Inhale normally through the nose. At first, do not take a large breath. It will be easy to master this technique with shallow breaths in the beginning.
During the exhale, breathe out only through the nose. As you exhale, constrict the throat slightly, as if you were lightly snoring. This should sound a little like the ‘Darth Vader’ character’s breathing in the ‘Star Wars’ movies (go and rent Episodes 4, 5 or 6 of Star Wars on DVD if you are not sure what we mean).
You will notice that in normal nose breathing, you can feel the air coming out through the nostrils, similar to the feeling you get when you blow your nose.
Using this technique, you will feel a sensation in your upper throat; it doesn’t feel as if the air is moving through your nostrils at all. Of course this is just an illusion; your mouth is closed, and there is simply no other way for the air to get out!
Try making this sound during the nasal exhale, without contracting your abdominal muscles. Go ahead and do it now. If you are doing the Darth Vader breathing correctly, you will find it impossible to make this sound without slightly contracting your stomach muscles.
If you’re not sure you’ve got it right, try it this way: instead of focusing on exhaling through your nose and constricting your throat, think about squeezing the air out from your tummy by tightening your stomach muscles. You will find that the tighter you make your stomach during the exhale, the more pronounced the Darth Vader sound will be.
If you’re still not sure you’ve got it, blow on a pair of glasses (actually, anything will do!) with your mouth open, as if to fog them up for cleaning. You will make a “HAAA” sound that comes from inside your throat rather than your mouth.
Now close your mouth and make the same glass fogging sound, but through your nose. It’s the exact same breath, only done with the nose rather than the mouth. The only difference is that, instead of just a short glass-fogging burst, you carry that “HAAA” sound throughout the exhale.
The same breath that cleans your glasses with the mouth open will produce the Darth Vader sound with the mouth closed.
– (Jonathan Quail)
- May 2006