The Importance of Relaxation for Actors
Deep BreathingClose your eyes and take a series of deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, pull the breath all the way down into the deepest part of your lung, then exhale slowly through your nose. Think of it as “circle breathing.” Imagine the breath filling your lungs before circling up to leave your body. Try to make each breath last eight to 10 seconds – four or five seconds to inhale and four or five seconds to exhale. Continue deep breathing for a full minute.
Facial RelaxationHang your head while sitting in a chair or standing. Scrunch your eyes as tight as you can, holding for three to five seconds, before relaxing them completely. Open your eyes and rest. Then, open your eyes as wide as possible, causing your forehead to wrinkle. Hold for three seconds, then relax. Now you’re ready to move on to your mouth and cheeks. Frown as deeply as you can, scrunching your forehead in the process. Hold for three to five seconds, then relax. Next, smile as wide as you can, without opening your mouth, hold for three to five seconds, then relax. Finally, open your mouth as wide as possible, as if you were yawning, inhale deeply, exhale slowly and relax.
Full Body RelaxationSometimes relaxation happens when you allow your body to “get loose.” Jump around a little, allowing your arms to swing forward and backward at your sides. Shrug your shoulders, move your head from side to side, clasp and unclasp your hands, then relax.
Taking classesLearning to relax takes time and effort. You may want to enroll in an acting class to learn more relaxation techniques. Or, enroll in a yoga class. Yoga is great for learning breathing techniques, enhancing full-body flexibility and enhancing mind-body awareness.
by Laura Williams