The development of a singer takes several years and involves training many different abilities. Since the whole body is the singer's instrument, and the mind, emotions, and musical abilities play the instrument, it is necessary to train all these elements. In the early developmental stage of perhaps six to eight years from high school through college, and beyond, the practices of yoga can be of great assistance in training the various facets of the whole singer. Beyond the training and development stages, the practices of yoga serve the singer well throughout life by keeping body, breath, mind, and spirit in healthful balance.
Yoga practices beneficial in support of the private teacher, choral conductor, opera/music theater director, and various music classes involve training the body (āsana) for good posture, strength, flexibility, and balance; training the breath (prānāyāma) for use in singing; training the mind (concentration/meditation) in the ability to focus on the task at hand, remain in the moment during performance, and address underlying issues that produce performance anxiety; and training the whole body/mind system (relaxation) in the ability to relax under stress.
Part I: Theory and Techniques addresses each of these elements in chapters on the body, the breath, the mind, the heart, and the performer. Each chapter presents the relevance of various practices to a specific area of singing, along with selected yoga practices for general development. Part II: Practices for Various Needs gives practices for various areas of the body and for specific vocal problems and other general situations a student may encounter, including weight control. The Appendix: For the Voice Teacher introduces and outlines a series of progressive yoga classes designed to help the singer in many different areas of training, including foreign language diction, memorizing music, and performance anxiety.