in depth


The Voice Within

Heart-Felt Listening

The voice within is an elusive voice, shy and reluctant to come into the open. Sometimes trying to hear it feels like chasing a mirage, listening for something that isn’t there. You may hear silence or a cacophony of voices (the voices that you use, for instance, in your roles as parent or spouse, sibling or friend) or the harsh, critical voices from your past telling you things you don’t necessarily want to hear, like “Find another job! You aren’t good enough! Give up your dreams!”

This multitude of voices can assail you throughout the day, sowing confusion, as well as fostering resentment and frustration. However, the moment you step onto your yoga mat, these voices grow still. In the silence of your practice, you can begin to detect the first stirrings of your own inner voice, the voice that reminds you of who you truly are. Each time you bend or twist or stretch, your muscles and bones support you in your effort to detect the sound of your own unique voice.

Practicing yoga and keeping a journal can guide you to your inner voice residing deep within you that is normally hidden by the static and distractions of daily life. As you practice your poses, notice the voices that arise. Instead of holding onto these voices, just listen. If the voice suggests that something is impossible, just listen. If it encourages you to take a risk, just listen. In time, you will be able to hear your own voice telling you what you need to know.

Before you begin your practice, take a moment to listen to the voices jabbering away in your ear. Open your journal and write down what you hear. Can you hear your voice? Is it shy or bold, forceful or restrained? Try to describe your voice and how you feel about it. If you can’t hear your voice yet, what might keep you from hearing it? Allow your spiritual practice and your journal to help you listen more closely so you can find the words waiting to be heard in your heart.

Bruce Black
Writer, Editor, Teacher, Yogi Writing
Yoga with Bruce Black
Author, Writing Yoga: A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal (Rodmell Press)

Recommended: The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope and Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner


Harriet Roberts commented on 14-Aug-2012 07:30 AM5 out of 5 stars

Just encouraging to be reminded that you may do this, you may listen to only yourself at least for a part of every day, it gives you strength to go back and listen to others with compassion and respond to them in an open way.

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