If you’re familiar with my story, you know that I did not like to sing for the longest time. I also hated to sing in front of anyone. I was so afraid to be mocked or shamed…
But then, I discovered that one of the attributes of my clan (Maa’ingan Dodem) is to use their voice, in every sense of the word.
And through yoga’s chanting, like Om, Shanti and various other call and response or kirtans, I overcame the block I’d hidden behind. I stopped feeling that song was about performance or having a beautiful voice, and it became an exercise because I used my body’s instrument – the voice. Chanting became an expression of harmony and a way for me to reclaim my health and my confidence.
I know using my voice has improved my physical, mental and emotional health.
Here are 4 reasons to sing daily:
1- Song Activates Your Throat Chakra (5th Chakra)
In the West, we live in a society that is focused on multimedia and online connection, and we’re uncomfortable with silence, but we’re mortified about making noise ourselves… We don’t want to speak in public, we don’t hum to ourselves as we walk down the street, we can’t voice our thoughts and feelings…what if someone hears us?!?
The throat chakra is about sound, whether that is listening or speaking (or singing). By not fulling activating our throat chakras, we suffer from all kinds of physical and emotional ailments.
The result is that we don’t speak up, we don’t express our needs and wants (at work or in relationships), we swallow anger and resentment because we don’t feel heard / that it’s safe to express ourselves. Physically, we develop all kinds of throat, jaw, teeth and hearing problems. We snore and grind our teeth, we have neck pain…
We talk, but we don’t say anything; we hear but we don’t listen.
When we sing or chant, we use a tool in our bodies that activates the throat chakra. The more you use your voice, the more it becomes a habit to express yourself. The more you express yourself and feel heard, the easier it becomes to listen.
2-Song Is Breathwork
Your voice is a vibrational tool, and it’s a built-in part of your body. In order to produce sound, you need to breathe, and if you want to project, you need to use your diaphragm and these nifty things called abominals.
Singing (or chanting), can help you become more aware of your breath, while giving your midsection a bit of a workout.
Breath work is one of the most powerful, and most accessible, stress-relievers; while your core is your power center because without abdominals you couldn’t stand or walk or lift anything. Engaging your core to do something enjoyable like singing is saying to your body; you can achieve great things AND have fun.
Song is an active and fun way to meditate!
3-It Helps You Detach from Ego
Honestly, we’re so focused on productivity and perfection and performance, that we need to stop taking ourselves too seriously. It’s soul crushing! Singing regularly, whether you sing “well” or not, will help you break out of trying to be ‘perfect’. Start slow, by singing on your own, or with the radio, then around people you love and trust (and who’ll sing with you). Before you know it, you’ll be ‘shaking it off’ with Taylor Swift on your ride to the grocery store.
4-Your Perspective Shifts
Sound has an impact on our nervous systems. An uncomfortable repetitive sound can increase our cortisol production (the stress hormone). But a pleasant sound can help us relax and create positive brain chemistry.
When we sing, our energy rises, especially if we sing something upbeat. Have you ever tried to sing with a frown? How about hunched over? It doesn’t work. Sit up or stand tall, look ahead or look inside, but smile and belt it out. Singing helps us shift into gratitude, beauty and harmony.
How do you feel about singing or chanting? Do you have any hangups about it? How do you overcome your fear of being out of tune and just enjoy the music?