Improving the Voice


I recently saw a YouTube video by Swami Kriyanandaji on the importance of the voice and it got me thinking that maybe I can fix my voice too. Most of the time I croak (instead of speak) because I am tense and/or nervous. I have been trying some breathing/yoga techniques to fix my nervousness. However I wanted to know if you have any resources on how I can fix my voice and possibly use that to fix my mental state.

—A, Canada


Dear A,

You mentioned that you watched a video on You Tube of Swami Kriyananda speaking about the importance of one’s voice. Perhaps it was this video?

Above all, the voice is a vehicle for consciousness. Indeed we have a great opportunity through the voice to change our own consciousness and impart healing and inspiration to ourselves and others. What will be of help to you, in addition to breathing exercises and yoga which you are already doing, is to further develop devotion and to channel this quality deliberately through your voice. You can do this by singing devotional chants. You might also enjoy singing along with these recordings of Swami Kriyananda singing chants by Yoganandaji. Concentrate on the words and feeling the flow of energy through the heart center and up through the vocal chords.

It would also be very helpful to read out loud from Whispers from Eternity, a collection of devotional prayers and poems by Yogananda. The important thing is to start to use your voice devotionally. Learn to see speech as the conveyance of energy, of who you are on the deepest level. Don’t use words casually, in excess, or to criticize or hurt others.

Swami Kriyananda has written beautiful music of a devotional quality. Learning to sing some of the simpler songs will be helpful. I can say from personal experience that singing these will change your consciousness and the sound of your voice.

You might also consider working with a voice instructor. Many of my friends do this very thing to improve the quality of their voice and it works. Your meditation practice will also change your voice. Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

Nayaswami Maria