Expand Your Voice Expand Your Spirit



We are all constantly aware of our appearance—especially what our face looks like in the mirror. But we also have another “face,” one that we carry into every facet of our lives but rarely think about, even though much of our self-expression is carried within it. Except for those of us who are singers or in speech therapy, we tend not to focus on our voice; it just seems to come out of our mouths automatically.

However, when we learn to pay attention to our voice—how it works in the body, what it conveys energetically, and especially how to harness its immense power—we can change it. And by changing our voice, we can change our lives and our spiritual connection to others.

Voice Awareness and Communication

The sound of a voice has everything to do with communication. Words change their meaning, depending on the quality and intention of the sound produced. One obvious way to demonstrate this phenomenon is to say the same phrase aloud several different ways. Try saying the sentence “See you later,” for example, these ways: sweetly • peacefully • sarcastically • breathlessly • playfully • wearily • authoritatively

To change the meaning of the sentence, you might emphasize various words, speed some words up or slow some down, slur or enunciate certain consonants, add ring or more breath to your sound or vary your volume and pitch. Try saying, “See you later,” with a slightly tight throat, and then try it with a very loose, easy feeling. The possibilities are vast.

As an exercise by yourself or with a partner, see how much you can vary these three words. Notice how your face, body, throat and emotions make slight or even big changes as the message varies.

The Physiology of Voice

As you can see by the above exercise, the voice is a malleable part of our bodies, connected to our emotions and intentions and vital to all communication. It is not static, but can have many shades and nuances.

How does the body produce this miraculous tool of communication? Understanding the answer, even in a basic way, is the first step in getting acquainted with and opening or freeing the voice so that you can more fully express who you are.

The voice is made up of four components: an energy supply, a vibrational source, a resonator and articulators.

The energy supply is a steady stream of exhaled air. If you can’t feel a lot of airflow as you speak or sing, you are not opening up and relaxing your throat as much as you could. Practice saying a full sentence, such as “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Say it slowly, feeling the airflow as you speak. Then say it again slowly with less airflow. If you run out of breath more quickly the second time, that’s because you have run out of airway or throat space.

The vibrational source is the vocal cords. Just like a motor in any mechanical device, we need to stay out of its way so it can function effectively. That means that the voice doesn’t get more powerful by pushing it.

The resonator is the open throat, the same space where the air is moving freely as you speak or sing.

The articulators—tongue, lips, teeth and palate—take the raw sound produced by the vocal cords and the air stream and shape it into meaningful words.

Harnessing Vocal Power

Most of us have experienced tightening of the throat or voice, which is a fear or stress response created by our natural defense mechanisms. A tight voice is a false way of feeling less vulnerable; however, it actually blocks our personal energy.

To raise our vibration as spiritual beings, we must relax the throat and the areas around it to produce a free, expressive and resonant voice. A relaxed voice energizes the throat chakra and also helps us listen to others better.

Ronni Sarrett Lederman is a voice teacher and Reiki master in Bronxville. For more info, visit VocalFocus.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

News Briefs

Family-Friendly Fall Farm Fest in Ossining

Family-Friendly Fall Farm Fest in Ossining

September 23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Nutritionist Linda Lonergan Hosts Local TV Show

Nutritionist Linda Lonergan Hosts Local TV Show

Wednesday mornings at 8:30 on Comcast public access channel 8.
Melanie Ryan Teaches Shamanic Reiki Training

Melanie Ryan Teaches Shamanic Reiki Training

September 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Craniosacral Therapy Workshop Offered in Mount Kisco

Craniosacral Therapy Workshop Offered in Mount Kisco

September 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Sarah Montgomery Launches Home Physical Therapy Service

Sarah Montgomery Launches Home Physical Therapy Service

“I’m passionate about helping people experience improved quality of life in whatever form that takes for them."
New Wellness Center Opens in Mamaroneck

New Wellness Center Opens in Mamaroneck

It will feature a series of rooms designed to facilitate meditation, health and healing.
Armonk Outdoor Art Show Celebrates 57th Year

Armonk Outdoor Art Show Celebrates 57th Year

September 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine
Family Farm Festival at Stuart’s Fruit Farm

Family Farm Festival at Stuart’s Fruit Farm

Yonkers Riverfest Is “More Than a Festival”

Yonkers Riverfest Is “More Than a Festival”

September 15, from noon to 7 p.m.
River Spirit Festival Follows Decade-Long Tradition

River Spirit Festival Follows Decade-Long Tradition

September 8, from noon until 10 p.m.
Walk-a-Thon Supports People with Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Walk-a-Thon Supports People with Breast, Ovarian Cancer

October 7 at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights
Weekend Immersion Revives Pilates’ Original Work

Weekend Immersion Revives Pilates’ Original Work

September 28-30
Workshop in New Paltz Explores Healing Movement Sequence

Workshop in New Paltz Explores Healing Movement Sequence

September 9, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Custom Candles Opens White Plains Location

Custom Candles Opens White Plains Location

Offers eco-friendly candles, natural health products, jewelry and a variety of gifts.

Weekly Science of Spirituality Meetings Resume in September

Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Twilight on Hudson Supports Local Environmental Efforts

October 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Free Dance Movement Classes at Well On The Way

Free Dance Movement Classes at Well On The Way

Every Saturday at 191 Main Street in Ossining
Savvy Women’s Alliance Launches White Plains Chapter

Savvy Women’s Alliance Launches White Plains Chapter

September 26, at 6:30 p.m.
Sparrow’s Nest Hosts Superhero 5K and Kids Fun Run

Sparrow’s Nest Hosts Superhero 5K and Kids Fun Run

September 9 at James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley
New Healer’s Circle Begins in Cold Spring

New Healer’s Circle Begins in Cold Spring

September 23
Farm-to-Table Dinner at Hilltop Hanover Farm

Farm-to-Table Dinner at Hilltop Hanover Farm

September 27
New Movie Explores Dangers of Agricultural Chemicals

New Movie Explores Dangers of Agricultural Chemicals

Documenting the link between agricultural chemicals and disease
Alternatives to Violence Project Hosts Workshop in Scarsdale

Alternatives to Violence Project Hosts Workshop in Scarsdale

August 10 to 12
Summer Camp, Fall Retreat Provide Breast Cancer Support 

Summer Camp, Fall Retreat Provide Breast Cancer Support 

“Camp Lightheart has been an overwhelming success.”
Balance Studio Makes Mind-Body Wellness Affordable

Balance Studio Makes Mind-Body Wellness Affordable

Offering a variety of affordable mind-body classes and services provided by a community of licensed independent contractors.
Poughkeepsie Students Study Watershed Pollution

Poughkeepsie Students Study Watershed Pollution

High school students are leading an effort to understand sources of pollution in Poughkeepsie’s Fallkill Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River.
Greenburgh Nature Center Holds Family Campout

Greenburgh Nature Center Holds Family Campout

5:30 p.m. on August 11 to 8:30 a.m. on August 12
Merritt Bookstore Hosts Course in Writing for Children

Merritt Bookstore Hosts Course in Writing for Children

August 14, 16, 21 and 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.