Which Yoga Breathing Exercises Should a Singer Practice?

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 17, 2012

Yoga breathing exercises can be used to help singers to maintain better control. In yoga there are seven chakras, three of these chakras are beneficial to singers. They are: the Anaahat or Heart Chakra, the Vishuddha or Throat Chakra, and the Anja or Third Eye Chakra.

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  • The Anaahat or Heart Chakra is considered the first chakra to be affected by music. This is the chakra that is involved with harmony, rhythm and timing
  • The Vishuddha or Throat Chakra is involved with self expression, communication, voice, self confidence and artistic creativity
  • The Anja or Third Eye Chakra involves brain activities, hearing, thinking, logic, memory and harmony

The part of yoga that is helpful for a musician is called Asanas; which are essentially physical postures. They are to be performed in a slow and steady pace with awareness of the body and breath.


Some Asanas to try:

  • Parivartit Chakrasans-opens up the air sacs and builds the breathing muscles. This increases the breathing volume and lung capacity
  • Parvatasana-works to gain better breathing capacity
  • Sarvangasana-supplies more blood to the brain. The increased blood supply increases brain activities needed for hearing memory and creativity
  • Bandha-stops air flow and blood flow at a particular Chakra

Some breathing exercises that you can try are:

Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. You need to sit in a comfortable cross legged position
  2. With your right hand, fold your pointer finger and middle finger into your palm. You will leave your thumb, ring finger and pinky finger sticking up
  3. Place your thumb on the right side of your nose; place your ring finger on the left
  4. Using your thumb, close off your right nostril
  5. Now inhale through the left
  6. Next, alternate and close off your left nostril with your ring finger
  7. Remove your thumb from your right nostril
  8. Inhale
  9. Alternate back to the right nostril closed and inhale through the left nostril
  10. Continue alternating five to ten times

Cool breathing

  1. You need to sit in a comfortable cross legged position
  2. Inhale deeply two to three times through the nose
  3. Take your tongue and roll it; curling the sides in towards the center. This will form a tube. Purse your lips then stick the end of your tongue out between your lips
  4. Inhale through this tube you have formed
  5. Exhale through your nose
  6. Repeat five to ten times. You will feel a cooling effect

These two exercises are just a couple of the breathing exercises that are available to help a singer build their lung volume and capacity. More exercises can be found on the Internet.

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