Better breathing for singers is definitely easily within the reach of anyone who is willing to treat their body to some wonderful tension relieving exercises and practices. Body breathing is the way God designed us to breathe, but the stresses of our lives can wreak havoc on our breathing process, causing our nice belly breathing to become constricted and caught in our shoulders. The tension travels to our jaws and tongues, and singing becomes tight, restricted and difficult. Thankfully, there are many things we can do to remove these stressors, or at least change the way we respond. One of the most helpful of these things is to teach the muscles to remain in a more relaxed state, the way they were designed, rather than constantly holding tension, therefore constricting blood flow and healing oxygen.
I have written several articles about this and have made videos demonstrating some great stretching and tension removing exercises, and I encourage you to check out my website, TheProSinger.com to see more on this subject.
Not only will these practices release your singing voice like no other vocal exercise, you will benefit in many other ways. Your nervous system will calm down and you will feel less overwhelmed. You will become more able to stay in the moment, therefore enjoying every moment of your life, rather than constantly thinking ahead to the next thing on your list. The increased blood flow through unrestricted tissue will bring oxygen and healing to your entire body. Your aches and pains will diminish as your energy and well being increase. Your spine will gain flexibility, as will your whole body. Your breath will easily and naturally move deep into the belly and back, not only making you feel great, but creating natural support for your best singing. Your voice will sail in an amazing way.
I see this happen everyday in my voice studio. My students are amazed and beyond excited at the changes these exercises are making in their singing. They literally jump up and down with joy. When the lesson is over, they feel so much better physically than they did when they came in with the weight of the day on their shoulders. These exercises are truly amazing for the singing voice, so give them all a try on a regular basis. You will find many more on my main page.
TODAY’S BREATHING HELP
You will need 2 tennis balls for this practice.
1. While standing next to a wall or chair for support, place the ball on the floor, under your foot, and massage from heel to toe for two to three minutes on each foot. You will find sore spots, but go ahead and breathe through the discomfort. The reward is worth it!
2. Lie down on the floor, placing a tennis ball under each calf. Slowly massage the calves, moving up the leg at your own pace. If you find a tight spot, spend a little time there coaxing the muscle to relax.
3. Move into your hips, but stay off of your tailbone. Releasing tension in your hips will relieve tension all the way up your body, with the great result of freeing up your voice.
4. Go ahead and move to the lower back, staying off of the tail bone and spine. Rub those knots away as your move the breath into the lower belly.
5. Take the massage on up your back, releasing the muscles on either side of your spine, but be sure to stay off of the spine itself.
6. Spend time on the muscles between your spine and shoulder blades, remembering to take nice slow belly breaths.
7. Remove the tennis balls and lie there for a few breaths. Notice the more relaxed feeling in your muscles and the way your breath is easily moving into your belly and back. This is your singing breath as well as your breath for life. This is the new muscle memory, so take time to let your brain take it in. If you will practice this on a regular basis, your body will remember that this is the breath that feels the best and is the most natural. Your singing will become free and effortless!
Relax, find your breath, and please allow me to help you find your own amazing voice!