Welcome back, dear reader, for a journey into the world of relaxation. In this blog you will get:
· Why regular deep relaxation is essential to good health.
· The relationship between relaxation and having an effective voice.
· A simple relaxation method.
One of the most vastly underrated activities in America is relaxation. In our desire to get ahead we go full throttle, ignoring the “law of diminishing returns.” We keep on working when we are spent, thinking we are getting ahead. Instead we might be pushing ourselves into exhaustion or illness.
I am urging you to put rest and relaxation on the top of your to-do list. Make them your must-dos in your life. Every day I rest twice, morning and evening, for a period of 20 minutes, doing meditation for my general health. I learned Transcendental Meditation because the Beatles introduced it to America in the 1960s. Later I also studied meditation following Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk now living in France.
In all my years of voice work I have noticed that the people I can’t help with their voice are the ones that can’t let go and relax their muscles. Therefore, if you are serious about transforming your voice to please yourself, you should seriously consider learning to meditate. It’s the first step in getting your voice right.
In case you haven’t been meditating I will give you an example of a meditation now from Thich Nhat Hanh.
How do I start?
I go into a quiet room where I won’t be disturbed--the phone off, the pets corralled, lights lowered--and I sit down in a straight chair, feet flat on the floor, hands resting comfortably on my lap. I sit with my spine upright and I relax all the muscles in my body.
Guided Meditation – Create Warmth and Calmness and Mindfulness
Imagine you are safely sitting in a nice warm pool of water on a bright sunny day. You’re relaxing in the warm water. Nothing is more important right now than being happy and relaxed. This is your time.
Begin to notice your breathing soft and deep in your abdomen. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and let your breath come naturally. Notice the sun’s warmth gently on top of your head. Notice how nice it feels. Let any tension in your head go.
Allow that warmth to descend to your temples, cheeks, lips, tongue and jaw. Let your jaw drop slowly and easily. Your mouth opens slowly. Breathe. Let go …
Next let the warm feeling move to your neck then your shoulders. Notice any tension and let it go. You move that warmth to your upper arms, elbows, wrists and hands and fingers. Any tension? Let it go.
Move down to your chest, your abdomen and your pelvic area. Notice any tension, let the sun’s warming light soothe you and let the tension go.
Move to your legs. Notice your thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet and toes. Let any tension go.
Relax in your warm pool for a few minutes longer. When you are ready you can open your eyes. How do you feel now?
Until you have this process memorized it’s best to start this exercise with a friend reading it to you slowly.
This is one of the many approaches we use at Say It Proud Speech Therapy. My clients enjoy the openness and rest it provides. It’s the perfect place to start working on your voice.I invite you to be relaxed and imagine yourself with a great voice.
If you’d like some help in getting relaxed and taking on your voice consider using Say It Proud Speech Therapy.