In order to realize the full potential of the voice as a healing instrument, we need to ensure our instrument is tuned. Last month, we learned some breath awareness exercises and using the breath as a focal point while practicing meditation or mindfulness.
Today, we will revisit this breath awareness, as diaphragmatic breathing is an important component of using the voice properly.
Breath Awareness Exercise
Get comfortable and bring your awareness to your breath. Breathe normally and notice where it ends. Does it end in your chest or does it make it to your belly?
It may be helpful to lie down and put your hand on your belly to feel it expand on thin inhale and contract upon exhale. Breathe normally for a few breath cycles, follow the breath as it fills your belly and
continue followingit as you exhale.
Inhale – 2- 3- 4
Hold – 2- 3- 4
When we sleep we naturally breathe like this, it helps to conserve energy. Many of us, during the stressful parts of our day, forget to breathe properly. We often take shallow breaths, hold our breath or forget to exhale. Spend as much time here as you need to relax your body and release any lingering tension. The breath allows us to let all of that go while simultaneously filling our cells with fresh oxygen.
This is how we are intended to breathe. Deeply, fully, filling the lungs and belly and fully purging on each exhale. If you are not comfortable breathing in this way, continue to practice this essential skill daily until it becomes natural.
When stress overwhelms you, simply bring your awareness back to the breath and follow it for a few cycles, ensuring to inhale fully and exhale completely. As we move into toning exercises, this skill will be important, so keep at this one until you no longer have to remind yourself to breathe.
I often use this exercise. In my daily job, stress is abundant and breath awareness helps me to keep the daily stress in perspective.
When I first learned that I was not fully breathing, I was dancing to the emotion joy. Suddenly, while exaggerating my joy in dance, as instructed, I became over-heated and ran outside gasping for fresh air.
Practice this exercise