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When training to be a singer, having a good posture for singing makes a huge difference. One of the common problems I see in singers when they struggle to sing with freedom is that they are continually defying gravity. It is an impossible battle to win!
We are stuck on earth – and that is a good thing. The force of gravity is strong enough to keep you grounded – whether you accept it or not.
Flowing with gravity is a good idea if you want to have an expressive, strong, and free voice. Flowing with gravity will allow your breath to flow as you need it to in order for it to be at the service of your expression. Your upper body will be able to relax, making it easy for you to free up your voice.
However, more often than not, I see singers doing precisely the opposite! They hold their body weight in their upper body while they sing, in an attempt to reach higher or stronger sounds. It never works! It might give you the idea that it does, but all you are doing is damaging your voice in the long term, and holding your expression inside you instead or releasing it! Your breath becomes more shallow; your neck is tense, your jaw is tense… a disaster. So much muscle activity that you don’t need! When you sing, unnecessary muscle tension means a voice that is stuck.
We defy gravity to stop feeling. To stop being so vulnerable. To hide our insecurities. To be liked. To hold our emotions – whether consciously or unconsciously-.
Flowing with gravity means to be connected with earth and heaven. It means to feel all those things you’re afraid of. It means to get over yourself and deal with what you have to deal with in order to keep growing. It means to accept, to release, to let go, to move on, to live in the moment.
I have always been in love with trees. And it has always caught my attention how freely the leaves can move – the upper body, and at the same time how grounded they are. It is easy to sing if we follow the same strategy!
The most important thing to have in mind when you’re working with the force of gravity is to adopt a posture that allows you to do it.
During our lives, our life history and the emotions we experience shape our posture. And generally not in a healthy way…
The best thing you can do if you don’t have a lot of body awareness right now is to start observing your posture, and start noticing things like:
Working on developing your body awareness is the best thing you can do for your voice. When you are a singer, your instrument is your whole body, and if you want to play it well, you need to get to know it.
Stand up comfortably. Bring your awareness to the plant of your feet. Focus your attention on your body weight distribution.
Slowly transfer your body weight to the ball of your feet, and then to your heels. Repeat this process several times, every time moving a little more subtle. When you find the center, you should notice your arms suddenly becoming heavy, and your body weight being discharged to the earth rather than being held up.
If you keep this position and try to use your voice (any sound), you should start noticing that your voice becomes a little bit bigger. A little more embodied.
The above exercise requires practice to be felt more strongly. There are lots of exercises you can try to release your body weight, but for now this should be enough to get you started.
These are some of the things that happen in your body when you successfully flow with the force of gravity.
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