Take Action #16: Your Breath
1. Begin by lying flat on the ground and placing your hand on your abdomen just below your ribs.2. Feel the natural rise and fall as you breathe. 3. Notice the natural ‘pause’ between inhale and exhale.
This is how your body breathes without you trying to do anything to control it. As you breathe, there should be four sections to each breath: 1. an inhale, 2. a pause, 3. an exhale, 4. a pause. We usually don’t feel the pauses because they’re short and they happen naturally, but they’re there, all right. This next exercise focuses on lengthening, or expanding, your breath. Begin by inhaling for a three-count, holding for a three-count, exhaling for a three-count and holding for a three-count. Do this until it’s comfortable and then start to increase your count, four-count, five-count, etc. If you start to feel light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately and take a break. See if you can comfortably work up to 5, 6, 7 or even 8, 9, 10.
(Tara once had a voice teacher who could breathe in and out on a thirty-count, which comes with a lot of practice. Being able to hold your breath and control your breathing allows you to play with your voice more, giving you more range and stamina, which could come in handy for things such as recording long passages for audiobooks or characters who really ramble on.)