Want to learn more about how yoga can help a singer flourish? Check out yogi Rosie Secker’s three book recommendations.
Yoga calms the mind, releases tension and improves alignment – so no wonder it’s beneficial to singers.
And one singer and vocal coach who understands the connection between the two disciplines better than most is Rosie Secker. Rosie fell in love with yoga during a busy phase of her life when a hectic work schedule left her feeling tense and stressed.
“I upped my yoga practice and found that whenever I was in a yoga class I kept feeling the urge to make sounds,” she says. “I also found that my body and mind felt so much better after a class that I’d often go home and do some singing practice.”
Curious to learn why yoga was having such a positive effect on her singing, Rosie completed yoga teacher training and studied Vocal Yoga with Heather Lyle. Today she runs Vox Yoga, which offers voice lessons that mix elements of yoga – such as postures, breathwork and meditation – with traditional vocal exercises.
Three books on singing and yoga
If you’re interested in learning more about singing and yoga, here are three book recommendations from Rosie.
Yoga For Singers: Freeing Your Voice And Spirit Through Yoga by Linda Lister
Las Vegas-based soprano, composer and yogi Linda Lister published Yoga For Singers more than a decade ago. Since then, the book has become a go-to guide for singers and singing teachers looking to harness the power of yoga to improve their singing and overall well-being.
Drawing on her experiences as an opera singer, Lister explains how yoga can help a singer physically and emotionally. The book is written for singers of all genres and includes illustrated step-by-step guides to specific postures.
Vocal Yoga: The Joy of Breathing, Singing and Sounding by Heather Lyle
It’s safe to say that vocal coach and academic Heather Lyle, who has studied with Dr Ingo Titze and Dr Johann Sundberg and taught at Julliard and Harvard, knows her stuff.
Her book, Vocal Yoga, is a leader in its field. Drawing on yoga, tai chi, the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais and Sanskrit chanting techniques, Lyle details 100 exercises to free the voice and improve breath control.
Lyle has also trademarked the Heather Lyle Vocal Yoga Method and runs teacher certification programmes, so if you’re interested in teaching yoga for singing, check them out.
Yoga for Singing: A Developmental Tool for Technique & Performance by Judith E. Carman
Dr Carman has taught singing for more than 40 years and yoga for more than two decades. Her book demonstrates why yoga practices such as breathing, mindfulness and stretching serve the singer so well.
It includes postures and breathing techniques suitable for experienced yogis and newcomers alike. The book also explains how taking a whole-body approach can lay the foundations for a confident performer.
Want to take a deep dive into the wellness of the singer, starting with the body? Then be part of BAST’s one-day event Focus On: The Body and the Singer – Empowering the Singing Teacher on June 27. You’ll hear great guest speakers – including Rosie Secker discussing Yoga In the Voice Studio. You’ll come away with practical strategies and tools that you can incorporate into your teaching to help your students shine.