It’s January and that means most of us are thinking of exercising more this year. Have you ever considered that exercise might be a good thing for your voice and not just your waistline?
I’m going to focus on yoga because it has so many benefits.
The philosophy and practice of Yoga began over 4000 years ago, and the word, yoga, means yoke. This is a good way to remember that yoga joins together breathing and stretching. Most people have heard of yoga breathing exercises. They are called pranayama, which means breath control. There is no other discipline I know of that puts more emphasis on breathing. Going into detail about pranayama would take an entire web site. Luckily, there are some! Click here to learn more about pranayama on just one of the many sites available.
If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know how important I think breathing is to a good voice. Breathing is the energy for speech, and I often say that if there’s anything wrong with your breathing every aspect of your voice will suffer. Breathing is what I work with first with almost every client. To watch a video of me working on breathing with a client, click here.
Since yoga means yoke, let’s not exclude the poses or asanas of yoga. There are two that I think are great for working on posture, which has a big effect on breathing. If you think it doesn’t, make a c-shape with your spine bringing your head forward and down. Now try to breathe. Not so easy, is it? Good posture promotes good breathing. The two asanas that are beneficial for breathing are the cobra and the warrior poses. Again, explaining them is best left to an expert. Click here for a description of the cobra pose and here for the warrior. The sun salutation is a multi-step asana with similar poses. Check it out if you want a more flowing exercise. All of these poses when done with the breathing will help your posture and increase your breathing capacity. What a great way to create a better voice!
BTW, if you’ve done yoga leave a comment below and let me know if you found it helpful.
Happy New Year!
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As a skier, I recommend it as a great sport for improved lung capacity. I also recommend it as a source of “joy” while exercise. I know many of the things we can do to maintain health may seem like work, and neither skiing nor yoga are guilty of that. Excellent blog post as usual. 🙂 ~Kat
Thanks for the great comment, Kat. I totally agree with you about seeking something that brings you joy. Then it doesn’t seem like “exercise” but like “fun!”
Thanks, as always, for your insightful comment and your support!
Only in the usa would you call a Yoga Asana a pose. 🙂
LOL, you’re so on the mark here! We have our own way of making everything work.
I am an audiobook narrator and do Yoga every morning. It is fantastic and I totally agree with your comments. At the end of the exercises, I stay in a meditation position and just concentrate on controlled breathing for several minutes. It is so beneficial!
Lesley, I LOVE your comment! You say better than I do what a benefit Yoga can bring. Keep up your excellent practice.
thanks for nice information