When we say breathe what I really think we mean is exhale. When we hold the breath, it’s almost always after the inhale.
Guess what? When we sing it happens on the exhale. In this season of excess, remember to breathe out and let go.
For more practice breathing, find me in the voice studio or on the mat this week! •
Stand Like a Superhero!
Stand like a superhero!
The flight or flight response is a primitive reaction to stress. The body does not differentiate between the adrenaline charge that comes with imminent danger or standing on a stage in front of a group of people. It harbors the same reaction to both stressors....protect the vital organs.
This response shows up in the body as constriction in the throat and compression or restriction through the entire front body where the vital organs are most exposed.
Make note of your posture the next time you feel performance anxiety coming on. Intentionally standing upright and deliberately opening the front body sends a message to the brain that everything is safe.
We'll be exploring the Warrior/Superhero postures in all of my yoga classes this week. Come find me on the mat to pull out your inner superhero!
You already know how to breathe. It's not something that needs to be learned. So why do we spend so much time talking about and even teaching breathing?
Because we need to unlearn the patterns that have blocked the free and natural movement of breath in the body.
Lying on the ground changes our relationship with gravity and offers the body an opportunity reorganize itself. This simple shift from upright to lying down can help relax the muscles and remind the bones where they belong. As the skeletal system realigns, the breath moves more easily.
Can you sense your body being breathed?
What does it mean to be "good enough?" I'll be honest, I struggle with the message spoken often in yoga classes that we are "good enough exactly as we are." On the one hand, it's good for my type A perfectionist personality to hear. On the other hand, it implies that I don't have to strive for anything. I didn't show up to stay the same. I showed up to be better.
How do we move into our potential while accepting the fact that we will never be perfect?
We shift the goal from perfection to transformation. From achievement to fulfillment. From action to being. But make no mistake, I don't want to stay the same. I want to move forward.
Live in your whole body. Sing with your whole voice. Be all that you are. Transform.
You Fit Yourself
Anxiety of any kind makes us feel scattered. But you are designed to fit yourself. Your knee fits into your armpit. Your elbow fits to your palm and so forth. By making these connections we realize we are whole, not scattered and fragmented pieces.
Combating performance anxiety? Try squatting down and putting your knees in your armpits. Or simply fit your elbows into your palms. Watch your breath and experience the grounding effect of fitting your own pieces together.
The Bridge of the Throat
The throat is the bridge between head and heart. When the two are aligned we live authentically, wisely, and freely.
The struggle to align cognitive space and emotional space is a part of the human experience. Singing is a cognitive act of emotional expression and can therefor help us bring these two spaces into balance. Maybe that's why it feels so good!
Svadhyaya or self study is a major component of the yoga practice. On the mat we emphasize study of the body and the mind—both of which are aspects of the self. But what about the voice? In so many ways, our sense of self or identity is linked to the voice.
Join me at Oasis Yoga next Friday, Sept. 13 for a throat chakra balancing workshop and find YOUR voice! Click the link to signup.
Music is Math
Music is just simple math. Whenever we add a dot to a note, it adds on half the value of the note.
You already know that a half note gets two beats. The dot adds half the value on top of the original note value. Half of 2 is 1 and 2 plus 1 is 3. So a dotted half note gets 3 beats. You knew that grade school math would pay off someday!
The Whole Note
Ok music students. Here’s your weekly sight reading tip. This is a whole note. It gets four counts. Whenever you see it, make sure you tap 4 beats before heading on to the next measure.
The Half Note...
Sight reading basics week 2! Tap a steady beat. That's your quarter note (remember it gets one beat). A half note looks similar to a quarter note--it's just not filled in. It gets two taps or two beats. So whenever you see a half note in your sheet music, make sure to sing for two counts before going on.