My thesis is this: your system can breathe automatically, “correctly,” as much as you need, and you don’t have to apply a particular breathing technique. You’ll run into problems if you’re interfering with your own natural breathing. Unfortunately, this can happen without you even knowing that, in fact, you’re impeding your own free breathing.
The primary goal of every “breathing exercise” should be to become aware of, and stop, impediments to natural breathing. In other words, don’t do them. You don’t need to add something to your breathing process, such as training muscles (diaphragm) or programming yourself to breathe in a certain manner. It’s not about “doing;” it’s about “non-doing,” allowing natural breathing to unfold.
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How to overcome the Number 1 barrier to natural breathing
You’ll find yourself breathing correctly when you stop interfering with a purely natural process. Often, well-intentioned concepts of how breathing (allegedly) works are the biggest obstacles.
It’s challenging to overcome the presumption that you should, or even could, control inhaling. This means you believe that you are superior to nature! It isn’t wise to assume that you’re the one who knows how breathing should work. Experience shows: you don’t!
It’s easier to describe what should be done (a certain breathing technique) than it is to explain how to stop interfering with the way you breathe. The magic word here is “inhibition,” which means not reacting to your need to control, not responding to your preconceived ideas of how to breathe correctly.
Then natural, vivid breathing happens spontaneously.
You cannot force it.
You cannot control it.
You cannot standardize it.
And it might even feel unsafe.
I prefer natural breathing to any kind of mechanical breathing technique. It’s the only way your breathing, and thus your music, will be lively.
Lively breathing = lively playing! And beware: those who breathe mechanically also play mechanically. Be natural; don’t fight what you already have. And enjoy the music!