Use gentle vocal sounds to release muscular tensions

October 11, 2021 By 0 Comments

It’s likely that you already experienced yourself that mindful bodywork can be very powerful in order to solve vocal issues. Yin yoga, stretching, alexander technique,… But did you know that it also works the other way around?

Gentle vocal sounds can accelerate the process of releasing muscular – and other – tensions.

 

How? It’s all in the magic of fascia.

A beautiful stroll underneath your skin…

Fascia is the very flexible – you might say liquid – tissue that surrounds and connects your muscles, organs and so much more all over your body. That’s why it’s also called connective tissue.

Many among us have fascia that has become too stiff.

Imagine that. The stuff that surrounds, suspends and supports everything in your body is in a state of freeze. I use the word “freeze”, because I want to illustrate the connection that fascia has with the emotional and physical freeze reaction you can have in stressful situations, next to the fight or flight-reaction.

That state of freeze can be a result of a very recent happening, but it can also be the result of something that has happened many years ago. Working with fascia can be a very effective way to get rid of tensions that have built up, without necessarily having to understand where they came from. Even though it can also trigger an emotional release, it is not psychotherapy. However, it can be a very supportive element in the process of it.

 

 

So how do you get rid of that state of freeze?

Your most important goal is to make it flexible – you might say liquidify it. Imagine your muscles and organs suddenly being surrounded, suspended and connected by a tissue that’s much more supple. Doesn’t that sound good?

There are many ways of working with fascia: Yoga, alexander technique, other somatic bodywork,… Now, the cool thing is that if you add gentle vocalisations, the release happens much faster and deeper.

 


So now I’m challenging you!

Next time you perform a stretch exercise, whether it be yin yoga or a simple stretch after working out, make a long, gentle Vvvvvvvv on a comfortable pitch, every time you exhale.

You can choose between nasal / oral inhalation, whatever feels most comfortable to you, but whatever you do, make sure that you keep your teeth separate all through the exercise.

And if all this is a piece of cake for you, I challenge you to add a resisted inhalation to it.

That means that you inhale on a long, reversed Fffffff, and then exhale on a long, gentle Vvvvvvv.

What happens? Do you feel a difference, compared to the same exercise without vocalisation? If so, can you describe it in your own words?

I wish you a lot of fun, making your fascia more fluid, and freeing your voice 🎶

 


Mindful bodywork like the exercise above is essential to support your singing. Do you want to dig deeper?

Buy access to the recordings of one or more webinars on Releasing a Tense Voice, and learn to deal with a tense voice, related to physical or mental stress.

 

 

 

 

Fantastic, Sarah, thanks so much for your input. It's amazing how fast the exercises work!

Sara Jäggi - Singer & Vocal coach

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T17:22:00+02:00

Sara Jäggi - Singer & Vocal coach

Fantastic, Sarah, thanks so much for your input. It's amazing how fast the exercises work!
I am working on undoing a whole lot of back, shoulder and chest tension that I had built up over six years whilst wearing a chest binder. I had surgery eight months ago and no longer have to wear a binder, but that also resulted in tightness and loss of mobility that I've been working out with various exercises, stretches and breathing. Your work on releasing the chest and ribs is exactly what I am working on! Many thanks for your webinar, I really enjoyed it.

Kaidyn Hinds - Singer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-15T17:20:08+02:00

Kaidyn Hinds - Singer

I am working on undoing a whole lot of back, shoulder and chest tension that I had built up over six years whilst wearing a chest binder. I had surgery eight months ago and no longer have to wear a binder, but that also resulted in tightness and loss of mobility that I've been working out with various exercises, stretches and breathing. Your work on releasing the chest and ribs is exactly what I am working on! Many thanks for your webinar, I really enjoyed it.
I'm feeling refreshed! It's very nice to feel that expansion in the ribcage. I really enjoyed those exercises and I'll try to do them a little bit every day.

Maud - Speech Therapist

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T17:03:33+02:00

Maud - Speech Therapist

I'm feeling refreshed! It's very nice to feel that expansion in the ribcage. I really enjoyed those exercises and I'll try to do them a little bit every day.
I'm definitely going to use the "hot chocolate" exercises again, as I felt the biggest release in my back and shoulders with this. I enjoyed lying on top of the cushion and "melting" into it and would like to use this as a mindfulness technique.

Kaidyn Hinds - Singer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T16:52:08+02:00

Kaidyn Hinds - Singer

I'm definitely going to use the "hot chocolate" exercises again, as I felt the biggest release in my back and shoulders with this. I enjoyed lying on top of the cushion and "melting" into it and would like to use this as a mindfulness technique.
Thank you, Sarah! I'm a voice teacher at a university in Canada and I'm always looking for new body work exercises for my students. This was very helpful and you are a wonderful teacher.

Dr. Tracy Smith Bessette - Singer, Voice Instructor, Early Music Coach & Course Lecturer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T17:29:22+02:00

Dr. Tracy Smith Bessette - Singer, Voice Instructor, Early Music Coach & Course Lecturer

Thank you, Sarah! I'm a voice teacher at a university in Canada and I'm always looking for new body work exercises for my students. This was very helpful and you are a wonderful teacher.
Thanks to these exercises, I feel good and more calm, less nervous and scared. Thank you.
I will use the "hands to heal" exercise to activate my body more.

Jean Andersen - Singer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T17:00:39+02:00

Jean Andersen - Singer

Thanks to these exercises, I feel good and more calm, less nervous and scared. Thank you. I will use the "hands to heal" exercise to activate my body more.
Thanks to this webinar, I feel more relaxed about singing now.  I understand the concept of undoing rather than doing. It was really great to have some exercises to achieve that!

Debbie Walton - Singer & Conductor of the Surrey Hills choirs

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-22T13:57:10+02:00

Debbie Walton - Singer & Conductor of the Surrey Hills choirs

Thanks to this webinar, I feel more relaxed about singing now.  I understand the concept of undoing rather than doing. It was really great to have some exercises to achieve that!
As probably the least experienced of all the people in attendance, with the most to learn, I found it most interesting and quite extraordinary how the exercises you gave us seemed to increase the ability to extend the breath and facilitate better phrasing. I will definitely practice these techniques.

Julie Lowe - Singer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-11T13:35:40+02:00

Julie Lowe - Singer

As probably the least experienced of all the people in attendance, with the most to learn, I found it most interesting and quite extraordinary how the exercises you gave us seemed to increase the ability to extend the breath and facilitate better phrasing. I will definitely practice these techniques.
I just did the first and second webinar in a row and felt quite a lot moving in my mind, body and voice. Thanks a lot for that!

Bastiaan Maertens - Singer & Actor

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T17:25:02+02:00

Bastiaan Maertens - Singer & Actor

I just did the first and second webinar in a row and felt quite a lot moving in my mind, body and voice. Thanks a lot for that!
I feel more relaxed, and especially full of oxygen! My voice sounds fuller and I feel more vibration in my body when I speak and sing. I can't stop yawning. Thank you for the nice lesson!

Hanne Rossey - Yoga Teacher

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2022-06-14T15:54:38+02:00

Hanne Rossey - Yoga Teacher

I feel more relaxed, and especially full of oxygen! My voice sounds fuller and I feel more vibration in my body when I speak and sing. I can't stop yawning. Thank you for the nice lesson!
The exercises made me feel relaxed, a bit calmer and energised. I'm going to try to combine resisted breathing with my yoga poses and research how it helps the voice.

Madeleine Gruppetta - Singer

singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage
2020-09-04T16:44:08+02:00

Madeleine Gruppetta - Singer

The exercises made me feel relaxed, a bit calmer and energised. I'm going to try to combine resisted breathing with my yoga poses and research how it helps the voice.
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singsing! Sarah Algoet webinar on Opening the Rib Cage

As always, feel free to send me your thoughts, questions, and feedback in the comments below this blog, via the contact form or in the singsing! online community ❤️

Kind regards,

Sarah