If I notice one consistent thread in my sessions with speakers and singers it is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE collapses their torso. Even male clients who tend to spread out in every other way, collapse their torsos.

Here’s the deal. The ribcage houses the lungs. The lungs must expand for efficient breathing. The torso is designed to extend up, down, and out to allow for this expansion. Collapsed torso = collapsed breathing. You can survive on it, but that is all.

So assuming there is not an active physiological reason for the collapse, why are we making ourselves so small? Today try something different, take up space — lots of it. Grow tall and wide. Feel your spine as it moves dynamically up to support your head and down to the base of your torso. Feel how thinking of the length, and appreciating how it moves, connects to the ribs and the hips. Move your spine, your ribcage, and your hips in ways that surprise you. Take in the air this allows.

Air is literally the medium in which we live. It surrounds us and sustains us. It connects us. And yes, real connection is hard but the alternative is a non-starter. Take the space, connect.

Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.