Two Trainers Prepare

TDPT Blog community, Hello!

Marie Hallager Andersen and I are embarking on a year-long project exploring the space between creative expression and our respective yoga practices (I have been working with Iyengar and Marie has been working with Ashtanga Yoga ).

Our intention is to use this project as a preparation towards integrating different styles of yoga and other art forms in an interdisciplinary pedagogy. We wish to inhabit the edges of our respective disciplines of dance and theatre by using yoga as a shared point of reference and by employing tools from artistic areas we are less familiar with. We will do this by employing a task-based methodology and by sharing the process on this Blog.

The title of the posts plays with the well-known title of Stanislavski’s book An Actor Prepares. Unlike Stanislavski’s book though, we wish to both bring attention to the preparation of the trainer, rather than the performer, as well as emphasise the inter-subjective nature of the current project: we will prepare together on our own. (We are also aware of the images of athletic footwear invoked by the word trainer, but we do not wish to play with this, at least not now).

Furthermore and by making our process of preparation public, we wish to de-mystify the idea of the trainer as an expert and develop, do, and reflect upon a series of tasks the potential of which we do not know in advance.

So, this is how this is going to work: Each Monday one of us will give the other a task that will be shared on the Blog. The Monday after the person who received the task will publish her reflections on the given task and give a new task to the other. The next week we will alternate. You can find the rules we have set up for developing and doing the tasks below.

We invite you to follow us on this journey, do the tasks with us, and/or comment on our process.

Rules for setting tasks:

Start with what you (think you) know.

Then reach out from there.

Do not be too precious about the task you are setting.

Task should include:

  • yoga posture or
  • other physical activity

Task may include:

  • reading
  • writing
  • exploring
  • observing
  • mark making

Duration and frequency of task is open, unless otherwise indicated.

Task can be a development or response to the experience of the previous task. It may also be completely different.

Task has to be posted by Monday noon.

 Rules for carrying out tasks:

Start with what you (think you) know and work on the task within your own framework.

Then reach out from there.

Tasks need to be done at least once.

Do not be too precious about how the task is done.

No questions can be asked in regards to the task. Questions can be asked in the reflections that follow the task.

Rules for reflection and documentation:

Both reflections and tasks are addressed to each other. Reflections may include:

  • questions that have come up doing the task
  • traces of the task in daily activities or thinking
  • physical sensations or experiences
  • ideas for further reading
  • poetry or creative writing

Reflections have to be posted by Friday evening.

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