13 Dec

Before you get to the yawning like a lion bit (I know that’s why you’re here!), remember last week when we released our tongues and felt the throat relax, too? Let’s take it a step further. With one hand on your throat and the other on your solar plexus (high abdomen just below your sternum/ribs), exhale and release your throat downward.

Did you notice your solar plexus drop and soften too? Cool, isn’t it? Notice how you feel when you let go that way? Most people I have asked have said they feel peaceful, safe, and relaxed. Can it be that easy to let go of stress and feel immediate effects? I guess so! Just let go of your throat – you know, where you hold all the junk you want to say but don’t.

Now here’s the superfantabulous part: if you can learn to drop and release the throat and solar plexus on your inhale, it will set you up perfectly to sing well. Low larynx, open vocal folds, soft belly, high soft palate, all on a bed of peaceful physicality. What’s not to like?? Go on, give it a go.

Yawn. Yeah, just do it, for real. No faking! Feel how your soft palate lifted up really high and your larynx dropped way down? That’s awesome for singing! However, did you also feel your tongue squash up in the back of your mouth, or pull down into your throat? Not awesome for singing. Felines have got it right: yawn with your tongue all the way out of your mouth, and THAT is the right feeling for the space required to sing well. (And it’s nearly impossible for humans – the tongue almost always pulls back in – but a good exercise nonetheless.) Practice accessing that openness, and you’ll easily be able to find it when you need it to sing, whether for a high note, some help smoothing your register transitions, or just a little extra beauty and resonance.
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