The bottom of the breath powers the inhale. In this unit we will discover the moment at the end of the exhale where, instead of thinking, "Out of breath", you learn to direct the powerful force of the vacuum to your advantage.
- Bottom of the Breath
- Comfortably Empty
- Stillness at the Bottom of the Breath
- The Vacuum - the power for the inhale
Bottom of the Breath Demonstration (20:32)
00:00 - 2:17 Explanation
2:17 - 7:20 - Warm-up
7:20 - 10:10 - Explanation and Demonstration of Bottom of the Breath
10:14 - Still your breath at around 50%.
11:20 - Vacuum and 50%
15:00 - 16:40 - Bottom of the Breath and Vacuum
17:00 - How we close our throats at the bottom of the breath
18:03 - 19:45 - Still the breath at the bottom of the breath.
Bottom of the Breath
The bottom of your breathing cycle is as important as the top.
The sensations at the bottom of the breath, that feeling of being out of air, is a powerful sensation that you will now use to your benefit.
Instead of panicking with the thought, “I’m out of breath," you will use specific techniques to gain trust in the power that is coiled at the bottom of the your breath.
At the bottom of the breath we:
1.Release tension from the previous phrase.
2. Prepare for the inhale.
3. Determine the size of breath we will need.
4. Engage movements to open the vocal core for the next phrase.
Hidden locks at the Bottom of the Breath
Neck, head back and chest
The ease at the end of the exhale, (bottom of the breath), determines the quality of the inhale.
When you are at ease, with all locks open at the bottom of the breath, there are no obstructions from tense muscles, and the air can be quickly drawn into the proper spaces.
We tend to lose focus at the bottom of the breathing cycle, as it is not as obvious as the top of the breath. And, like the top of the breath, it passes by so quickly that don't even consider its role in the breathing process.
Yet, at the bottom of the breath we find small movements that unlock the neck, chest and back so that your upper body can further expand to increase your breathing capacity.
The average, low level of breath volume at the end of the exhale is called, “Comfortable Empty”.
Comfortably Empty is a distinct sensation
“Comfortable,” is a term only you can determine, but it is a very clear sensation within your vocal core.
Comfortable Empty’ is an important mark in your breathing process. It is an easy level of low volume where you can easily dis-entangle old habits and insert new ones.
Exercise #1 - Comfortably Empty
Notice that the vocal release points remain in their rested positions at “Comfortable Empty”.
Stillness at the Bottom of the Breath
The moment of no breath movement, at the end of the exhale, before the air current reverses direction into the inhale is called, “Stillness at the Bottom of the Breath”.
This moment of stillness has, most likely, gone undetected before this time, but it as important a part of the breath cycle as the inhale and exhale.
When you practice stillness at the bottom of the breath you can:
- Unlock hidden entanglements that don't appear at other parts of the breathing cycle.
- Become comfortable with the vacuum sensation.
- Place breathing and voice techniques into motion.
The importance of, "Stillness at the Bottom of the Breath" cannot be overstated.
The still space at the bottom of the breath allows the body to recover, release the old movements and create space for the inhale. You will learn to increase the duration of stillness at the bottom of the breath where, in the future, you will add important breathing and vocal movements.
Exercise #2 - Stillness at the Bottom of the Breath
There is a point of no moment between the exhale and inhale at the bottom of the breath.
Your secret super power, is to remain mindful of what happens in your breath and vocal core at the very bottom of the breath.
Here, you will also check to see if your larynx and tongue remain at rest.
Once all points of your vocal core are at rest, proceed to exercise.
Slowly exhale your breath until you are completely out of breath.
This sensation of no breath, of need to inhale is called the, "Vacuum."
We learn to direct the inhale from this place at the bottom of the breath.
Instead of avoiding the sensation of the vacuum, of feeling, "Out of breath," we learn to use that feeling to empower and direct the inhale.
Remain AWARE during your exhale!
In order to gain full use of the vacuum, you must remain aware during the exhale and PLAN for the vacuum.
Otherwise, you will immediately follow your instinct to inhale, and your golden opportunity is lost until the next inhale.
We isolate the "Still Point" at the bottom of the breath, to explore this invisible place,
Exercise #3 - Discover the Vacuum
Before you inhale:
All points of the vocal core must be in the Home Position