Release / Receive / Release / Resist

Someone wrote on FB today:

Let’s pretend we’re creating your mantra – three words you say to yourself when you need motivation, inspiration, courage or strength. What is YOUR three word mantra?

So I wrote what I’ve come up with as my approach to breathing, specifically for singing:
Release / Receive / Resist.
Actually, I teach it as Release / Receive / Release / Resist.
Release: The lower abdominal muscles so that you can:
Receive: The air as it enters your body
Release: The exhalation
Resist: The flow of the air
When I work with beginning singers, I ask them to consciously release (blow out) all their air and not inhale again until their body requires it. Not really hold the breath, but don’t consciously suck in the air. Let the body take it in when it needs it. They become very aware that our bodies will take in the air naturally when it is needed, without pulling it in, without gasping. The muscles release so that the air can be received. Then, as we sing (exhaling with sound), we focus on finding the point of resistance between the ribs and oblique abdominals to maintain the airflow without restricting it.
Resistance isn’t restriction. We aren’t restricting or constricting. We are managing the airflow. 
How does this apply to our lives? Pretty much the same thing.
We release our intentions so that we can receive what needs to come. And then we act (release) but we are mindful of what those actions involve and we manage the outcome so that life just doesn’t happen to us.
Singing is life. Life is singing. Rinse and repeat. 
(Ooh, that’s a good mantra, too. Never mind the other. Just rinse and repeat.)

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