Learning Theatre

The Emerging World

Leaders and professionals in all walks of life are confronted with a world where change is commonplace. The psychological process of preparing the self and the capacity to transform continually are critical to developing a robust response to this challenge. These professionals and leaders go through programmes that help them acquire skills and competencies to cope with the new demands of performance, often without creating the inner foundation to live through the constant change. It will be obvious to any serious observer of the situation that this is less than optimal.

A knowledge worker is a living, vibrant, creator of value. All the competencies and skills that are “contracted” by the organisation are embedded in the person. How can a person be expected to be “the best that one can be” and offer it to others if the individual’s sense of self is not valued and fostered?

The Arthashashtra recommends that all leaders must be yogis. The Natyashastra, the Vaastu shastras and a host of other texts recommend a practice of Yoga as the foundation for excelling in the profession. The reason is very simple. Yoga practiced in a holistic fashion ensures that a person becomes capable of being the best he or she can be inspite of changes in the context and across time. Leaders and professionals need to strive continuously to perform at their peak capabilities in the context of flux. This means a continuous investment in one's competencies, one's inner well being and one's health.

What is Yoga?

The fundamental thesis of yoga is “actuality and change” (satvaada and parinaama vaada) i.e., how does one perceive reality as is, how does one live and change in harmony with the dynamic nature of ones environment.

The branches and leaves of a tree are its most visible parts but, they are surely not the whole tree. Without the roots that go deep into the earth, the branches and leaves will become dry twigs and decaying leaves. Aasana & Praanayaama are the most visible parts of the body of yoga but they are not the whole practice. When they are not rooted in self reflexivity, they are mere exercises for the body. They are the more superficial and easily demonstrable aspects, the more tangible of the “bahiranga saadhana” (the outer practice). While the “antaranga saadhana” (inner practice) is referred to as meditation and has caught the popular imagination, it is also distorted and trivialized as a relaxation or a mind control methodology. The behavioural components of Yoga namely, Yama & Niyama (interpersonal ethics & intrapersonal discipline) are often neglected. Yoga is a profound & holistic practice and an approach to life; it cannot be practiced or adopted in fragments. Yoga is to be lived in the flux of reality though it can be learned in the tranquility of an ashram.

  • This programme will provide an opportunity for participants to
  • Introspect upon and clarify a persons' intent.
  • Introspect upon the relationship between outer expression and inner processes.
  • Discover practices that will help people touch their healing energies.
  • Discover inner energies and potentials and help them cohere and converge.
  • Develop a foundation of interpersonal ethics and intrapersonal discipline.
  • Introspect upon the way one holds and gives meaning to spirituality.

The Concept of the Programme

An Individual is simultaneously a member of multiple systems - organisation, society, family and others. Each of these systems is a complex network of interdependent roles and processes with distinct values and norms. The diverse pulls and pressures of the systems and lack of integration and synergy in oneself result in diffused inner energies and consequently, incoherent expressions. The learning theatre is designed to focus on inner energies and enable coherent expressions. The core processes of the programme will be:

Aarogyam: Working with the body and unleashing its energy and potential and learning to experience well being in oneself. Understanding aasana and praanayaama.

Aangikam: Learning the basic skills of expression through body, voice and movement in theatre. This leads to an understanding of the self and communication with the world outside.

Aahaaryam: Understanding relationships with individuals and groups. Becoming aware of multiple roles and their relevance. Understanding Yama & Niyama.

Vaachikam: Learning how to commune and listen deeply to oneself and the group, share in its sorrows and rejoice in its happiness. Learning the processes by which the drama of playing roles synergies with the use of words and the use of sound and music to communicate one’s insight and one’s picture of reality. Understanding dynamic meditation.

Saatvikam: Learning the way of anchoring oneself deeply in the unfolding of one’s being and experiencing the flow of life from within, learning the art of expression where one evokes a resonance in oneself and in the other. Practicing the art of collective meditation and synchronous evocation (sahridayatva)

These core processes would form the underpinnings of the programme in a discourse-free experiential unfolding of the self and the collectivity.

This programme will bring together experienced facilitators in human processes, Yoga teachers and choreographers from contemporary theatre to work with participants.

Design of the Programme

The methodology of work will be a flowing rhythm between an exploration into one’s inner processes and working with outer expression, through a combination of exercises and dialogues. This framework will help to integrate the individual’s inner experience with the action choices he / she makes in the work and family spaces.

Processes of living as a community will also add an important dimension to the design of the programme.

                                                             

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