Mindful Singing Techniques To Reduce Stress (中文CC): Singing Sessions Ep. 8

Mindful Singing Techniques To Reduce Stress (中文CC): Singing Sessions Ep. 8


– Hi, it’s Krystal Diaz here. Welcome to Sing Together, Learn Together and another episode of Singing Sessions. In this episode, I
wanted to share with you a series of exercises that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful during
times of stress and anxiety. It’s a challenging time, right? I think now more than
ever, we need each other. We need to remind each
other to stay positive, to not let the worry and
anxiety get the better of us. The first exercise is, I call it an alternate
nostril breathing exercise. I’m not sure if that’s the actual name. But, my mother taught it to me actually. She learnt it from a
very close family friend who is well into her 90’s now. But, she is an avid practitioner
of yoga and meditation. So, the idea behind it
is that you alternate, you breathe in using your
alternating nostrils. I’m sure I didn’t explain that very well. I’m just gonna do it for you
today as a demonstration. Then, we can do it together. The ring finger is gonna press
one side of your nostril, and then you’re gonna breathe in, you’re gonna hold this nostril in. You’re gonna breathe in from this side. Then, you’re gonna hold it. We’re gonna hold for two,
gonna breathe in for six, hold two. And then we’re gonna press this side, release the other side, the other nostril, and we’re gonna breathe out
here for a count of six. Then, we hold two. Let me demonstrate it for you first. I’m gonna hold one nostril first. Gonna breathe in for one. Okay, let’s do this together. I will count you through it. And just completely
become aware and mindful of how you’re breathing in, and how you’re breathing out. That’s all you need to focus on, okay? Ring finger and thumb. Press in one side. This is my left side. Then, we’re gonna breathe in. Okay, ready? Breathe in for a count of one. Two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. Release, then out. Two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. You can relax for a minute. We’re gonna do this one more time. Hold in one side. Center yourself, focus on your breath. Gonna breathe in for one, two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. Release the other side. And out. Two, three, four, five, six. Hold two, and relax. So, that already makes
me feel pretty good. I have to say. You can do this alternate
nostril breathing as many times as you want. You can also experiment with
different counts as well. Breathe in for four, hold
two, breathe out for four. You can do six. If you’re really getting into it, you can extend it longer. I’ve done ten before. You can experiment with
whatever feels right for you and what is comfortable for you, okay? So the second exercise is,
I call it a cycle of breath. I teach this almost, every first lesson that
I work with a student, it’s super handy because it
helps you to become aware of lower abdominal breathing. When we take a deep
breath, the common response is for the shoulders and chest to rise up, which is very shallow. This is a shallow breathing. We do that, it’s useful for
us when we’re exercising and we need to take in
breath very, very quickly. In singing, that style of
breathing is not super helpful. We try to avoid that at all costs. Instead of breathing shallow, what we wanna do is breathe low. And cut deep. How I like to teach it is, just feel the lowest
ribcage, your ribcage. You kind of dig in your fingers
to where your ribcage is. Feel like, you wanna feel
like when you breathe in that you’re expanding
from that lower ribcage. It’s this 360 degree expanded feeling. We’re gonna breathe in from our nose. When we exhale, I want you to exhale as if you’re blowing a balloon, like this. (deep exhale) So let your cheeks puff out. That’s gonna be helpful for you to control how quickly
you’re releasing your air. Okay, so let’s get started. We’re gonna breathe in for one, two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. Out. Hold two. Okay, so that was one cycle. We’re gonna do a couple of cycles together as we are practicing this exercise. We’re gonna breathe in for one, two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. Out. (deep exhale) Hold two. In two, three, four, five, six. Hold two. (deep exhale) Hold two. Okay, so that’s the second exercise. You can do this cycle of breath over and over again if you want to. As long as you’re comfortable and you’re not gonna pass out or anything. Again, you don’t need a whole lot of air to do this exercise. It’s more about the
timing and the awareness. The mindfulness of how
you’re taking your breath in. And controlling that movement
of air through your body. So, in this exercise,
we’re gonna vocalize on a ma, me, mi, mo, mu. We’re talking all the five vowels and we’re gonna be working, focusing mainly on the
lower part of our range. Where we speak, right? We’re looking at more the chest tone side of our vocal register. What I want you to do is to
put your hand on your chest. Draw your attention and
your awareness to yourself, to your heart center. But also, to the feeling
of that resonance, that resonating feeling
that you can sometimes sense when you are really
engaging your chest tone, your chest voice. If you’re very constrained
or you’re too breathy, it’s gonna be harder to feel that. So, that’s why having the hand here, I find is a great way
to center your awareness to where, to the kind of sound quality that you’re trying to
create with these exercises. Keep your hand on your chest here. I want you to be focusing on your breath when you breathe in. Nice and low. No tension here, no
squeezing sensation here. The exercise is, (C major chord) ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ So, we don’t want this to happen. ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ That very kind of constricted sound. Want it to be nice and open. That’s why that lower abdominal breathing is really important because it disengages any tension in the throat
when you breathe in that way. So, it’s very helpful. On the end of the extreme,
we also don’t want it to be excessively breathy either, which would sound a little bit like this. ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ It’s a bit whispery in quality. There’s no depth of
resonance when we do that. So, if you’re a guy following
this video right now, you can vocalize on the same pitches, but just do it an octave lower. So if we’re here, you wanna go down here (low piano chord ringing) ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪ Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ So, we’re gonna do a couple
of rounds of this together. Let’s go ahead. You can close your eyes if you want to. Gonna sit up straight or stand. You’re gonna put your hand on your chest, on your heart center here. We’re gonna become aware of where you’re drawing the breath in. You want your neck and your
shoulders to be relaxed and your chest to be open. (piano chord rings) ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ (higher piano chord ringing) ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ (higher piano chord ringing) ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ ♪Ma, me, mi, mo, mu. ♪ I hope that with that
exercise you were able to get in touch with, and
really discover and feel into the chest tone part of your register, which is the speaking part of our range. And that it also gave you a chance to explore how you would apply
those centering breaths. Those breathing techniques
into a spoken sound. If you’ve been doing those
exercises along with me, then you should be feeling
pretty good right now. Pretty relaxed. More mindful of where you’re
taking your breath in, how you’re drawing that breath in. More open here, in your chest area. Less tense on your
shoulders and your neck. So, what we wanna do
is to bring that state, to go from that state
into a song or a speech. A presentation of your choice. For the purposes of this
video, because I’m a singer, I’m gonna show you how I
would do it for singing. (Bb major chord ringing) ♪When the rain is blowing in your face ♪ ♪ And the whole world is on your case ♪ ♪ I could offer you a warm embrace ♪ ♪ To make you feel my love ♪ As I’m singing that, I’m
actually focusing less on the actual notes and
the pitches and the sounds. Which of course is
important in a performance, but again, for the purpose
of this as a warmup, as an exercise, I’m focusing
more on maintaining that and being mindful of that
more centered, relaxed state. So, becoming aware of how
I’m drawing my breath in. How I’m holding myself
in a postural manner. And keeping my throat and this area here nice and open and relaxed. When I do that, and also feeling and singing
into my chest tone as well, my chest voice. You wanna be using your voice
in a very natural, relaxed way without feeling like
you need to embellish it with any fancy tricks. Of course, if you want to embellish it, that’s totally fine. But again, this exercise is not about, you know, let’s perform the song, this exercise is more about, let’s center ourselves
and really get in tune with the sound of our voice
and really get comfortable with feeling into the
resonance of our sound. Then, expressing that in a
very natural, comfortable way. Second line. (Bb major chord ringing) We can sing that together. If you know the song,
please do sing along. ♪When the evening shadows
and the stars appear ♪ ♪ And there is no one
there to dry your tears ♪ ♪ I could hold you for a million years ♪ ♪ To make you feel my love ♪ Thank you so much for
singing along with me. I think, now more than ever, we need to connect with each other. We need to find ways to be
connecting with one another. I feel that singing is such,
is the best way to do that. The best thing is that, with technology, we can do that in the
comfort of our own homes. So yes, we are maintaining
our social distance, but we don’t have to be emotionally disconnected from each other. I would love to hear your voice and for you to join me in
my Online Vocal Academy. I am gonna do something really special for those who are serious about wanting to sing more and have singing
as part of their daily lives. I’m gonna be opening up this
group for the very first time in the beginning of April. I would love, love,
love to have you there. So, if you’re interested
in being a founding member of my Online Vocal Academy, click on the link below to sign up. I really do hope to hear your voices and to share music with you guys soon. That’s it for now, and I will see you guys in the next video. Take care.

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