=Sorry, but it appears that you have TMJ, or at least I expect you do. You have a temporomandibular joint that facilitates the jaw’s opening. That’s a good thing. A problem with the jaw’s opening is called temporomandibular joint syndrome, a bad thing. Jaw, and we have no upper jaw, just a jaw, is an appendage of the skull.
There is a connection between hips, the base of the pelvis, and jaw, the appendage of skull. Fix at the hips, just a slight stoppage, and you’re going to feel it in the jaw, and vice versa. Today free your hips. Let your legs breathe away from the torso in order to free the jaw. Inculcate it. Nurture it.
If you try (and here’s a loaded word) to open your jaw straight downward, you may feel the beginning of a fixation at the temporomandibular joint. Don’t force that. Now, in the Alexander Technique we direct, we let the head go forward and up. Forward and up is little more than the absence of back and down, of fixing your head upon the spine. The jaw, wants to track forward and open, not just open, and definitely not just down. The forward of forward and open is little more than the absence of back and down, of the jaw’s being thrust down in order to open.
Breathe. Let a few cycles of the breath take you. On one inhalation, not the next, or the next, or the one after that, but on an inhalation of your choosing, let a smile dwell behind the eyes. Inhale through your nose with lips sealed, but not tightly.
Let the exhalation begin with very little sound as your jaw tracks initially forward and open. Forward and open is not something that you do, it’s something you allow. Let the jaw do what it wants. Your jaw possesses the wisdom of nature.
As you continue to exhale and your jaw begins to complete it’s trajectory forward and open, then, and only then, upon the last part of your exhalation, whisper ah. It’ going to be the sound of the breath alone, not voiced, a sound that someone might hear across a small room. There should not be any hint of a gargling sort of sound.
Close your lips again upon completion of the whispered ah and notice what happen with the next inhalation, again, through the nostrils alone. It’s going to be nature’s gift. A full inhalation is established only by a full exhalation. You can’t add much water or breath to a vessel that’s already full. A beautifully executed whispered ah, and you might spend the greater part of a lifetime perfecting it, is wonderful preparation for singing or speech.
My prescription for you today, take seven whispered ah’s, more if you want, and sprinkle them throughout your day. You’re going to love it. And if you do or do not like it, heaven forfend, please comment on my blog at alanbowers.com Share this with your friends too. We’re a growing community.
Thanks Alan, beautiful reminder of the gift of breath and to allow if to flow with this lovely ahhhhh
Brandon, yes! Thanks so much for looking in and commenting.