Are you a singer in training? Do you struggle with reaching high notes with ease?
Do you have problems with breath control leading to flat sounds and even hoarseness at times?
If so, Yoga might actually change your life!
Here´s a quick personal story:
I can´t recall how many frustrating vocal coach lessons have gone by without any of the results I had hoped for! I understood the technical instructions my coach gave me, but still couldn´t apply them correctly! The more I tried, the harder it got! And, truth be told, I am still a beginner as I write! And yet, I have improved notably lately!
One day in the spring of this year I decided to take a leap of faith and give Yoga another try (after having neglected it for many years subsequent to some unpleasant classes with instructors, who didn´t make me feel comfortable at all.) This time around though, everything was different. I started shifting from running to doing Yoga at home with online videos by Yoga with Adriene as an atempt to heal my recurring migraines, that tended to hit me big time, every time I had gone for a run!
I fell in love instantly, as I was following the beyond awesome instructor (shoutout to Adriene!) in my own pace , on my bedroom floor, with no distractions from classmates (or intruding instructors) whatsoever! I remember feeling almost enlightend as I stretched and opened my heart area with a proper deep breath for the first time in years. Felt like decluttering a dusty attic and allowing the light back in through the stained glasses that hadn´t seen a wet rag in years.
I was shocked over all the stiffness in my back, my hips, the backside of my thighs and even in my jaw!
And that´s where Yoga was an actual eye-opener for me!
I learned to detect my tense spots with consciousness and without judgement…
And feeling tense is a no go for a singer! To sing, you require almost the whole body…Tension quickly leads to restrictions in your throat and can actually harm your vocal chords. I – for the longest time- had not known the tension I held in my lower body.
Ever since I learned to look inward and be in touch with my body, I detect tension quicker and can react accordingly.
And there´s more…
Another benefit that Yoga might have for singers, are the focused breath excersises that help expand the lungs and train the muscles surrounding the diaphragm.
Controlling the movements of the diaphragm isn´t really possible, but by controlling the muscles that surround it, you can effect the diaphragmn as well! The right support is crucial for a full, effortless sound quality!
Aside from benefiting plenty from those breathing exercises, your mindset can also learn a lot from yoga! The most important lesson for me was “Accepting where I´m at” and working with who I am today. Goal setting is important and can spark a fire in you. But it is easy to get discouraged if things don´t fall into place right away. So instead of being to hard on myself for not reaching the sound quality I may aim for right away, I now know that it is ok to be a work in progress, to do baby steps and enjoy the process….because that´s what we will always continue to do! Strive, evolve and grow!
Last not least, Yoga helps center the mind, which helps focus more on the vocal performance and makes you feel more confident as a result!
Being present is keys when performing! It will make you feel less anxious on stage and more connected to the music!