- Take in an easy, relaxed breath through your mouth while yawning gently. [This is an easy, relaxed yawn – the sort you might do if you were listening to someone and you started to yawn but didn’t want the other person to see you were yawning. Gentle yawning relaxes the whole of the back of the throat.]
- Now gently expel the air as if sighing – this should create a sensation of ‘letting go’.
- Repeat steps 1-2 three times.
- Now, take in another easy, relaxed breath through the mouth while yawning.
- Gently expel the air as if sighing but this time, on the out breath, gradually shape the vowel sound oo – this should not be forced in any way.
- Repeat steps 4-5 three times.
- Now repeat steps 4-6 with each of the remaining vowel sounds in the vowel wheel, i.e. oh, aw, ah, ay, ee.
- For further practice, begin at the top of the vowel wheel with oo and then work your way around the wheel clockwise, yawning-sighing-shaping each vowel in turn. Notice sensations of relaxation and openness, and that there is no blockage to production of the voice. Do this three times.
Now that you’re used to yawning, sighing and gently making some vowel sounds, try the following:
- Take in an easy, relaxed breath through your mouth while yawning gently.
- Now, on the out breath, gently say the following phrases. These phrases begin with the sound h – this is because when we say the h sound, the vocal cords are as open and relaxed as possible and this should help to reduce any tensions in the voice box.
Guide to vowels