Rock Yourself Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 9

The Home of the Heart

25 min - Practice


We continue to build our whole body instrument by exploring our foundation, our engine, and our gift. Thorald leads us into a beautifully vulnerable state of expansion through belly breathing and humming. We never have to try to sing, we only have to stop blocking our natural sound. Be brave like and allow yourself to be heard.
What You'll Need: No props needed


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(waves lapping) We're gonna build our whole body instrument together. It's what we're gonna do, we're gonna start again, we're gonna start from the beginning. If you've been a singer all your life, I want you to throw all of it out and if you never sung before, welcome, you actually don't need anything, just be up to playing this game we're gonna play. So, we're gonna build a picture of you as this beautiful whole body instrument, and we're gonna use awareness, and we're gonna use our imaginations, and we're going to experience what it is to feel all parts of our body come back into itself, and join together in this beautiful, awesome, whole body instrument that you are. It's good. It doesn't suck.

Doesn't suck, okay, here we go. All right cool, so. Doing it with me, come on. Yeah, everyone in, everyone in, okay. I want you do get comfortable.

You can absolutely slouch a little, allow your body to just sort of be in its natural place. If you'd like to sit a little bit more erect, that's fine. If you'd like to slouch a little bit, that's great too. I just want you to become back into that middle center of your brain where you found that arm chair that captain's chair, Steve, for you, Sadie, I want you to have your eyes closed, leave them open, focus on some kind of point in the room. I just want you to allow your breath to fall down into your belly.

And with your awareness, I just want you to watch your belly rise and watch your belly fall. (exhales loudly) I want you to really stay with that practice as we speak about this whole body instrument that you are. I want you to become firstly aware of your foundation, the first part of this beautiful instrument. Your foundation to me is not just your feet but the ground of which your feet are on. Well, right now, the ground of which you're sitting on.

From your feet all the way out through your ankles, your calves, your knees, your thighs, and all the way to your sit bones. Your foundation is that pivotal place to be aware of and when we talk about awareness, to me, it's the simple act of putting your attention there without any adjustment which is the first thing we wanna do when someone says, "Become aware of your knee", and your like, "Oh, knees", you know, as opposed to, you just bring your peripheral awareness to them. What does it feel like to have knees? When was the last time you experienced having a knee? That's that kind of awareness we're gonna be using.

I just want you to bring your attention to your feet. What your feet are feeling? If you're sitting with them directly on the ground, what does it feel like to have feet on the ground? And I want you to imagine what the floor through your shoes if you wearing shoes feels like? What do the floorboards feel like?

What's the underneath where your feet are? What kind of bed rock or sand or dirt is where you are? What does the ground feel like? And I want you to feel that grounding, I want you to feel that root, that foundation, and I want you to feel it coming all the way up to your sit bones, all the way up to the top of your waist, and that's really the first part of that whole body instrument. Whenever I've been on stage and I feel disconnected, whenever I've been speaking to a lot of people and I feel a little bit out of my body, the first thing to go is the foundation of this picture, the whole body instrument's foundation is the most pivotal start point, and I always want you to trust that it's there for you, and become the, it's an odd counterintuitive thing to start with, there's a voice you think, well, let's start here.

You know, we're gonna start where the magic's coming from. It's actually exactly the other way around. It's the same with yoga poses too, we wanna be all expressive and get these poses and feel all light and free but you have to start it from the Earth. Absolutely, exactly. So, as you're just breathing naturally in it, you know, inhales, exhales, just enjoying the feeling of being, is breathing human, I want you to just keep that awareness on that foundation, and now, we're gonna add the next part of this whole body instrument that you are.

I call it the engine, you can give it any name you'd like, it's that 360-degree belly apparatus, that accordion, that fire bellows, that expansive balloon. It's the absolute driving force behind having a beautiful, rich, expressive voice, and again, there's a parallel to yoga to have that breath connection. Yeah. In this case, you can be super slouchy about it. I feel like you can't be too relaxed to come into the engine that exists in the middle of this whole body instrument that you are, you can be like this and be completely in the engine that you have.

I want you to just try that to feel it. You can bring your hands all the way back and still with your awareness and your foundation, I want you to add that awareness to your belly and just allow it to rise, (inhales) fat and happy, and expand all the way out and then contract all the way belly button to spine. (exhales) And again, fat and happy, (inhaling loudly) and contracting all the way, belly to spine. (exhales) I feel fat and happy. Good, so do I. So many people try to never show their bellies, I know especially, I think, for women too. Absolutely.

Like, oh don't do that, don't look like that, or, you know, suck it in and that can be real issue. We're gonna stay here now we've talked about this. I've had two experiences with all the people that I've taught in the language of whole body instrument. I've had men that asserting their chest, that they can't even know what it feels like to be expansive here, and I've had women that literally look at me when I say, hey, let's be fat and happy, and they'd go at this first, but then about 30 seconds later, they're doing it. It's so nice. I've experience all of it

and at the end of the day, it's a beautiful, vulnerable thing to be expansive and to allow yourself to be shown here. I think it's one of the more vulnerable things to expose. In fact, I remember a really intense time in my life, really quite mentally ill that I couldn't actually sit like this. I remember that, I was too vulnerable, was too kind of scary at that time. And it shows a lot about you when you can allow yourself to just expand and contract in the belly, and expose that part of you.

Again, it really is the power center. And it's funny your power isn't this hard core, just like pushing out into the world. It's soft bellies, strong core, and power men is after like this too. Absolutely. So, let's stay here for one more breath exercise.

We're gonna inhale and expand the belly for four, (inhaling loudly) two, three, four, we're gonna hold this big, fat and happy breath, and we're gonna exhale double for eight, (exhaling loudly) two, three, four, five six, seven, eight and in for four. (inhaling loudly) two, three, four, hold, and exhale for eight, two, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, one more time, inhale for four, (inhaling loudly), hold, and exhale for eight, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, beautiful. So, we're gonna do some more breath belly exercises but just in this exercise, to really get to know the second place of your whole body instrument, the engine. So, foundation, engine, and that looked fantastic, by the way. Yeah?

How do you feel after that? I feel lovely and there was a time in my life, I would never would have let a man, much less you, or pretty much anyone see my belly doing that. It's just, I felt really vulnerable, I felt really uncomfortable with it. So, I feel like I've come a long way and it just feels natural now, and I'm enjoying it. I'm like, look how far I can get my belly now, (both laughing) instead of like. So, true, yeah.

Did it go out at all, I don't want it to. Yeah, yeah, totally counterintuitive. But that feels powerful for me. It does. And I know it's a big issue for many, many people, and so, just that, thank you for that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It is, it's where we're most vulnerable, we find our most power. You know, it's such a beautiful physical version of that. And so, foundation engine.

Now, we move in to the really fun counterintuitive part two which is the next two places of this whole body instrument which really is just one place. It really requires nothing of us. It is the chest and the throat. Now, the chest is where the lungs are, all right? But we're gonna add to our game now.

I want you to imagine that your lungs are no longer in your chest, your lungs are now in your belly where we were breathing, where we were being expansive, where we're being contractive, we have belly lungs. The only time we really need lungs is when we're in like a, you know, an aerobic state, when we really need to use the up and down motion of the lungs. In this state, in this singing state, we don't need the lungs in the chest to be functioning, we need ourselves to be as low and expansive as possible. So really, our chest now is just the home of the heart, our chest now really is the home of resonance, and what is that require of us? Nothing.

We just have to let it be, we have to enjoy it, it's a gift, the same thing applies with the throat. The vocal cords and the throat itself is a gift. We never have to try to sing when we first came out of our moms, we were connected, we came out, and we opened our mouths with a deep expansive belly breath and let out this beautiful cries of survival, and we never lost that voice, we never stopped them. Probably say, can I, how do I do this? You know, like, hope this sounds good, we never went into that place.

It was just a natural instinct. Our bodies when we are in our foundation, and when we're in our engine, naturally know what to do. So again, this third area of this whole body instrument is the chest and the throat and they are gifts, they are places for us to just literally be so grateful for and let what nature wants to happen just happen, let it be, the Beatles said it, I wish I wrote that song still to this day. So, what does that look like? So, awareness of our foundation, allowing this engine belly breath expansion, (inhaling loudly) and allowing the rush of air to just come all the way up this beautiful windpipe, and out on those.

Our chest is relaxed, our throat is relaxed. Inhale, (inhaling loudly) and exhale, allowing that air to rush up. (exhaling loudly) Now, we're gonna add a note to this, we've got our foundation, we've got our engine, we've got our gift and our gift, and we're just not going to allow nature to take over. We're gonna allow our vocal cords to engage, and we're gonna enjoy what that feels like, there's nothing else to do than to let out any note, you can pick any note you'd like to sing along with us. We're probably not pick the same note, and we're just going to allow our focus being on our foundation, our engine to give way to the reaction that is just a note itself to come out. And we'll start with just a hum.

So, here we go, inhale, (inhaling loudly) and exhale note. (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) Beautiful, how did that feel? Supernatural, supernatural, like way more magic than I'm used to by trying to sing. I mean, I'm okay, I'm (laughs). I'm so excited right now because so often, I know I try to sing from here.

Right. But presented to you, I'm singing from somewhere, and this just felt like, oh my gosh, I'm making a sound and I like the sound, and I'm not trying to make the sound, it's making me. Yeah, you're making your sound. Effortless. Yeah, you're making your sound, and as we continue to this exercise, we're gonna keep going.

I want you to just become really curious about what that sound is coming out of you feels like, and what happens when you slightly move it around your mouth? What happens when you experience it in a new way physically? What experience are you having? When we go and hear an amazing singer or an amazing speaker, we're experiencing their experience of expressing. That's literally the core.

So, you're saying, while listening to them feel? We're literally reacting to what they are feeling. That's it, that's actually what we're moved by, that when you go and see an amazing singer, it's not what they're doing, it's how they are doing it, it's that thing, that thing you can't put your finger on, and when someone's in their natural expression, we know it, we sense it, we experience it too. So, really this beginning work of being in a whole body instrument that you are is really about experiencing what it feels like, it's that simple. So, let's do more of that together.

Again, foundation, engine, the gift of sound just allowing to happen, and what does that feel like to have that vibration happen? What does that feel like in your lips? What does that feel like if you send it to the back of your throat? Forward, you can move it around, chew on the vibration, chew on that sound, and we're just gonna keep it to that simple, we'll do this through quite a few more minutes. The sign that something is really opening is when it feels really rich and really effortless.

So, another way to say these. When it feels extremely powerful and extremely effortless, something amazing sounding. I feel that you can say about a lot of things in life. It's just has a flow to it. So, let's all get to that place.

All right. Experiencing curiosity will lead, so here where go. Inhale, (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) (inhaling loudly) (humming) Beautiful. (Sadie giggling) (laughs) How do you feel? Very interesting, very fun.

I like your exploration, it was like you're moving it around and you're finding-- Where else could it go in there? You'll find different things. This is just the beginning. We're gonna get Stephen Tyler on that really soon. Really? Being here really playful.

Ooh, and I wasn't worried about what you were thinking of me either which is hard, you know, especially being on camera, for whoever wants to watch me and therefore, potentially judge me or love it, or leave it or whatever, and so, I can't like, I can be there with you but I can't be there for you. You know, I can't be what I think you want me to be or you, right, we're in the room. No, it's great, it's well said, absolutely, and we actually don't want each other to be like that. You know, we don't want a display of expression. You know, obviously, it's what we all taught each other, you know, consciously around consciously to display ourselves in the world.

At the end of the day, we're closest with our friends that we're just ourselves with. You know, and there is obviously times where we're thrown off in this pressure and it naturally and very easily happens that we don't feel ourselves but in the end of the day, we're really closest to those people that we can just speak freely, we can sound freely, we can express freely. And the reality is, whether there's a melody to that expression, or it's me speaking or you speaking, it's the same thing. We are alive, we're having an experience and we wanna share that experience, and we're given this incredible vehicle to share, to inspire and to sound out what it feels like to be alive. And this is just about a journey to discovering, and living in and with the voice that you are given, and no one else has your voice, that's really the reality.

So, that sounded amazing, you sounded amazing, and when it feels amazing, I've never heard it not sound amazing. So, when it feels good, it sounds good. You'll see that for yourself the more you try it. You know, I feel like, I'm getting it so much more than I ever had before. Just doing it here with you and with you, I think I'm really keying in and I can hear the difference.

Right. Yeah. So, it was by feeling good, it's starting to sound good or-- Yes. It's starting to be a fun experience. Yes, it's actually fun instead of a mind experience just like, oh, they're gonna hate it, and who's, you know.

And it's precisely why, we spent so much time freeing our relationship to the filter of our feelings, thoughts, sensations, and emotions 'cause so much of the way that the access point is to go beyond those automatic, you know, watch for eyes of the mind and get up to playing, playing with it ourselves, like playing with what he have been given without the inhibition. It's really all we're talking about doing is going, hey, like, you can do this too. Do this with me for long enough and explore it. In such a like big, complicated world, it's such a simple, innate, natural process to give such a big gift. It's like our ultimate gift to be expressed in the sigh.

So excited for more.


Sally V
2 people like this.
Amazing experience. Resonance, buzzing vibration - Bliss. Thank you x
Kate M
This is so excellent. So foundational for - for being HUMAN and humanly expressive. I've been wanting to practice this video for a while, but needed to find the occasion when I was more or less alone and could really just sound. Vibration. We ARE vibration. This gives me a chance to focus on that...

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