Opening the Voice
This week we will focus on simple movements that prepare the voice for chanting. Just like you would tune a guitar before you play, you also need to tune the instrument of your body before you engage in and sound practices to ensure that the body is receptive to the vibration of your voice.
Begin seated comfortably. Use the left hand to weave between the toes of the right foot. Rotate 5 times one way, then 5 times opposite. Repeat with the other ankle.
Clasp hands together and hold in front of the chest. Begin to rotate the wrists in a figure 8 formation. Rotate 5 times one way, then 5 times opposite.
Gently rotate the neck as if you were drawing a circle with the nose on a chalkboard. Rotate 5 times one way, then 5 times opposite.
Place the hands on the upper thighs and rotate the shoulders in a backwards circle 5 times. Then flip the hands over and rotate the shoulders in a forwards circle 5 times.
Rotate abdomen around in a circle, articulating the rib cage. Rotate 5 times one way, then 5 times opposite.
Place left hand on left knee and right hand on right upper thigh. As you exhale twist to the right bringing left shoulder towards right knee, then inhale to center. Change the placement of the hands and twist to the left. Repeat 5 times each direction.
Begin in a comfortable seated position (you may sit in a chair if needed).Take a few breaths into the lower belly and exhale naturally through the nose. When you are ready to begin, chant the sounds at a natural speaking pitch. You may also place your hand over the areas of the body where the vibration is strongest.
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.