Check out this great breathing exercise for singers! It’s designed to help release tension in the entire body, starting at the feet and working all the way up to find freedom and breath, ultimately leading to tension release in the jaw and tongue and setting your voice free to be amazing!
Tension in the body interferes with great breathing. We all tend to hold the things that feel stressful to us in our shoulders, necks, backs, and hips. If you take a moment right now to notice where you are holding tension in your body, you may be shocked to realize that you are holding tension in many areas of your body! Take a moment to notice a place that you may be holding tension. Once you have acknowledged that tension, try to direct a breath into that area – and on that exhale soften the muscle. It might take you a few tries, but the muscle will relax and allow blood to flow. You may even notice a feeling of warmth as blood is once again allowed to flow through constricted tissue! You’ll begin to feel SO much better as you continue this practice, and after a while your muscles will understand that this is the new order, and they’ll begin to memorize this new, relaxed state. Not only will your voice be set free, you will experience a calmer nervous system and free breath as well! If we can unlock these tense muscles, and then reprogram your muscle memory to be soft and relaxed (rather than tense), you will begin to have great blood flow, bringing oxygen and healing throughout your entire body. Since we were created to breathe with our entire lungs, not just the front portion that lies high in our chest, our breathing will go back to the natural, low belly breath that brings calm to our spirits and great support to our voices. It’s a win/win!
1. To do this exercise, stand or sit with your perfect posture. You want your body to learn to be properly aligned at all times because not only does this lead to your best singing, it also leads to your best health. Your health and vitality are of utmost importance to your life and your singing. My passion is to help you find your own amazing voice while setting you up for a lifetime of great health and energy so that you do all of the wonderful things you love to do. So see if you can incorporate this exercise several times throughout your day. You will be able to do it in a flash with some practice – so the more you do it, the sooner your muscles will adapt to this great new relaxed state of being!
2. Close your eyes and scan your body for any tense areas.
3. Align your body.
4. On an inhale, direct your breath into a tight area, and on the exhale, release the tension in that area. Continue for a few breaths until you feel the muscle go soft and can feel some warmth return to the area as blood begins to flow through the tissue, bringing oxygen and healing.
5. Notice how your breath begins to move much more easily into your belly and lower back. Notice that your hips begin to relax and feel more open and it even feels like breath is moving into your pelvic region.
This is your breath for singing, but it is also your breath for life! Singing is natural and easy when done correctly. We were perfectly designed to sing with our natural breath. Relax, breathe, and sing from your heart!