Welcome to the Voice Body Connection blog! If you want to get my weekly “How To Warm Up” videos in your inbox weekly, along with info that I only share in newsletters (personal updates, discounts, etc) you can opt in here. Enjoy the posts!
If you’re like: “Ummmm, Elissa, I’ve been watching these videos for a year…” then I know the welcome sounds weird. I’m welcoming you back though, because I recently got around to re-filming the introduction video! (As you may have noticed if you’ve been following the videos for a while, they’ve had a new look in the last six months. After getting feedback that the series was really helpful, I upgraded from filming them on my phone to working with my awesome videographer Carlos ✨)
So here’s your intro/refresher on how the series works! Essentially, I created the How To Warm Up series to help you learn how to warm up your voice and body (that’s a little bit of duh, isn’t it 🙃😆). But rather than making one ten-minute warm-up video for you and calling it a day, I want to teach you how to fish for yourself so to speak. That’s why there’s a system behind the exercises to help you design the best warm up for you on any given day. This intro video will teach you that system and how to use the playlist. Check it out so you can warm up to be your best self when you’re performing on a stage, filming on camera, or even heading into a big meeting with your boss!
Today’s How To Warm Up video is going to be useful for a lot of us… because I can’t remember the last time I encountered a human who said: “Wow! My shoulders, neck, and jaw are SO relaxed!!” 😆
If you’re like the rest of us, then you too have tension in your shoulders, neck, and a jaw. And guess what my friend… that’s affecting your voice. So I highly recommend you do this simple sequence of three exercises once a day to undo those patterns of tension.
Check out the “Shoulder, Neck, and Jaw Tension Release” exercise here:
Try speaking out loud right after you do the exercises, and let me know you feel and hear the results right away!
In today’s How To Warm Up video, I’m covering a breathing technique from yoga called Breath of Fire!! 🔥
Breath of fire, which is called kapalabhati in Sanskrit (that means skull-shining breath 💀🌟) is used as a technique to move energy upward in the body, or make the coiled kundalini ‘snake’ begin to rise 🐍.
Breath of fire is practiced in and out through the nose, and even though we breathe through the mouth when we’re speaking or singing (certainly on the exhalation, and I would argue on the inhalation at most times too), I think practicing this technique is useful for us speakers and singers. When we practice Breath of fire, it helps reinforce the pattern that energy, voice, breath, and even emotion, travel up and out to leave the body ⬆️. So in many ways, kapalabhati is the same as the breath support exercise I teach, but just a bit more vigorous and a bit more yogic.
Want to try? Watch the “Breath of Fire” exercise here:
Let me know if this helps with your breath support, or if you have any questions!
Our How To Warm Up video is longer than usual today. Why? Because it’s one of the most important exercises I teach, and I think you deserve to understand it fully! The exercise is called “Release on the Inhalation” and it’s for your breathing. It will teach you how to take an easy breath, which is incredibly important for speaking or singing without excess effort. I could go on and on about how this exercise will transform your ability to perform with confidence, ease any anxiety, and teach your nervous system how to be more adaptive. But I’ll leave the talking for the video – I trust that if you want to be a more centered performer/presenter you’ll have a watch!
Check out the “Release on the Inhalation” exercise here:
Also biggest credit and thanks to my mentor and colleague David Ley (my collaborator on Vibrant Voice Technique) for creating this exercise by coming up with the idea to reverse progressive relaxation… brilliant!
Today’s How To Warm Up video is quick, easy, and goofy as usual. Check out my favorite warm up sequence for the articulators – namely the lips, tongue, and jaw (and a little somethin’ somethin’ for the skull too because it feels good!). If you get really good at this one, you can probably do the whole thing in under a minute. In fact, I’d like to see you try (yes that’s actually a challenge – post a video on my facebook page if you’re brave enough!!)
Check out the “Quick Articulator Sequence” exercise here:
Have you heard of something called a glottal attack? It sounds violent, and in fact it can be for your vocal cords! A glottal attack (also called a glottal onset or glottal stop) is when you press your two vocal cords together firmly, and then explode them apart to begin making sound. It makes a sort of clicking or popping noise… Britney Spears does it at the beginning of the phrase when she says “Oh baby baby” in this song, and every time Michael Jackson grunts in Billie Jean it’s a glottal stop too.
Though it’s not inherently an evil thing to do (❤️ you Britney and MJ), habitual glottal onsets can cause excess tension in your throat. What’s the antidote? Practice today’s easy onset exercise to learn how to begin phonating – that’s the fancy way of saying making sound – with ease and flow! It’ll make your voice sound smoother, and it’s simply easier on your throat.
Check out the “Easy Onsets (Sound)” exercise here:
Today’s warm up exercise is very powerful for connecting your impulses to your ability to express yourself. It’s a simple exercise that I call “notice what’s in the room,” and it’s a way to practice being more present and expressive. Since it pertains to the first step in the whole “How To Warm Up” sequence (revisit the intro video if you don’t know what I mean), it’s a fundamental exercise that I highly recommend practicing daily until it comes easily and smoothly.
Check out the “Notice What’s In The Room” exercise here:
Enjoy and let me know if you’re getting better at this as you practice!
So when I say stick your tongue out, I don’t mean in the bratty way. I mean that when you leave your tongue outside your mouth while you speak or sing, it helps you release the root of your tongue so you can articulate with more clarity and ease! 👅 😝
Of course, the goofiness of the whole thing is simply an added bonus. So check out this week’s How To Warm Up video and practice leaving your tongue outside of your mouth. And just for fun… if you’ve got a good tongue twister we should all try doing with our tongues hanging out of our mouths, comment below the video to share!!
Watch the Stick Your Tongue Out exercise (body) here:
Chances are really good that you’ve done some version of today’s How To Warm Up exercise before… it’s circling through all the major joints of the body. Circling is incredibly valuable because activates the fluid in our joints, and moves our bones and muscles in relationship to each other. This invites our whole body to be more moveable and follow our impulses with ease. Plus circling is simple, easy to do, and socially acceptable in most circumstances… so check this video out and let’s get circling!
In today’s How To Warm Up video, we’re doing a simple, awesome articulator workout that I call tongue circles. Tongue circles are a great way to give your tongue a thorough workout. What’s the value of that? Well when you understand what it feels like to reallllly engage the muscles of your tongue, it helps you understand what it feels like to let them go! And then you can be more cognizant of only using your tongue only as much as necessary during speech or singing, rather than over-engaging it, which is a common problem.
So let’s dive into tongue circles! Here we go…
Watch the Tongue Circles exercise (articulation) here:
Like making out, but you can do it all on your own! 😝😂 😜 😍