I’ve always had a loud voice. A voice that couldn’t whisper.
There was no nonchalant when it came to me trying to share quietly. I grew up recognizing the faces of discomfort in my friends as they cringed at how loudly I would say something - with me completely oblivious up until the face of how loud I actually am.
My voice was a lot like my fathers, as well. And, him and my mom had a strained relationship for as far back as I can remember. So you can imagine her reaction when my voice would take on the characteristics of his.
Long story, short. I developed a disdain for my voice. I didn’t trust it.
It turned people away from me and embarrassed the ones that I love. I didn’t feel like I could ever control it, or make it be normal.
I also grew up with a constant struggle of having to clear my throat or sound like I was drowning in my own mucus. That, or having a sudden frog in my throat - both embarrassing and always coming at the wrong time.
Even as a child, when I was working on my voice through vocal lessons (I wanted to be a singer, how is that for irony), I publicly had a frog in my throat show up humiliating me in front of everyone, ruining my Christmas song and taking away any hope that using my voice for my purpose was possible.
Until yoga nidra.
I found yoga nidra by accident. It was the yoga practice my small community was missing and I was looking to set myself apart from the other teachers. I found it from a very shallow place and ended up being taken to the deep end.
I was completely enamored with the depth of the practice from the first day of teaching. My teacher, Tanis Fishman, took us through the states of consciousness in a way that had all of my attention. I didn’t know it yet, but my voice was starting to surface here.
I went from crying while having to share publicly (even something as simple as my name and where I was from), to leading rooms full of people and walking them into the spiritual portal that exists within this practice. Holding a room steady and stable with my voice became my safe place, it was what my destiny felt like.
You can heal through this practice. I have, and continue to.
This practice provides a soft landing place to see through the blockages and repressed emotions that we are often completely unaware of. Most of the time, we accept that this is just what life gave us, instead of knowing that this is what life has created for us, and that it can be rewritten in the alpha state with direct access to the gatekeeper of our stories - the subconscious mind.
During the practice, the use of a Sankalpa - a truth that is known by your heart, is planted into the subconscious and stored, eventually taking up enough space to become your new stored memory. You begin to operate from your Sankalpa, your conscious intention for who you are, and the innate knowledge that you’re already whole, despite what your past programming has you believe.
I came out of the first weekend in massive chaos but one that eventually freed my voice. I set boundaries around my voice and what I was willing to accept around it.
I stood up for my voice.
I owned the words I spoke, and did so with integrity and respect for myself. This translated like a ripple across the water and eventually my external began responding to my internal.
I carved out a new internal map.
As a yoga teacher, this practice also helped me to absorb the teachings of yoga and integrate them into a deeper understanding which had previously eluded me. I felt like I was reading from a book before this training, and now I feel like I am living the path of yoga. Not perfectly, but that isn’t yoga :)
Liberating my voice through this practice created a fire within me. To withhold my experience with this practice feels like a tragedy so I share it whenever and wherever I can. The teachings of this practice go well beyond the hour long practice, they are weaved throughout your day and into your sleep.
It’s a shame to me that we don’t value what is free, and it is free to practice yoga nidra.
I can see the excitement in faces when I begin to share what changed my life so dramatically until the part where they have to do the work inside of a practice that is essentially free. The excitement drops out of their faces and it seems like skepticism replaces it.
We must come to a place where we begin to trust our bodies and our connection to Source in order to be whole and healthy in this human experience. Once we release that others must be present to fix us, or that we must use something external to be healed, we can see the intelligent gifts that exist within us.
These gifts are your breath and your consciousness, and you have access to them as long as you are breathing.
Much love, M