Monday, 15 August 2016

Yoga for Performers by Korina Kontaxaki (Actress- Yoga Teacher)

Yoga is a method of organization and empowerment of the
human system, while theatre is a method of expression and release; in ancient
Greece this ‘release’ was labeled ‘catharsis’.
Can the one complete the other?

 If yoga is applied in the classical way and not in the
‘westernised’ way, it provides a tool for activating and organizing Prana
– vitality. Prana is that which gives us the energy to act, but also that which
  relaxes us – if we choose. Prana can awaken introversion or extroversion,
  depending on how we choose to use it.
 Special Yoga training is designed with the purpose:

1. To unlock the whole body with selected positions – asanas, for improving our expressive skills.
2. To increase the lung capacity with specialised breathing exercises – Pranayama for increased strength αnd vocal endurance.
3. To empower our energy and presence onstage, with special control exercises which increase the prana – vitality using meditative breathing (pranayama)
4. To learn how to relax quickly and effectively, and more generally how to control our emotional body. For this we use a combination of physical, mental
and breathing techniques.
5. To empower our mental body to become more productive in rehearsals but also to achieve our goals, using specialised visualisations.
6. To direct ourselves morally through the teachings of the moral laws of yoga, named Yamas and Niyamas. These laws can offer creative and useful reasons and ways of acting onstage.
7. To coordinate ourselves with our partners or group members through specialised meditations and breathing exercises.

In the‘Yoga for Performers’ classes, we use a specifically devised ‘warm-up’  for performing program, which can be used on three separate levels, depending on the time available to the actor before each performance:
1. Short program, for limited time, without intense or loud sounds.
2. Extended program (30 mins) with a medium intensity of sound.
3. Full actor’s training program for body, voice, breath and concentration (1-3 hours)

 Yoga is an ancient method of physical, mental and
emotional empowerment. An actor with the ability to balance all three of these
bodies is a strong median who can bring about catharsis to both himself and the
audience during the performance.

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