How to relax your voice!
Today most people are feeling under pressure.
Pressure to keep up with your family duties, the speed of a career, social life or simply paying the bills. The age of we-fry or wifi and all the digital devices are contributing to stress as well.
When we are stressed our breathing gets shallow and with less oxygen in our bodies
our muscles start to tighten. For singers it is key to be able to let go of stress and open
the heart. You can only be connected to your emotions when your body and your breath are relaxed. Here is an exercise on how to get into that relaxation. You can repeat this over a few days or longer for best results. Muscles have layers and to get to the deeper layers you need time.
I have seen this work on all of my students but please take the time and keep doing
it for a week to see what it can do for you.
Lie down on the floor with your face up to the ceiling, feet are hip wide apart,
palms up and arms slightly away from the body. Take a few minutes
to let your lower back and every other bone settle against the floor.
Imagine that you are a little snowflake on top of this huge, massive earth.
Imagine the earth underneath you. What weight! Layer upon layer you let yourself sink into it.
Melt like a snowflake on the ground. When you feel heavy start scanning your face muscles.
The forehead: In your mind's eye move the eyebrows away from each other
again and again. Start from the root of your nose and melt them to either side.
Do you feel more space? More ease? Softness? Imagine the sun shines on your forehead.
Smile from the inside. You don't need to actually smile just imagine a smile on your forehead.
Feel the warm sun on your face and enjoy. You can do this again and again.
Start from the beginning of the eyebrows where they meet at the root of the nose
and imagine them melting away from each other. It can help to hold your breath while
you let them melt and when you can't feel any more extensions to the side then let
the air simply fall into your belly. Don't pull the air in or actively breathe. Just relax your throat
and let the air "fall"into your belly. After some time it will feel as if you opened a curtain that
was closed at the center of your forehead.
Go on to your nose: Imagine the nose gets longer. Let a water drop enter from the forehead
into the nose and imagine how it travels through the nose and out the nostrils.
Mentally follow this water drop and repeat. Also here you can hold the breath while
you imagine the water drop traveling and then let the air fall in when the water drop
has reached and left the nostrils.
Does your nose feel longer? Did your breath deepen every time you did it? Listen to your body
and your breath. If a deep sigh emerges don't hold it back. Enjoy and let it go.
Repeat going over the forehead and into the nose several times.
Go on to your lips now: Imagine the muscles around the lips softening and widening.
Your lips feel like they bloom open. You are Marilyn Monroe posing for a picture.
Don't move your lips just imagine and feel the softening and the widening of the
muscles around the lips. Does it feel as if they expand and get fuller? Is your breath deeper?
Go to the tip of your chin: Imagine it extending into a pointed beard.
Start from your relaxed lips dropping into your chin and melt the chin into a pointed beard.
Let the jaw relax and mentally follow the line from the jaw joint into the point of the beard.
When your lower jaw is relaxed the lips come slightly apart. Keep watching for that.
Don't hold your jaw tight. Let your lips come apart. Some days your lips will close and every time you open them they will close right back again. That is a sign of tension in the lower body and in the hip. Just be patient with the relaxation of your face and especially the lips and the chin
you will experience an opening in your lower body, pelvic floor.
Repeat going over your lips and chin area several times as well.
You can repeat the cycle working on your forehead, nose, lips and chin.
Even if you don't feel anything keep working with those images.
Eventually you will feel it as clear as if someone is pinching you.
With those four areas more relaxed you will find that you have a different speaking and singing voice. More resonant, utterly more comfortable, even lush and you will love it!