When speaking and acting it is essential that we are relaxed, if not we become tense. This becomes a problem as it restricts our breathing making it harder to speak clearly and project well. If the body, especially the shoulders, becomes tense it makes it all the more difficult to move and you end up looking rigid and uncomfortable. Tension makes it more difficult to breathe and in extreme circumstances the lack of oxygen can cause you to faint.
An exercise that is useful to teach children how to relax is getting them to lay on the floor on their backs. You then ask them to tense their whole body, hold for two counts, give a big sigh then relax. A good way to check they are very relaxed is to go round and one at a time lift their arms and legs. This technique allows the whole body to become relaxed.
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