Let’s take a moment to check-in. FYI, if you would rather listen to this exercise there is a recording here. This exercise takes about 6 minutes. Keep in mind that you know your body more than someone on the internet so let your own body guide this scan.
Sit on the edge of a chair, making sure your sitz bones are the primary point of contact. Place your feet flat on the floor, if you are wearing heels — remove them.
Take a breath and let out an extended /v/ sound. Top teeth to the bottom lip. Observe how it feels and how much breath you have access to.
Rock your feet a few times. Lifting your toes off the ground, and then rocking to the ball of your foot and raising the heel.
Bring your knees together and then apart, sliding your feet in and out with as close to a 90-degree angle as your legs allow.
Rock your hips from side to side as if you were dancing a merengue seated. Let your torso arch gently as you shift your hips. Then rock your hips front to back, rolling off of your sitz bones and then back on. Arching your back into a ‘C’ as your rock backward and then back to alignment.
Lift your right shoulder and let it drop. Repeat with the left shoulder. Extend your arms outward and reach for the sides of the room. Observe your breathing and release your arms.
How free is the movement of your head? Can it rock like a bobble-head? Experiment with its mobility. Extend the neck and then try to bring your right ear to your right shoulder. Observe your breathing and repeat this on the left. Come back to alignment. Extend the neck and then allow your head to come forward so that your chin is touching your chest. Return to alignment and then allow your head to arch your neck towards your back.
Try to Simulate or trigger a yawn by inhaling a good amount of air with your mouth wide open.
Take a breath and let out an extended /v/ sound. Top teeth to the bottom lip. Observe what has changed from the first experience.
Self-observation and awareness are at the beginning of every performance. Whether it be a short conversation, an important meeting, speech, or singing performance. You cannot fully deploy your strengths if you don’t know, really know, what you have to work with.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.