Sitting cross legged, arms raised straight out from each side, palms up, music on. We can sing along if we want to. And to my surprise, we all do. And it sounds…awesome?
I didn’t expect a group of random people – some with vocal talent and others (like myself) with none whatsoever – to sound so lovely. And it wasn’t just this once either, it is every time we repeat a mantra or sing along to a popular song. We sound good. The combined voices are somehow in sync with great tone. It sounds better than any cover band I’ve heard or any church choir performance I used to be tortured with. Yet, these bands and choirs rehearse.
So why does an unrehearsed group at yoga sound better?
The author of Yoga Solara offers many parallels between practicing yoga and singing, offering explanations about why us untrained singers find our voices in yoga.
Relaxation, releasing our egos. The best singers strive to let go of all physical and mental tension and allow their voices to come from an authentic, natural place. If you allow your ego to run your singing, your voice will sound false and manipulated.
Presence. Singing is the epitome of being present in the moment. If you let your mind wander, your voice can become unstable.
Posture. Correct singing posture is identical to mountain pose, with hands at the sides.
Technique and Heart. A great singer understands and cultivates a solid technique, and then, when performing, lets go and just sings from the heart.
Breath, the focal point in both yoga and singing. The ‘First Secret’ to singing is the control of breath. When you have control of your breath that means you have control over the muscles of your diaphragm, larynx, and vocal chords (Singing and Breathing – http://singinglessons4u.net/).
So, a singing voice and the courage to find it is one of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Although I’m not about to start belting out Donna Summer songs or create my own cover band, it is nice to acceptably sing out loud and believe I sound better than I would otherwise.
What are your thoughts about singing in yoga?
Want to sing in yoga? I recommend Gloria’s Kundalini at Semperviva.