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I gag or yawn when opening throat - could this be tension in neck from lifting weights?

First pots so not sure if this is the correct forum.
Watching myself in the mirror, I can see my uvula retract up into my head like ken says. I can control it. However I tend to push too far open and gag or yawn.
I have heard that the sensation of open throat is like the beginning of a yawn but how do I balance myself from reaching the point of activating my gag reflex or outright yawning? I am an avid weightlifter and boxer...I'm quite muscular to the point even my neck is rather thick and well-developed.
Could tension from these thick neck muscles be causing this? I don't know if it matters but for background I am a decent natural singer and have played guitar for 6 years.

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro Posts: 15,078

    You used the word "balance" and that is the correct word.  We do want to make sure we are opening the jaw enough, but you can also go too far.  It should not be uncomfortable.  It might be a bit of a stretch and even more than you might like at first, but it should not be so far that it's seeming ridiculous.

    Likewise with the Open Throat.  It will probably need to be more open than you may think it needs initially, but it shouldn't be so open that you are gagging. That's too much.

    Part of that may be an overly activated gag reflex, but you should get used to having an open throat, like the beginning of a yawn.  And the beginning of a yawn isn't as bit as the middle of a yawn, so keep that in mind as well.  In other words, don't overdo what Ken says, and don't underdo it, either.  Find the right balance for you.

    It's natural to feel like yawning when you see someone else yawn.  It's hard to resist.

    But we should be able to get used to having our Throats Open like the beginning of a yawn, and because we are singing, and we KNOW we are singing, we shouldn't think we need a "sleepy" yawn.  That's just habit.  Once Open Throat becomes a habit, it's not a "sleepy yawn" it's just an Open Throat, and our mind won't confuse it with needing to do the full-bore yawn thing. 

    If your just yawning or feeling a gag reflex, it's probably from overdoing it.  You said you tend to push too far open and gag or yawn, so it's probably not from your weight lifting.  Just experiment around and find a slightly less extreme, more relaxed way of maintaining the Open Throat and Open Jaw.  Everything should balance out.  Be conscious of remaining relaxed in the throat, chest, and neck.

    Bob 

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