Its as easy as....... How often have you heard this? It may be true but when it comes to dancing, sometimes the simplest things become complicated! Like breathing for instance! We are so concentrated on getting the steps right, keeping our posture, moving in time with the music that we forget to breathe! Ok, not entirely, but we don't always breathe 'consciously' with all the benefits that this would bring. Working with your breath whilst dancing can provide for deeper movement, proper flow and reduce tiredness!
ANASMA, dancer, choreographer, and Oriental Fusion master teacher (amongst many other things) kindly offered to give ZeoT dance students some guidance!
Here are 10 tips to help you focus and develop your breathing!
1. Bring awareness to the directions of the your ribcage.
Focus on your ribcage opening in all dimensions, your sternum lifting, your back ribs raising, your sides expanding... and the same motion in 3D as your exhale.
2. Practice complete breathing, as a wave.
Close your eyes. Place one hand on the belly and one hand on the sternum. Try to relax the belly and inhale through the navel and then take air inside of your lungs. On the exhale, deflate the belly first then the ribcage.
3. Slow it down!
Some yogis believe that when you slow down your breath, your can calm down your heartbeat and expand your life time... Pace down and lengthen your inhales and exhales.
4. Deep breath - no stress!
Take a deep breath in and out when you feel a surge of stress. It will reduce considerably.
5. Increase your breathing capacity!
Practise positive and negative ‘apnee’ in between conscious breathing... You will be able to identify when you are breathing, or not, and control this while you are dancing.
6. Adapt your breath to the move you are doing.
Inhale for lifts, ascension. Exhale for torsions, contractions, muscular efforts. You can syncopate your breath for dim stops... You might get light headed if you do this for a long time, for the first time but soon you will learn the right dosage.
7. Isolate the layers of abdominals.
Relax the rectus abdominus when exhaling & while engaging the transverse. Also try engaging only the rectus abdominals and relaxing the transverse.
8. Breath through your mouth on stage as often as you can.
It will help relax your face and connect to your audience. Let them in! Rather than breathing through the nose, which creates more of distance and protection, that might also sometimes be better.
9. Stay healthy by breathing correctly.
Breath through the nose to protect yourself from the cold and bacteria etc
10. Practice making your breath audible.
Think about the sound of the ocean….