Relaxing the body, breath, voice

The Body

Relaxing the body before speaking is the first step. You can do yoga, meditate, or follow these simple steps:

  1. Stand with feet hip distance appart
  2. Lengthen your spine
  3. Stretch:
    • If you like yoga, try a few sun salutations if not work through relaxing the tensions in the shoulders, neck, back, arms, and wrists
    • You can start by raising arms above your head and letting your wrists relax, dangling
    • After lowering your arms, let your arms drop to your sides and your shoulders relaxed, stacking the spine but releasing tension between your shoulder blades
    • Bending forward, reach for your toes, letting your body dangle to release the tension in your lower back
    • Roll your back up slowly to a standing position
    • Repeat as necessary

The Breath

Relaxing the breath will help you relax the voice. The more relaxed you are, the smaller the exchange of oxygen necessary to sustain you.  You are at your most efficient when relaxed. Deep meditation radically slows the breath and also helps lower the pulse.

  • Start by taking slow deep breaths in through and out through your nose, pausing after inhalation and exhalation, keeping a steady pace.
  • Open your mouth slightly and begin exhaling from your mouth forming the “fff” sound with your lips.
  • Bringing your breathing to the back of your throat and begin making a “hhhh” sound when you exhale.
  • Repeat as necessary

The Voice

A great way to relax your larynx is to yawn, so I start any voice warm up session with a yawn.

  1. Yawn
  2. Take a deep breath through the nose and out through the mouth saying “ahhh” like a sigh of relief.

Notice the sound of your voice. Where it goes, what it does and think about where you want to register your own pitch. You can shape the way you talk. If you’re an actor or performer, you’ll spend your life manipulating your voice to adapt to your audiences.