How To Breathe Easily And Naturally

I’m listening to a podcast interview by Robert Rickover of singer and Alexander Technique teacher Georgia Dias.

She describes the Technique as “a way of achieving the best results with your body with the minimum of muscular effort. It’s a way of waking up the connections of mind and body.”

“My breathing completely changed as I did less and less with it.”

“Every singer, every instrumentalist is taught how to breathe and we all have our ideas of how to breathe, through meditation people try to get better, solve problems, through breathing better.

“As a dedicated singer, I did my breathing exercises every day. I come from this generation where belly breathing is taught all over. Now people know better. I could only get rid of this idea when my Alexander teacher told me, ‘Use your common sense. Where are your lungs?’

“All these ideas of breathing low into your belly, you’re interfering with breath. When I could get rid of all that interference, all of my breathing, my whole mechanism, started to breathe the way it wanted to breathe.”

Robert: “Another teacher I interviewed made the point that most musicians have no idea about how their body functions, except for singers, who have an idea and it’s almost always wrong.”

“When singers come to me for lessons, they almost always come with a strong belief system about how their breathing works and what they need to do to make it work well. Pretty much always those ideas are harmful.”

F.M. Alexander‘s basic approach to breathing was to get out of the way.”

Georgia: “I remember learning where I needed to breathe in a song. Through the Alexander Technique, I learned to allow my body to do it for me so I am simply concerned with contact with the ground and everything functions better. The mechanism will breathe for you.”

Robert: “Letting breathing happen sounds awfully easy but it’s not always easy to practice.”

Georgia: “First we have to get rid of our habits of breathing going back to the first time we thought how to breathe.”

“In school when you’re a teenager, we’re collapsing. We need to collapse or its not cool. You risk straining your instrument and creating breathing patterns. You might then try to get rid of these habits by doing something, when we need to get rid of everything we’ve created so the body can function.”

Robert: “If you help a singer let go of these patterns so that their voice is fuller and freer, often the singer is a bit dubious about that. As though what they’re doing is not legitimate. They have an idea that a certain amount of effort is what singing is about.”

“Your whole body is breathing, not just specific muscles. If your feet are tense, that’s going to effect your breathing. It’s all connected.”

Robert: “F.M. did not advocate any breathing exercises.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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