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‘Wani Yoga’ Lesson 12

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In the last lesson (11) I had described some exercises which are helpful for enhancing resonance in the voice. But resonance is primarily a quality the male voice. What about the female Voice? What are the types of female voices?

For western classical singers the female voice can be classified as:

  1. Soprano: This voice type represents the highest vocal range ability
  2.  Mezzo soprano or “half soprano”: vocal range that lies between soprano and the contralto voice type.
  3. Contralto: the voice range which is the lowest female voice type.


Jane Eaglen, famous soprano singer


Patricia O’Callaghan well known for ‘half soprano’ singing

Image        Karneus Katarina – famed contralto singer

 However, when we look at the scene in India, famous female singers are known for their unique voice quality. The composers choose the singer as per the demand of the situation in the film. I am talking about female playback singers and not classical singers because they are better known to the people at large. Nevertheless, the importance and greatness of the classical female singers cannot be exaggerated.

While there is no doubt each one of them was endowed with unmatched talent, the development of the voice varies remarkably. This happened due to their learning process and the way music composers worked with them to achieve the desired result in singing.

Lata Mangeshkar

It may be surprising, to many, to know that Lata Mangeshkar was rejected by many composers. They felt that her voice was very thin. In fact if we listen to her songs in very old movies, we will find that her voice was really thin. But it possessed a unique quality of a child’s innocence. However as the years passed, her voice matured. It is unrivaled even to this day. To me it appears that her singing grew as Lata Ji is seen in the following 2 pictures.

Image                                                                    Lata Mangeshkar in her younger days

Image                                                Lata Mangeshkar- her voice matured retaining its malady till date

Her songs truly reflect her versatility. She sings any type of song with unique ease. Invariably, her songs please the listeners immensely. The range of her voice and the poise in her songs are remarkable indeed. Her voice is very sweet and very attractive. Besides it has stood the test of time. If anything it has grown better and better.

As I like to talk about a number of well known female singers, this lesson no 12 will have many parts.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Wani Yoga – Lesson 11

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Wani Yoga Lesson 11

I will now describe some simple exercises which will bring resonation and make your voice rich. But these exercises must be done consistently. And, you must remain relaxed while doing these exercises.

Sit comfortably on a chair or on the ground with crossed legs. Breathe in deeply and vocalize the following:

Exercise 1

Oo, Oo, Oo, ( Use your speech organs in an exaggerated manner while speaking these vowel sound.

Aw, Aw, Aw,

Ah, Ah, Ah,

Ay, Ay, Ay,

Ee, Ee, Ee

Oh, oh, oh

Repeat 3 to 5 times as can be comfortably done.

Exercise 2 : Taking a deep breath vocalize the following:

oo, oo, oo……mmmmmmm

(while humming the m sound should keep your upper and lower teeth apart. Let the lips touch each other)

Next, repeat with other vowel sounds:

Oh, oh, oh        ………… mmmmmmmmm

Aw, Aw, Aw    …………mmmmmmmmm

Ah, Ah, Ah       ………….mmmmmmmm

Ay, Ay, Ay       …………. mmmmmmmm

Ee, Ee, Ee        ………….. mmmmmmmm

Exercise 3 :

Speak the following line on one note (do) or (sa)

Many military matters must not mount

Then, repeat the same in other notes of the octave

Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa


Do, re me, far, so, la, te, do

Some of the other singers known for their resonant voices are:

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Bal Murli Krishna
Bal Murli Krishna
Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney

Some additional speakers with resonant voices are:

John F Kennedy
John F Kennedy
Al Gore
Al Gore
Jaswant Singh
Jaswant Singh
Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

Disclaimer: The exercises recommended are harmless, however any person before undertaking my consult his / her physician. The blog owner will not accept any kind of direct or indirect responsibility.

‘Wani Yoga’ Lesson 10

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Resonance in your voice is a quality that adds richness. Here, I must say that Resonance is gender specific. It is a quality which makes male voice ‘Rich’. So far as female voice is concerned, sweetness of the voice is a sought after quality. Needless to say that clarity, confidence and poise in the voice are important both for females and males.

What is resonance? It is the echo effect. Resonance can be added by the sound engineer. But that is inorganic resonance. It may create a good effect in a song or even in a speech but it is not the resonance in the voice.

How do we achieve Resonance?

Is it a quality of the voice the person brings with birth? Or, can it be cultivated? Both questions have the same answer- ‘affirmative’. Each person is endowed with a unique voice box. Here, voice box comprises vocal cord, cavities in the mouth and nose. These are formed by the shape and muscles of the mouth nose, face and even the skull. To this extent the ‘resonance’ in the voice is an inborn quality. But resonance can also be cultivated by activating the muscles in the mouth, throat and nose.

Among male singers the voices of K.L. Sehgal, C.H. Atma and Kishore Kumar are more resonant as compared to other singers. But we must remember that resonance is one of the many qualities of a good singer.

It adds richness to the voice. The singer is able to enthrall the audience with the ease of his singing. Though C.H Atma and K.L. Sehgal have now become obscure, Kishor kumar’s songs are still very popular. Many times you have the possibility of listening to these on your favorite FM radio channel. Next time, you listen to his song, observe the resonance and consider the unique quality it renders to his songs.


                                                                  K.L. Sehgal


                         C.H. Atma singing with his very resonant voice


                                 Kishore Kumar the evergreen versatile singer


Resonance is a great quality of voice not only for singers but also to public speakers. The quality is abundantly evident in the speeches of the following distinguished leaders:


                             Martin Luther King addressing his followers


                                           Bill Clinton former president of USA


                         Swami Vivekanand making his impact full speech  


The speeches of these great leaders are available on ‘You Tube’ Videos

‘Wani Yoga’ – Lesson 9

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In our last lesson 8, we had done an exercise which enables us to speak longer phrases in one breath. In other words it enhances the span of breath. While speaking when we pause and we breathe, the deeper the breath, the more the ability to vocalize more number of syllables in one breath.

Our balanced Ajna chakra enables to create the sentence easily in mind and we vocalize the same with our speech organs. The fully energized Throat chakra allows the words to be spoken with ease and clarity. Together these two chakras bring about the efficacy of our speech. The effective clear voice, spoken with ease, delineates the exact idea that we wants to communicate, is impressively received by our listeners.

At the same time visualizing the spatial calm of the space makes our mind stable. We are able to concentrate on the idea we have in mind.

In the next exercise we will use the seven musical notes to make our voice more attractive. It is also aimed to achieve poise in your voice, a quality for which swami Vivekananda in revered. In the world congress of religion in Chicago in the year……., the congregation was enthralled not only by the contents of his speech but also by the quality of ‘Poise’ in his voice which is rare to find.

As we know the seven musical notes

Do, re, me, far, so, la, te, do


Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa,

can make great music in when use with discretion after working the right combinations. Here, our objective is to develop our ability to chant a simple mantra like ‘Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti’ on different notes. It is important to chant the entire mantra on one note and then move on to the next one (note)

Sit on a quiet place. Think of the temple on the mountain hill. Silence and space surround you from all sides and then you start.

(Sa/Do) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(Re/re) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(Ga/ma) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(ma/far) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(Pa/sa) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(dha/la) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(nee/te) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

(Sa/Do) Om Shanti Shanti Shanti


A quiet place, calm in the mind and attentive listening to the sounds produced by  chanting the mantra daily will make your voice very appealing and bring about the rare ‘poise’ in your voice. Further it will help stabilizing your mind.

Thanks for reading.

Wani Yoga Lesson 8

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Lesson 8

In the last lesson (7) I had described an exercise which is helpful in balancing 3rd eye chakra. The 3rd eye chakra which is the command centre for your body.

Today I will give details step by step exercise which is very helpful in balancing the vishudh chakra which is the seat of communication. Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Relax for an minute concentrating your mind only on your breath. Once your mind is relaxed then treat the following lines as if each line is a sentence. You must breath in before each line.

images m


I am

I am able

I am able to

I am able to climb

I am able to climb steep

I am able to climb steep steps

I am able to climb steep steps to

I am able to climb steep steps to reach

I am able to climb steep steps to reach the

I am able to climb steep steps to reach the temple

I am able to climb steep steps to reach the temple of

I am able to climb steep steps to reach the temple of Peace


Now imagine you have reached the top. You find a Small Shiva temple in the midst of a round platform guarded by a small parapet around it. You look around. You find that on two sides, a little more than a semicircle, you can see mountain ranges which are far off. Hardly visible.

On another side you can see a huge reservoir of water. Possibly it’s a man made dam. But there is no sound of water due to the distance. The vastness of the site and the silence of the atmosphere fills your minds with wonders of the special greatness of our universe

Wani Yoga – Lesson 7

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Wani Yoga Lesson 7
Wani Yoga Lesson 7
Wani Yoga Lesson 7
Wani Yoga Lesson 7

In the last lesson (Lesson 6), we had seen how WaniYoga encompasses the necessaity to balance the third eye chakra or the Ajna. Physcially, Wani (Speech) may be produced by the breath, vocal chord and speech organs. It is enhanced and made more effective by your talent to modulate your voice. However, its origin is in the mind. You have to have a desire to speak. Then, you organize your thoughts and the process of speech starts.
Crystallizing the idea, and translating it into the language can be easy and quick with the ‘balanced third eye chakra’ However, if the chakra is not activated you will not have the focus to translate your ideas into language and present it the way you want. The Ajna chakra, or the third eye chakra is in fact the seat of wisdom. This gives you the ability to create an effective desired communication. Since the Ajna is also the command centre for your body, it manages your five senses, as well as your conscious and sub-conscious mind. The body language created while you speak also depends upon the activity of the third eye chakra.
When we are communicating, this Ajna Chakra makes it possible to see the bigger picture. This enables us to put things in the right perspective and we can negotiate with empathy and without being judgemental. Balancing, the chakra also enables you to hear your ego speak. You heart and mind come closer. They no longer tend to take you in different directions, so you speak with conviction and you become more convincing.
Herein below is an exercises which will help you balance the third eye chakra for better communication:
1. Visualize that it is a full moon night
2. You are sitting on the banks of a lake
3. Water in the lake is calm and still
4. You can see the reflection of the moon in the still water of the lake.
5. Concentrate on the image of the moon
6. Visualize light in your mind as if it was the moon in the still water of the lake
7. Continue to meditate on the light in your mind in terms of moon in the lake for 5 minutes. Gradually the time can be increased as much you comfortably can.
8. The best time to do this exercise is early in the morning. However, it can be done at any quiet place at any time with practice.
Disclaimer: The exercises recommended are harmless, however any person before undertaking my consult his / her physician. The blog owner will not accept any kind of direct or indirect responsibility.


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On 21st March, I was in Kolhapur. I wanted to visit Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur. Believed to have been built in 700 AD, it continues to attract devotees and tourists from all over India and abroad.

I will relate three unconnected reflections about my visit. On 21st March and 21st September each year the rays of the setting sun adore the idol. The period is considered very auspicious. As cameras are not allowed inside the temple, all I could do was to take a couple of snaps of the entrance to the temple.

Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Temple

 My second reflection is about Kolhapur railway station. It is a Terminus. The station reminded me of the Railway Station in Rome, Italy. I happened to visit Italy once. It so happened that due to excessive fog (quite common for Milan in the month of October) flights from Milan to Rome were cancelled. I took a train from Milan to Rome. That’s how I saw the railway station. The common thing that I found in both these stations was that the height of the platform is very low. While getting down from the train with my baggage I had slipped and hurt myself. A similar incident took place at Kolhapur not with me but with my fellow passenger. In the footsteps of the person who had helped me to reach the airport, I helped the one who fell to reach his hotel which in any case was not far off my own.

Why do railway authorities both in India and Italy allow such avoidable hurts to their customers, I reflected in my mind and cursed the apathetic authorities.

Kolhapur Railway Station
Rome Railway Station

My third reflection is about the greatest singer of our country Lata Mangeshkar. She is from Kolhapur. I asked the driver of an auto rickshaw if I could see the place where she lived before moving to Mumbai. He told me that now there is now a Mangeshkar Nagar, an entire colony name after her. He could take me to Mangeshkar Nagar but he would not be able to identify the house where the singing queen once lived. Then he also told me that Lataji wants to take over the old Prabhat Studio in Kolhapur and re-develop it. But local people are against it. They feel it is a heritage structure and should be maintained as it is.

Suddenly I thought of the Pedder Road Flyover. Lataji stays in a building on Pedder Road. She has been all along opposing the development of the bridge as it would create noise and pollute the atmosphere for the people who stay on Pedder Road

I was not happy to think about the two controversies:

One: Lataji wants to develop the old studio but the heritage trust is against it;

Two: Authorities in Mumbai have been planning a Pedder Road flyover bridge for a long time but Lataji is against it.

Lata Mangeshkar