We learn to ​​identify our breath capacity by the sensation of fullness, or volume. ​ In this unit, you will discover how much air to take in by the sensation of fullness known as "Comfortable Full."

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​Comfortable Full - ​Volume

"Comfortable Full" is your mark to measure the inner sensation of fullness at the end of an inhale. 

It is an easy level of level of ‘full’ air volume where all points of the vocal core can easily remain at rest. It doesn’t matter how big or small the volume of air at comfortable full, it only matters that you consistently inhale to this comfortable level of air at the top of your breath.

"Comfortable" may change from day to day, depending on physical and even emotional conditions, but there will always be a point at the end of the inhale that you can name, “Comfortable”.

Your goal is to consistently inhale to this destination.

​​Exercise #1 - Top of the Breath - Comfortable Full

Goal: Define the sensation of a comfortably full air volume at the top of your inhale 

Preparation: "Home" position

All exercises begin ​only after all points of the ​vocal core are at rest: ​

  • ​​​​Mind is focused on the small, inward sensations of breath in the vocal core.
  • Eyes are open and in soft, relaxed gaze. Eyebrows relaxed.
  • Lips are closed and relaxed. (No grimacing.)
  • ​Jaw falls from the face and creates a small space between the teeth.Lips remain closed. 
  • Head is horizontal with a horizontal line between the ears. Back of head is ​relaxed. 
  • Tongue rests flat on the floor of the mouth.
  • Larynx is passive. Breath is silent. 
  • Chest rises and falls with the flow of the breath. Shoulders relaxed.

​Exercise​ 

Is it enough or too much air for comfort?

Exercise #​​2 - ​Every inhale fills to "Comfortable Full"

Preparation:

​​-  Begin in your Home position.

- Establish an easy, full cycle of breath. 

Goal: ​​​​

​Each inhale should fill to ​the same comfortable level ​breath​. ​​​When you establish a consistent size for your breath ​cycle, your body automatically​ refills itself to this level.

  1. Establish an smooth, silent circle of breath in and out of the ​upper body. Don't use effort to draw the air in or push the air out.
  2. Focus on ​the size of your inhale. Don't try to increase your air volume.
  3. ​Check the larynx to be sure it is at rest. 
  4. ​Determine a comfortable level of air capacity for your inhale. Notice the sensations of air pressure inside of your vocal core.
  5. Maintain a consistent size of the cycle of the breath. ​ 
  6. Repeat​. Each inhale consistently returns to the same comfortable level of air. 

​Audio transcription:

Comfortable Full

No​w that we’ve talked about how and where to breathe, let’s talk about how much.
How much air should you take in?

​The Volume of your breath. Your breath capacity

From now on when you inhale, rather than simply breathing in,
you will now inhale to a definite sensation of fullness, or volume , that of being 'comfortably full.

:38
 
You can't see your breath, but you can feel the sensation of fullness. or emptiness.  So, that's a beginning.

A way to mark this mark this invisible, yet powerful force that creates your voice.

You will build a habit to inhale until you reach your defined level of comfortable volume or fullness. .

1:00 And that will be your bottom line, or I should say you, “Top Line” when you do your voice and breathing exercises.

You will learn to notice your level of air by comfortable you are

And, then you’re going to set your mark so that sensation can be repeated.

1:30

Now, there are many levels above comfortable. And comfortable will change as your body gradually increases its breathing capacity, or volume.  

 But, we have to start somewhere. And the optimum place to start is at a comfortable level of air volume where all the vocal locks easily remain open and in their rested positions.

1:52

Let's find  this place, or sensation of "Comfortable Full".  

Make sure that all of the points of your are vocal core are open and in their rested positions. Then we will slowly inhale until you arrive at a place of fullness where you are full, but not overly full. Comfortable.

2:15
A simple full level of air that where you can work with the breath and notice what’s happening in the breathing.

Nwo, let’s start with your home posiiton.
 
You mouth is closed and relaxed.

You tongue is on the floor or your mouth

2:30

Flat and resting.

Your eyes are open and relaxed. The muscles around your eyes are releaxed. Your eyebrows are released. Let go of any vertical lines between your eyebrows.  Comb the tension out with your fingers if you  need to.  


There is aHorizontal line between the lobes of your ears. which will move your head into a rested horizontal position.

3:07
 Don’t hold your head in place. Just allow it to rest horizontally. And you will notice small movements to unlock your head and neck.

Check that back of your head to make sure it’s soft.

There’s no tension up there.

And your breath is silent, which means your larynx is unengaged.


3:30

Shoulders are relaxed.

And, your chest expands and contracts with your air current.

Find an easy and consistent breathing cycle in through your nose.  

Pause this recording if you need to and find it.

Pause

4:00

Hopefully, you’ve just paused this recording and found and easy and consistent level of a breathing cycle and and out through your nose .(Exercise:)

You’ve found the top of your breath.
 
And the air out.

Here’s the bottom of the breath

And the inhale.

And when you inhale, notice how far you’re bringing your air in.

And, Air out. Air out. Air out.  

4:30

Slowly slowly slowly.

Remember where you inhaled to last time?

Slowly inhale and find that exact level of breath volume.    
Slowly. Slightly full of air.

Slightly full.

And air out.  air out air out. air out….

And here comes the inhale.

Slow the inhale now, and determine that you will breathe to the exact level of fullness that you just breathed into.

5:03

That is called, “Comfortably full.”

5:15  

air out.

Slowly Air air out air out. air out.

Here’s the bottom of the breath.

And now, Breathe freely.

When I say, “Breathe freely” I mean it’s not coached breathing.

Just learning to coach your breathing and time your breathing can make your feel out of breath.

Even though you have more breath.

So, I will say to you at times to, “Breathe  Freely”.
And that just means you’re going to breath until it feels good.

And then I’ll coach you in the inhale, top of the breath and exhale.

6:02

So, now you are just inhaling and exhaling, and notice the size or volume of your breathing capacity.

Notice where the top of your inhale at the top of the inhale comes in volume and breathe freely in and out.

And notice how full are you at the top of those inhales?

6:30
When you work with the voice, we consistently determine a breathing to which each breath should arrive. Should fill.

It’s not random, as I said before.

This is your beginning mark. Because we’re going to breathe way above this.

But, again, as I said, it is a sensation that you can repeat.

7:01

So, your practice is to leave everything in your vocal core at rest, and notice, with your mouth closed, how much air you bring in, and then designate a ‘comfortable’​  fullness at the end of your inhale.

And then repeat the cycle where each inhale repeats and fills to that space you’ve designated as comfortably full.

7:30

Now, over time that volume of air won’t be enough because you’ll stretch from within with this air current.

So, you might adjust your level of comfortable full.

But it’s important that when you adjust it you consistently breathe to that level.

And, so that is your practice.

Find your home position.  Exhale.

8:00

Mindfully inhale and check to see if any parts within your vocal core close on the inhale.

And, if they do, WHY?

And let them go.

Slow your breathing pattern and mindfully follow your inhale up to a comfortable level of fullness.

8:30

And, right there, at comfortable fullness, if any part of your vocal core closes, release it.

This is really important because most of your preparation for your voice, your speeches, your singing, happens during the breath.
 
And this invisible place, at the top of your breath is one of the most important places in the entire breathing cycle. So, you have to become really aware of what you’re doing here.

9:05

So, please spend the rest of this practice session exploring the volume of your inhale. Where you are most comfortably full and then consistently refill to this level.  

9:23 - end


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