Image item
Inhale though your nose for one, two, three, four. 
Hold  your breath for one, two, three, four. 
Exhale for one, two, three, four… And hold for one, two. three, four.  
Now: Inhale deeply and exhale fully! 
Doesn't that feel good?! 
Image item
We're talking about our breath. 
It's central to how we feel, and it's fascinating to know that it's both involuntary and voluntary! We do it when we don't think about it, and yet, we can control it when we want to.  
Humans have studied the breath for millennia, passing along ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo to modern researchers who are studying ways adjusting our breathing can help heal disease, improve health and fitness. 
With one of the pillars of teaching here at Music360 is being wellness of body, mind and spirit - we're going to take you through three breathing exercises that you can use to improve both short term and long term well being, mental clarity and focus, and ability to navigate through stressors. 
And goodness knows, there are enough stressors in our world right now! 
So, here are three are grounding breath techniques for your mind, body and spirit! They're for when you need to recenter or recollect yourself, are short (up to 5 mintues) in length, and usable anywhere and anytime, even on stage! 
Ready?  Let's do it!
For the BODY, try the "Falling Out Breath" for when you need to release physical tension. Your shoulders bunching up in the middle of the concerto exposition? Release that beast! Also known as the physiological sigh, this breath works by reinflating the alveoli (tiny sacs) in your lungs, increasing oxygen intake.
1. Inhale as deeply as you can, filling your lungs fully.
2. At the top of the breath, take one quick "sip" of air.
3. Exhale with a HAAAAA sound, releasing all the air from your lungs.
Dr. Huberman, neuroscienst at Stanford University and creator of Huberman Lab,  calls the Physiological Sigh “the fastest real-time tool for stopping stress and anxiety.” It slows your heart rate and calms that fight or flight response that always worms its way into your auditions and performances!  
Repeat this 10 times before returning to your normal breathing.
For the MIND, we've got one of our favorites, the "Box Breath". This technique is a form of yogic deep breathing used by Navy SEALs, known as sama vritti pranayama, it's common name is "box breathing" but is also known as equal breathing, four square and square breathing. Here we go:
1. Inhale to the count of four
2. Hold your breath at the top to the count of four
3. Exhale to the count of four
4. Hold your breath at the bottom to the count of four
Bringing mindfulness to the breath is key to this practice, which brings calm, mental clarity and focus. Do it for 5 minutes and you'll be taming that ball of chaos and overwhelm!
Finally, for the SPIRIT, let's do the "Emptying Breath". This technique helps you turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, slows down your heartbeat, stimulates the vagus nerve (which monitors your organs and feeds information to the central nervous system). Try it:
1. Inhale to the count of three
2. Exhale slowly to the count of six, releasing as much air as you can!

When you want to create a sense of peacefulness, evenness, and positivity, do the Emptying Breath (or any breathing technique with a longer exhale than inhale).
This wasn't too hard, right?
Learning to breathe well can be one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal!
Check out this PDF of 9 breathing exercises for musicians (and send us your personal favorites too, we'd love to know what's worked for you)! 
And if you love rabbit holes as much as we do, here are a few more links to click on:
Have a great week! 
Tiffany & Ixi  

ps: Want to chat about anything? Need us to check out how you're using your breath? Schedule a 15-min 1:1 with Tiffany or Ixi! Totally free. We just really love getting to know all of you!  


When you don't know where to start!
Image item
Balancing these two things is key
Image item
No, no… don't do this!
Image item

Thanks for reading. We aim to provide actionable ideas in our email newsletters, programs and content. Each week we share thoughts, ideas, questions, strategies and actions that we hope can move the needle for you in your life and career! Here's where we talk about why you're on our list (you signed up for a technique tip, a scale reset, a worksheet, a challenge, to get a printable, some tips, excerpt or practice help or resources), and that we'd love it if you shared some of our ideas with your friends. 
Thanks for reading and sharing.
Wait! Clicking Unsubscribe means you'll never hear from us again about anything. Click Manage your Preferences below to choose what you'd like to hear about and get more or fewer emails.