Friday, August 26, 2011

To breathe or not to breathe during pronunciation practice

Clip art: Clker
In most basic strength and flexibility training, some kind of systematic control of breathing is practiced. My experience has been primarily with running, weight training and yoga, where there is a general consensus that "nose breathing," at least when inhaling, is recommended. Here is a brief summary of some of the potential health benefits. (There is extensive, well established research also on the effects of breathing in yoga systems.)

I have been exploring the use of controlled breathing in HICP/EHIEP work for sometime now. The idea is to breathe in through the nose before haptic anchoring of a sound or word, then exhaling through the mouth with the anchor as the sound or word is articulated (hapticulated, as we say!) There are several potential benefits (in addition to the biochemical changes evident in the research) including: improved pacing of exercises, enhanced "felt sense" and concentration on the target sound, improved posture encouraged by conscious nasal inhaling, improved aspiration on aspirated consonants--and perhaps most strikingly, a general sense of well-being that remains for some time after practice. (Research seems to indicate that that feeling is  probably the result of greater oxygen absorption.)

So, if your pronunciation work seems to be sucking all the oxygen and enthusiasm out of the room . . . such controlled, embodied systematic "inspiration" (and expiration) could well be a real "breath of fresh air!"

1 comment:

Angelina said...

An improved sense of wellbeing is definitely the case!

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