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Breathing in: Mouth or nose?
posted by Daniel on March 5th, 2012
The nose, however, is awful at eating. Worse at drinking. In fact, the only activity it excels at is breathing! (I know I'll get heated responses from the Guild of Nose Flute Players)
For singers, including us kirtan singers, breathing is a critical matter, since it powers the voice. The exhalation is already determined - the act of singing itself. So the big question is: Should we inhale through the nose, or the mouth?
At first glance, we might opt for mouth, because it's bigger and allows for large gulps of air. And true, there are certain situations where a quick 'catch breath' via the mouth is all there's time for. But try this: sitting as you are, open your mouth and breathe in. Notice how your whole throat gets dry? Now close your mouth. Breathe in again, this time through the nose. Not as drying, is it?
The nasal passages actually moisten, warm, and clean the air coming in before reaching your throat and lungs. As singers, we want to keep hydrated so that the vocal muscles well lubricated. Avoiding drying mouth-breathing is an important part of the picture. So when singing, and when talking, try closing your mouth for a noseward inhalation in between phrases!
(And if one of your nostrils is stuffed up, well, same with everybody else. Nobody actually has perfectly clear nostrils, but unless you've got a cold, they're clear enough for breathing!)
Copyright 2010-2012 Daniel Tucker