So now that you are “belly breathing” we need to take you into the sensation of breath support. This is a biggy.
What is actually happening is the muscles all around your body (back, ribs, stomach) are engaging to “hold back”, “suspend” and control your breath. Again, this can be very tricky because I don’t want you to totally hold your breath, and in fact, that may cause a lot of wrong tension in the throat and neck area. Remember you should feel relaxed from the shoulders and up. The effort and energy is felt below. This is where visualizations will help you find the correct sensation.
Remember you are breathing from the bottom up now.
Now imagine there is an open umbrella (or parachute?) sitting in your belly. The bottom part (the handle) is at the groin area and this can represent the straw sensation as you are breathing in. Imagine the air you breath in is coming up under your ribs and upper stomach area and expanding the umbrella. Now, remember the umbrella is not rigid and non-flexible like a real umbrella that would lock into being fully open. But, rather your “belly” umbrella is more like a strong, flexible, thick, moving, flowing, and engaging umbrella that expands to its fullest under your ribs and around your back when you inhale for singing, and then relaxes a bit when you exhale….but NEVER collapses. It is always there when you are breathing….while you are talking….and while you are simply existing! This open, moving umbrella sensation is now an everyday part of your new sense of breathing. This umbrella does not need to be huge. If you feel imbalance or get lightheaded, then you are over-doing these sensations. Regroup, relax, and start over. It should start to feel normal in small, manageable steps.
Stay tuned as put these sensations into the correct coordination for singing.