The first thing I talk about with a new voice student is posture. It is so basic and so important. Since our body is our instrument, the correct alignment of our body is imperative for proper breathing and supporting the tone, which makes it vital for producing good singing. My description of good posture comes from my study of Tai Chi. Imagine that your head is hanging from the ceiling by a string. All your vertebrae seem to be spread apart and you are standing as tall as you can, but with a feeling of lightness. Your shoulders fall in to a normal postion, in other words, not pulled back and down. Next, imagine that there is a string that is pulling from your sternum slightly up and out. This pulls up your chest slightly and opens up your ribs, making you ready for a full breath. As I mentioned before, there is a feeling of lightness that comes with this posture and with this way of thinking about posture. This feeling of lightness enhances the feelings of alertness and nimbleness, the readiness and concentration that a singer must have to perform well while simultaneously remaining relaxed. Singing is an intense and energetic activity, but the singer must remain like the tiger walking through the jungle — relaxed, alert, ready to pounce.