26 minutes | Oct 4, 2020

2. Developing a Healthy Awareness of Tension

In the previous episode, we chatted about vulnerability. I like to say that, when it comes to the voice, we need to see vulnerability not as the potential for danger but rather as the opportunity for freedom. Trying to hide or protect our vulnerabilities requires us to build barriers and restrictions. But both the larynx and our voices require freedom and movement and flexibility - without restraint. And a lot of the time, these restraints, are built by tension. I have yet to meet a vocalist, speaker, any occupational voice user who doesn’t face tension as a daily challenge. Most mindful voice users are conscious of this sneaky little challenger and are able to use it to their advantage as an alert to either embrace vulnerability, or shift tension to the parts of the body where it’s actually more useful. But many voice users are not aware of the effects of tension until it shows up in bigger forms like increased stress, frustration, fatigue, strain, or even swelling and hoarseness. I think we’ve been taught that tension in general is always large and always felt throughout the whole body - like when we’re really angry or super nervous - and always a bad thing. We (myself included) often speak of tension in a very positive light. I’m always advocating for release and freeflow, but let me just say upfront that tension itself is neither good nor bad. It just "is". And when we're aware of it and it's usefulness, we're able to engage and release it for our benefit. Contact: ask@mindfulvoiceusers.comFacebook and Instagram: @mindfulvoiceuserswww.mindfulvoiceusers.comWant to support?: www.patreon.com/mindfulvoiceusersEpisode mentions: Elissa Weinzimmer - Voice Body Connection @voicebodyelissa Recorded, edited and mixed at Sampsongs Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa. Music: "What's In It For Me" by Gloria Tells, Epidemic Sound
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