Many young & aspiring actors do not understand the importance of relaxation in acting. While some people think it’s a boring task and does not benefit much.
But today I want you to Explore the real side of relaxation and what miraculous effect it can have on your acting and performance.
1. Relaxation Improves Your Concentration
Have you noticed in general that when you are concentrated on some task then that task seems to interest you a lot and becomes effortless for you.
But when your mind is distracted, it becomes difficult even to sit quietly at one place.
Now, here relaxation plays an important role in an actor’s life. As many times our mind is distracted by a lot of things happening around us and in our life and it gets difficult for us to concentrate on the script or performance.
But if you practice relaxation regularly in your life then you will find that your mind is more concentrated and you can perform better in your character.
2. Relaxation Helps to Release Tension
Many times we are not aware of tension that we often hold in our different body parts such as wrist muscles, neck muscles, facial muscles, ankle muscles, etc.
And these unreleased tension can hamper your performance and ability to act better.
Moreover when you hold a certain tension in your body then it will create a stiffness and your performance will be limited.
So after you finish reading this article, try to search for the tensions that you might hold in different body parts and then tackle it.
3. You Become More Free & Spontaneous
As I discussed earlier that there are certain body parts which hold tension in muscles.
But tension is not only accumulated at physical level. In fact sometimes tension gets accumulated at a psychological level.
And an actor who holds any kind of tension in his/her brain then it will certainly affect his/her performance.
So if you really want to play free and spontaneous with your character then I advise you to practice relaxation in your regular life.
4. You Get Aware of Unconscious Habits
One of my actor friend has this habit of rubbing nose every few seconds. And he was not even aware of this habit until I brought this into his notice during one of our play rehearsals.
See, As an actor we have to perform different characters and they all carry different characteristics.
And you cannot impose or force your personal habits on your character unnecessarily.
So It is better to get aware of yourself and your habits. And this is only possible through relaxation.
5. Relaxation Improves your Focus
If you lack focus in your life, you will not achieve what you desire.
And it is very important for an actor to have a clear focus about their career and goal.
Only then you will be able to work positively towards it.
And relaxation will help you create a positive and focused mind which can help you achieve everything you desire for.
6. Your Visualization Ability Increases
How easy it would be for you to judge your acting, if you gain the ability to see yourself from an audience point of view while performing on stage.
I know it may sound strange to you but it is possible to actually visualise yourself even while performing.
And this level of ability to self visualise comes with regular and dedicated practice of relaxation.
7. Your Performance is Improved
A dedicated practice of relaxation will calm your mind and provide the required focus and concentration to perform in life and career.
And once you get into a regular habit of relaxation, you will eventually feel the difference in your acting and performance, as you will have more depth and more power in your performance then before.
How to do Relaxation in Acting?
Although there are a lot of different methods and techniques to practice relaxation. And we can talk for hours and weeks over them.
But here I will discuss the three most easy and effective methods of relaxation.
1. Deep Breathing for Relaxation in Acting
- Sit with your back straight.
- Now put your right hand on your stomach and left hand on your chest.
- And take a deep breath and feel the forward Movement in your right hand.
- But there should not be any Movement in your left hand which is placed on your chest.
- Now hold the breath for 2-4 seconds.
- After that release as slowly as possible and completely empty your stomach.
- Again hold for 2-4 seconds.
- After that inhale once again into your stomach and repeat the process.
- Try to slow your breath as much as possible and continue this for at least 5-10 minutes
- You can slowly increase your duration with time.
2. Vashishta Pranayam for Relaxation in Acting
- Lie down on your back over a flat surface.
- Now Crook your knees and place your feet on the ground.
- After that spread your hand a little apart from your body.
- And now inhale slowly into your stomach and feel the expansion of diaphragm muscles. you can also put your hand on your stomach or naval area to feel the expansion.
- After inhaling air into the stomach try to hold it for a few seconds and observe the accumulation of air inside your stomach.
- Now release the air slowly and try to observe the flowing air from your stomach to nostrils through the windpipe.
- Again hold for a few seconds and observe the emptiness inside your body and feel the urge to take in some breath.
- After that inhale once again slowly and try to figure out that through which nostril the air enters.
- Focus all your attention on your breath and movement of air inside and outside your body.
- Repeat this process lying in the same position for at least 10-15 minutes.
- And after that get up slowly and feel the highest and optimum level of relaxation in your mind and body.
1. Imagery Relaxation in Acting
In this method of relaxation you make mental images of different situations and places for a pleasing and relaxing effect.
- Set in a relaxed position and close your eyes.
- Now try to imagine yourself sitting at a beach with a pleasing atmosphere and cool Breeze hitting your face.
- Try to see the images and feel things around with all your senses.
- Also try to feel the pleasing smell of ocean water and Breeze hitting your face.
- And try to listen to the pleasing sound of the ocean water flowing to and fro.
- Also try to visualise the whole scenario and what effect it brings to your emotions.
- Also try to feel the breeze hitting all over your body and creating a pleasing sensation into different muscles.
- Try to be in this relaxed state with your eyes closed for sometime.
This method of relaxation is best when someone is there to guide you through the journey and situation.
Or the best you can do is, just pre-record your own instructions on the phone for yourself and then play the instructions and follow while sitting with your eyes closed.
Good acting is only possible if your mind is relaxed and focused. And practicing relaxation gives you the ability to drive your mind to a state of calmness and awareness.
Moreover, Practicing relaxation on a regular basis will help you open yourself to a larger experience of life and develop a creative mood.
And you get more clarity and focus in your acting and performance.