POWERFUL BREATHING TECHNIQUES

Breath control is essential to an actor.

Breathing is so personal and as an actor, you must have the ability to control and connect with your breathing to help you do your work.


Although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of breathing exercises, this blog will explore three that have proven to be the most effective for me personally and for the many students that have trained with me over the years.


Tension is released through the breath.

Access to your emotions is through your breath.

Connection to the material and the other actor flows through the breath.


So...learn, master and use breathing techniques to improve your work (and your life).


Before starting any breathing exercise, make sure you are in a relaxed state. If you need relaxation techniques to rid your body of tension, the TOOLBOX offers several techniques, so consider JOINING THE TOOLBOX.


SQUARE BREATHING

  1. Breathe in for a count of 1

  2. Hold for a count of 1

  3. Breathe out for a count of 1

  4. Hold for a count of 1

  5. Then just breathe naturally for a few deep breaths

  6. Repeat the process, increasing to 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds

INFLATION BREATH

  1. Breathe in through your nose, letting you diaphragm descend, and take in the maximum capacity of air possible

  2. Hold it for a brief second and then take one more quick inhale through your nose to expand your lung capacity just a bit more, even if it's the tiniest bit more

  3. Exhale slowly through your mouth until your lungs are completely empty, focusing on pushing the air out by raising your diaphragm

  4. Then, even though you feel like you're totally out of air, puff out one more time using your diaphragm to get the last bit of air out

  5. Then just breathe naturally for a few deep breaths

  6. Repeat this process 3-5 times

RESTING BREATH

Your Resting Breath count is when you are at your most relaxed and stress free (similar to just before you drift off to sleep) and you consistently inhale for the same count every time you inhale and you consistently exhale for the same count every time you exhale.

Example: 6 seconds on the inhale every time and 8 seconds on the exhale every time.

This is your Resting Breath count and these numbers will become the target you work your count to when using this breathing technique.


The idea here is that just breathing to try to relax is a bit arbitrary for many people, but if you know in your heart of hearts that whenever you're about to fall asleep and you breathe in consistently, for example, for 7 seconds and breathe out consistently, for example, for 9 seconds, then when you want to use this technique, you control the inhale and exhale counts to match your Resting Breath counts. By doing so, you trick your body into physiologically believing that it is relaxed.


So...to figure out your Resting Breath, follow these steps.

  1. Get comfortable - sit in a chair or lie down

  2. Take time to de-stress and work your way towards drifting off to sleep

  3. Clear your mind of all your tension

  4. Don't drift too far off to sleep though - pay attention enough to begin counting how many seconds it takes you to breathe in fully and exhale fully.

  5. Once your count on the inhale is consistent, make a mental note of that count number

  6. Then focus on reaching a consistent count on the exhale and then once you have that count number, make a mental note of it. Now comes the fun part.

  7. Begin to imagine a stressful event. Let your imagination take you on a journey. Think of a stressful audition waiting room or sitting in the Dentist chair just before a cavity is drilled or going on a blind date. Just create in your imagination a scenario that brings in the tension.

  8. While this is happening in your imagination and your stress level increases, notice how your breathing count has changed drastically from your consistent Resting Breath count.

  9. Now, while still imagining the stressful experience, begin to control your inhale and exhale counts to match your Resting Breath numbers.

  10. Breathe to your Resting Breath inhale and exhale counts 10 times and notice how the stressful situation is still there, but the amount of stress you experience has greatly reduced.

  11. Continue controlling your breathing to your Resting Breath counts for another 10 times and notice all the stress vanish.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR BREATHING TECHNIQUES

Ariana Fort Acting Studio blog on breathing

YouTube videos on breathing


Inside the Toolbox are videos that explore the above three breathing techniques in great detail. So, if you're not a member of the TOOLBOX yet, please consider JOINING THE TOOLBOX.


If you're not ready to join the Toolbox, but want to keep learning more, please sign up for our email list HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out the form.


I hope this post has inspired you in some small way. I look forward to reading your comments.


Bye for now and Stay Safe My Fellow Travelers.

See you inside the Toolbox.

Email: actorsapproachtoolbox@gmail.com

Website: http://www.actorsapproach.com

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/actorsapproachcrafttoolbox

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