You don’t have a voice like Pavarotti or Shirley Bassey? Well, that’s ok as this is about using your voice and not whether you have the ability to sing or not. Just be yourself, have an open mind and do not judge or criticise yourself.
From my personal experience, I was not confident using my voice and was aware how short my breath was, how my voice would sound raspy or break, when it sounded weak or flat and when it sounded strong and ‘singing’. I learned to just observe the sound and to really listen, how did it reflect where I was at, at that time? I then became aware of how my voice changed, how it felt and how my life was changing too, I was learning to use my voice in all aspects of my life.
The other great thing about using your voice is that it is always available, you never forget to bring it with you!
You can use your voice by toning or chanting mantras and below is an overview of each of these.
I describe toning as vocalising an elongated vowel sound. Toning oxygenates your body, relaxes the mind, body and spirit. It deepens and improves your breathing and also improves your posture. You can release stress, negative emotions and any stagnant energy leaving you feeling very relaxed yet energised.
You can visualise a certain area e.g. the tension in your shoulder and start toning to that area, using ‘eeeeeee’ is very good for this kind of practice. Try it for yourself and just be aware of what you feel. Chakra balancing can be done by toning. I use the following vowel sounds, going from root to crown chakra:-
UH -> OOO -> OH -> AH -> EYE -> AYE -> EEE
Mantra basically means ‘to free the mind’. Mantras have been used for thousands of years in various cultures, although, if used in a Sacred Sound session, I will use Sanskrit or Tibetan. There are absolutely thousands of mantras and in many cases there is no literal translation into English. However, this has absolutely no bearing on the effect of the mantra as Sanskrit is about energy and not the literal meaning of the words.
In Thomas Ashley-Farrands’ book “Healing Mantras” he states that “mantra is a mental tool that can release us from our conditioned mental habits and from the bondage of any pre-determined life circumstances”. Mantras, like other aspects of Sacred Sound therapy, affect the chakras, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self.
There are seed mantras, which consist of one word, there is one for each of the chakras, except the crown chakra as it is inaudible. There are longer mantras and ones that contain one or more of the seed sounds within them. There are mantras to help with all kinds of issues e.g. relationships, obstacles, abundance, the ego etc.