Here’s a great multitask that’s good for your voiceovers, your body, and your well-being: adding pranayama to your vocal warm up.
In voice over work, some sentences (or days) just go on and on. Tuning up your body and breath awareness with pranayama can reduce the need for big (or sneaky sips of) breaths in awkward moments, cleaning up your dry recordings, reducing editing time, and increasing session stamina.
- Is one of the eight arms of yoga.
- Involves regulation of breath through different techniques and breathing exercises. One you may already practice if you do yoga is ujjayi breathing.
One pranayama technique I like in particular is kapalabhati (KAH-pah-lah-BAH-tee). Use kapalabhati to:
- increase breath awareness and control
- improve voicing stamina (for long sentences and long sessions)
- reduce audition nerves
- and clear those pipes (Keep a box of tissues handy.)
Watch: How to practice kapalabhati.
Intrigued? There’s a ton more information you can search for online about pranayama and, in particular, kapalabhati. And it’s nice to warm into kapalabhati with nadi shodhana. But use common sense–this isn’t for folks with health problems without your doctor’s okay. Don’t just think “breathing diseases” but also hypertension, glaucoma, and whatever else your doctor will know but I won’t. If you get light-headed, stop and try another time. You might get a pranayama instructor to work with you. Of course, the possibility of getting light-headed means no kapalabhati while driving to that audition or session.
Better practice, better voiceovers, better living.
Remember, in kapalabhati it’s the exhale that’s active. Puff out with enough force (quick, bellows-like, belly-button-reaching-for-the-spine exhalations), and the inhalation takes care of itself. In fact, do you ever feel as though you can’t breathe deeply enough? You might actually be holding your breath a little. Whether it’s simply from habit or a result of tension, when you don’t exhale completely your chest can feel tight, as though you can’t get in enough air. Teach yourself to exhale more completely with pranayama, and you’ll not only find more breath for your voiceovers, but you’ll learn a new body and breath awareness that can help you feel better, too.