Stance and the Grounded Breath

As your breathing capacity increases, it's important to remain balanced and solid in your stance and posture. In this lesson you will learn exactly HOW to ground and support your breath and voice. 

  • How to Ground the Breath

Stance

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Stance, Home Position and Breathing
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It is common to become dizzy or disoriented as your breathing capacity increases. This is technically called a "Phase Shift". You're moving to a more oxygenated state which causes a temporary change in your perception.  

When this occurs, your first thought should be to find your feet and "ground" them.

To "ground" your feet, you simply place them in parallel, shoulder and hip-width position. Focus upon the soles of your feet where they meet the earth. This will quickly stabilize the light-headed sensation.

Imagine that you are drawing your breath upwards from the ground to the top of your lungs. It will eventually feel as though your breath is moving upwards while the ground beneath your feet draws you downward.

Exercise

1. Place yourself in either proper sitting or standing stance.

Standing:

  • Place feet in parallel position
  • Ankles under the knees
  • Knees under the hips
  • Horizontal line of hips

Sitting:

Sit forward on your chair.

  • Horizontal line from hips to knees.
  • Vertical line from knees to ankles.

2. Open the Vocal Core

Look into your mirror and check for the following:

  • Mouth closed with lips relaxed
  • Sides of lips gently brought up into an easy, relaxed smile
  • Eyes open in a soft gaze
  • Eyebrows relaxed and don’t move when you smile
  • Head is relaxed and there is a horizontal line between the ears
  • Jaw falls from the face and there is a slight space between the teeth
  • Back of head is soft, without tension
  • Breath is silent, which indicates a relaxed larynx
  • Air moves in and out of upper body without extra effort.
  • Exercise: Grounded Breath

    1. Observe and re-adjust stance and vocal core.

    • Move focus to your feet.
    • Feel the entire sole of each foot where it meets the ground.
    • Rest feet in stance position and move focus back to your vocal core.
    • Check that your lips, tongue and all other parts of the vocal core remain at rest in their neutral positions.
    • Feel the connection between the rotation of your chest breath and your new stance.
    • Check your knees to be sure they are bent and loose.

    2. Inhale

    • Image you are bringing your air up from the soles of your feet.

    3. Bring your focus back to your vocal core.

    • Especially notice your head. Be sure that you do not jerk your head backwards or side to side.

    • Notice that you can bring the air in and out of your vocal core, from the soles of your feet, while all points of the vocal core remain at rest.

    • Still at the top of the breath and focus on the sensation of "grounding," drawing breath and power upwards from the soles of your feet.

    • As your voice becomes more powerful, you will learn to depend upon the power of a grounded and secure stance.

    Vocabulary

    • HOLD - To use tension to sustain a position. Instead, you will find the proper position and allow it to remain in place.
    • STANCE - The proper placement of feet to the hips. Feet are parallel and placed under the knees and hip in a straight line. Knees are slightly bend and facing forward.
    • SITTING POSTURE - Feet flat upon the floor. Knees face forward and above your feet. There is a 90 degree angle from your knees to your lower legs. 
    • TO GROUND - You are securely connected to the ground below your feet with a straight line from your hips, down through the legs, knees and ankles to your feet. You then draw energy and breath up through the soles of the feet back up through the legs, knees and hips to the lungs.
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