Yoga: Indispensible for an actor
On the occasion of the International Yoga Day, Ashima Theatre Group conducted the day 7 of its play oriented corporate workshop at TCS in collaboration with Maitree group.
What better way than to imbibe the qualities of yoga to understand theatre better and to prepare for 'living in the moment' which the great master Sanford Meisner says is necessary for 'truthful' acting! Truthful acting. Well, it may sound like an oxymoron. But it is for an actor as important as stick for the blind. To emote believably enough an actor needs to be truthfully 'in the moment' of the play.
The thing we worked upon thus, was 'body' and 'movement'. Body movement is the most basic technique of experiencing spontaneous emotion and attitude in their unadulterated form.
We may have learnt to withhold emotions much later in our lives, we may have learnt to speak languages much later in our childhood, but we all have experienced our own body movements since infancy and have used it to express ourselves to life around us.
Since body movements are beautifully experienced with even the simplest of yoga postures. Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on expansion and contraction and this duality of life is present in the mechanism of breath itself.
We chose simple and fun asanas that impart balance, steadiness and concentration while bringing our attention to subtle yet powerful changes in our body.
To add to it, we had 'breath balancing' and 'deep breathing' exercises to prepare our bodies for throwing voice, and internalising calmness. We followed this up with a special group exercise to literally work with body expansion and contraction.
These rejuvenating exercises inspired from yoga made our day! We freed our bodily expressions, and came out of our 'discomfort zone' to witness how we react with the whole of our body to the life happening all around us.