Austin – We all have our patterns of contraction, rutted paths of reining in, pulling back, clamping down – experienced in thought, in specific body sensations.
It’s easy for the mind to see these states arising and go to work at trying to get out of them.
One of these patterns I share with many is a clenching of the upper shoulders and jaw. When I’m singing, this puts all the sound-making work on a small area in the throat. I can feel its effort and how the rest of the musculature is locked up and not helping.
This cave is what I find today as I start the practice. And instead of trying to breathe my way around it, I go inside and sing the posture full on, casting awareness on its shapes, its nuances. Unsurprisingly, it has something unique to say, its own feel, a high, muted trumpet.
And like a fear explored, observing this pattern begins to bring oxygen to the pockets inside the contractions, dissipating them and revealing that nothing but space and songs lie on the other side.