Exercise: Uncover Your Authentic Voice

Record yourself having coffee with a friend, or chatting with your family at dinner. Try to forget that you’re recording yourself! Then, listen to the recording. What do you hear? What is your natural voice? Are you naturally quiet or loud? A person of few words, or a chatterbox? Are you calm or animated? When you are at ease with friends and family, what does your voice sound like? What role do you play in your friend group or with your family? Do you use colorful language or curse for emphasis or humor? Write a little about how you sound in an everyday conversation.

Next, compare this with your previous recording of your introduction, or better yet, a recording of yourself in class. Where are the similarities and differences in language/vocabulary, pacing, tone? Is your daily voice similar to your yoga voice? What are the differences? Write a little about what you find in this exploration.

Finally, write about what you enjoy as the “ideal yoga teacher voice.” Consider what you enjoy hearing in classes you take. Where does your voice land when compared to this imagined ideal? (Be sure to be kind to yourself in this exploratory process; keep in mind that we are never quite our ideal, since ideals are the pinnacle of what we can imagine.

Share your writing and, if you like, snippets of your voice recording.