3 Pranayama Exercises for Singers

Bamboo meditationAs a singer who practices yoga for its health benefits, I can’t help noticing many similarities between certain singing and yoga exercises. It’s not surprising, since both singing and pranayama are considered Arts of Breathing. While not all yoga exercises are useful for singing (the Ocean Breath, for example, which involves constricting the throat, is great for yoga practice but not so much for good vocal tone), there are three pranayama exercises which I’ve long incorporated into my daily singing routine to great results. And singing aside, they also work as great go-to energy fixes when you need to clear and focus your mind and you don’t have time for a nap! Continue reading

Singing Basics #2: Breathing

The foundation of all vocal study lies in control of the breath” – Giovanni Battista Lamperti

Isn’t it one of life’s miracles that the same biological function that renews  our blood’s supply of oxygen also allows us to renew the lifeblood of our souls through singing?

We breathe deeply and naturally when we are infants. Perhaps that’s why babies can reach such startling decibels of sound! As we age, bad posture, self-consciousness, stress and rigidity take over, and we often forget how wonderful it feels to release the abs and take a real, low breath, fully in and out.

Singing helps us remember this. Every time you sing, you breathe. Like the wind rustling through the leaves of a tree, breath is the invisible power behind every vocal sound. It’s the foundation on which you build beautiful tone, expressiveness and legato. Continue reading