling in your support.
No matter who you are, take the day to contemplate the archetype of the father today. We all have our best qualities and our worst. Feel the feels. Focus on what you want. Live into it.
I have heard gratitude is the highest form of prayer. If you can, give appreciation for the father. He is part creator of life! In doing so you shine a light on what you want to make more in the world.
Sending you love,
Compassion + Integrity = Powerful Leadership - What's your vision for the world?