60% of our lungs are round the back – that’s why bending over forwards, like you see runners doing after a race, can help get more oxygen into the biggest part of our lungs

Exhalation is more important to focus on than inhalation – controlling and toning the way we exhale will automatically allow us to inhale much more effectively. 

Natural singing is a great way of improving exhalation, as we are slowing our exhalation without really thinking about it

The vagus nerve runs through the lungs – in polyvagal theory the ventral vagus controls our feeling of safety and calm, that’s why a long slow exhale helps us calm down when we’re stressed

Our vocal fold (the bit that moves if you do a tiny click-click of silent laughter) holds tension, e.g. when you brace to pull a heavy object – also emotionally which is why you get that sore bit in your throat if you’re trying not to cry… Another reason why singing is such a good emotional release, it’s not ‘holding’ but allowing emotions through.