Breathing is one of those instinctive things that we know and do. So instinctive that we seldom pay attention to how it supports everything else in our system. So constantly done that we almost neglect the dynamics that it plays to other aspects of our core such as our voice.
In this episode of Outer Travel, Inner Journey, Regan O’Brien, vocal coach and performing artist, and singer, inspires us to rediscover our breath and voice.
Growing up with an innate love for music, singing was that one thing that brings Regan to her element—but she does it alone. She even recalls being so shy she couldn’t speak and join in conversations. Her nerves would always get in the way because she didn’t look at singing as sharing her voice and story with other people. To the younger Regan, it was something she had to do to meet someone else’s expectations.
Until she discovered breath and voice work.
The thrive that she found among friends cheered her on to studying speech and drama. This opened her to a world of resources and support to build more strength and confidence in her ability. And there, she discovered her gem: realizing that finding her voice was a core experience of attuning to her sense of comfort and identity. And as she began to consolidate that identity, she felt more certain about the ‘I’ in all of her work.
Today, Regan partners with people on their journey towards connecting with their voice in a meaningful way. She works with people and the poetics of their voice—the preverbal movement of the voice and the body, sensing inward, feeling the actual physicality of producing voice within the body, and finding the path of least resistance to creating support for that vibration with breathwork and strengthening exercises.
Through her lived experience and example, Regan inspires people to step into the flow, rather than control it, and to immerse in the nervousness and rawness of the moment. With the right support, allowing ourselves to move with this flow while staying present in the movement is what gives depth to the breath and voice.
Voice work, vibrations, resonances—all of these, there’s movement in it that attunes us into our internal landscape. Sensing our voice vibrating in our body is such a practical and effective way of understanding ourselves. Our voice is our main vehicle of expression, not only of our thoughts. It ushers our emotions, our identity, the life within us to come out and come free.
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- As time went on, I began to realize that finding my voice was a core experience of attuning to my sense of comfort and identity. – Regan O’Brien
- Your breathing is the rhythm of your life. – Regan O’Brien
- Voice work is controlling and supporting the out-breath on a vibration. And there’s something very intimate about it because we are so attached to our sound. The embodied voice work is very important because it gives a sensory experience. – Regan O’Brien
- Healing doesn’t need to come through one path – you can do it through breath and voice work or deep diving. – Alexandra Kreis
- Everyone is capable of expressing their own meaning and truth. We don’t have to rely on words to do that. There are so many other art forms and practices that allow us to do that. – Regan O’Brien
Regan O’Brien is a musician, a vocal coach, and a creative facilitator. She performs her compositions throughout Ireland and Europe. She has lectured in performance studies and taught vocal and movement practices at school and post-graduate levels. She facilitates a creative and therapeutic voice coaching service called Vocal Movement Ireland.