Yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular, if not the most popular, workout regime among those who are looking to gain flexibility and strength, but it is more than just that. It is mind, body connection including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, that are widely practiced for health and relaxation. Yoga has been proven to increase health and body awareness allowing yoga participants to better control their bodies. Flexibility increases better body alignment, Yoga can help with a variety of ailments by reducing stress and allowing for greater relaxation.
Many singers who try yoga make a quick connection between the two. Just as in singing, yoga involves focusing on aligning the body and paying attention to the breath as one moves from one pose to another. The word “yoga” means “union” a marriage of mind, body, soul connection. In other words, our mind can affect how we sing. The voice happens to reside in between the head and the heart and yoga can mindfully connect the two.
Yoga techniques can really help with performance anxiety. It’s a very calming practice, especially if you are focusing on breathing exercises (the term for this is pranayama). It gives you the ability to pause, to be still, and to calm your nervous system so that you can regain your confidence and ground yourself. Then be able to step onto the stage and give it your all.
For singers and wind players, it can help them harness a deeper and richer sound; for other instrumentalists, it can help them free their body and move with their breath.
The 6 Benefits of Yoga for Singers
1. Improves strength, flexibility, posture, and releases tension throughout the body
As singers, our bodies are our instruments and the stronger and more comfortable we feel in our bodies, the better our ability to express ourselves consistently and openly.
2. Increases mental focus
A yoga session on any given day will challenge our ability to stay mentally focused. Balancing poses are great for this. In singing – particularly with challenging passages – we are required to maintain mental focus in order to keep our sound moving forward, not let breath placement drop, maintain a lifted soft palate, etc.
3. Relaxes the nervous system
It goes without saying that this is beneficial for singers. Whether we are singing in front of an audience or simply up against our own expectations, a relaxed nervous system is golden.
4. Increases breath and body awareness
In both yoga and singing, this increased awareness allows us to make micro adjustments to our form or technique in order to open into new spaces or stabilize areas that need support. How you are moving your body and how you are using your breath are two very key components to success as a musician. Any type of musician, for skilled performance, must have control of these two elements.
5. Gives the lungs room to breathe
With the connection of breath to movement between asanas (poses) in yoga as well as specific breath practices (pranayama), yogis take fewer breaths of greater volume. They are also more efficient with exhalation. Singers coordinate breath with movement and sound. Efficient, easeful, supportive breath technique is a singer’s best friend.
6. Gives you inner strength and encourages self-care
Most yoga classes include references to the inner world within each of us. It is a holistic practice whose root meaning has been translated as ‘unity’. In my experience, singing also requires uniting the mind, body, and spirit.
Dates and Times
TBD- Series running for 8 weeks- Looking at November