Tuesday, August 26, 2014


http://in.rbth.com - After seeing the effects of yoga on his students, Konstantin Stanislavsky (Russian actor and theater director) quickly started using it even more: in actors' trainings in the Second Studio (which was established in 1916) and the Opera Studio (founded in 1918), and for the work of the actors in the MAT (Moscow Art Theatre). Stanislavsky's notebooks from 1919-1920 contain many notes on the application of Hatha Yoga, together with Swedish gymnastics, exercises on rhythm and voice training in his classes.
The most detailed connection between Stanislavsky's system and yoga is found in notes to the classes with the MAT artists (1919). Rose Whyman, a British scholar of Stanislavsky's work, has pointed out that the notes contain a hidden synopsis of the part of the book “Hatha Yoga” on prana.

Although Stanislavsky does not refer directly to pranayama - an aspect of yoga that teaches the skills of managing prana -, his notes testify to serious study of concepts of yoga practice. He widely used pranayama exercises to develop actors' creative well-being. Stanislavsky communicated breathing principles to the actors and explained the connection between correct breathing and attention: “Calm breathing - healthy thoughts, healthy body, healthy feelings, easy to focus; wrong rhythm of breathing - disturbed psyche, feelings of pain and total attention deficit.” 
These thoughts, of course, are closely connected to yoga's tenets of pranayama: consciousness, the body and emotions are linked by the thread of breath, and the ability to breathe correctly is paramount for a person's spiritual ascent.

This interesting article tells us that Konstantin Stanislavsky - the famous Russian actor and theatre director - taught his actors some excercises that were intended to establish a connection between the breathing rhythm and concentration; techniques that are related to the pouring of “prana.” Stanislavsky widely used pranayama exercises to develop actors’ creative well-being, even including a count  (6-3-6-15) for inhaling-exhaling and holding the breath. Stanislavsky’s discussions with the actor-singers of the Opera Studio (1918–1922) reveal new connections between his “system” and yoga, and his use of yoga techniques of rhythmic breathing. In summaries of Stanislavsky’s conversations by the novice singer Konkordiya Antarova, there is a story ascribed to “a Hindu sage;” a comparison of the undisciplined mind to the movements of a drunken monkey. Stanislavsky applied yoga’s breathing principles as the basis of life when he taught breathing rhythm as the basis of theatrical creativity as such. He writes: “Music, being in agreement with the rhythm of your breathing, that is, with the basis of your whole life on earth, should increase your concentration, bringing your whole being into harmony. Music should unite in its rhythm your thought and your feeling and bring you into what we call the state of true inspiration, i.e., the awakening of your intuition or subconsciousness.” Decades ago, the Hatha Yoga in the West was seen as strange or mysterious. Imagine at the time of Stanislavsky, about 100 years ago! But then many practitioners and Hatha Yoga institutes began to appear in different countries and so yoga was no longer something mystical and won reputation as an alternative, new age way of getting healthy. Nowadays, there are more and more people doing yoga to decompress and achieve mental clarity and, thus, Hatha Yoga has become a legit, doctor-approved method for treating emotional disorders. Particularly, in the case of persons acting on stage, or the ones who have to talk to the public, Yoga is a great ally to eliminate the so-called “stage fright” and be more physically relaxed and mentally able to act more freely. (Editor's note).

Today we live in a world of constant stress, always facing the outside, which prevents us from knowing our essence or inner nature. This makes us feel frustrated, anxious, tense and thus, ill.  When a problem arises we take drugs to hush those signals that the body emits and then we do not realize that just by stretching out, relaxing, a conscious living, refusing to negative influences, breathing in a slow and controlled manner, having a natural and healthy diet, we can restore our health and prevent diseases. Well, yoga is to implement a series of techniques that help us to get that full health. These Hatha Yoga techniques include relaxation exercises, body positions or asanas, pranayama or breath control exercises and techniques of internalization and concentration that lead us to a fullness.

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”


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