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Why Theatre based learning for adults in the work environment?  

The best way a child learns to stay away from danger is to experience it. Guardians may even allow the child to go through it as long as they can handle the situation, and use other methods for situations they cannot. These real experiences create a deep understanding at the intellectual, conscious and subconscious level, resulting in long lasting behavioural change.

Obviously anything learnt from experience has the best impact on the learning curve. Unfortunately as we grow older, neither all real experiences are safe, nor will we be fortunate enough to be given second chances based on real experiences. And no guardians to protect us from the unexpected.

So what is the next best tool for learning? – A simulation of the stark reality in a safe environment?

In modern times, technology helps create some beautiful simulations. We can play around with these to create companies, design & market products, plan financials, acquire, sell, build, and just about do anything when it comes to interacting with inanimate commodities. What happens when real people, real conflicts and responses are needed? When connections beyond the intellectual realm influence results? The easiest (and cheapest!) technology here is to pretend-play with each other and/or to sit back and watch our points of view come alive, in our simulated safe environment that allows for experimentation.

Using theatre as a tool for training by involving every participant in the process, stimulates varied perspectives. It immediately showcases the conflicts, the impact of decisions, styles of communication, team chemistry, leadership challenges, personal strengths/improvement areas, understanding of organizational values, unconscious biases, impact on diversity and a whole range of human emotions that will need attention.

The effectiveness of using theatre can be measured firstly for identifying improvement areas, and secondly for involving the participants to be solution providers. Since this is done as part of the role play and storytelling, it brings about a deep emotional connect and the truth of the moment, resulting in very high ownership and involvement for the solutions. Multiple intelligence engagement promotes profound understanding and very high retention of the ensuing drama. The safe and fun environment of imagination and human emotions, opens the mind and helps bring out the child inside to respond with delight, honesty, recognition and hope. It raises awareness unconsciously and helps in building an environment of trust, education, reflection and debate, resulting in ACTion for progress and change.

– Shridevi

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Yoga Classes at New BEL Road Bangalore

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Asana, Pranayama & Meditation,
Hatha & Power Yoga,
along with nuances from Ashtanga Vinyasa, BKS Iyengar and Dance.

Conducted by an RYT Certified Trainer

Mon, Wed, Fri

BATCH 1 – 7.30 to 8.30 AM

BATCH 2 – 5 to 6 PM

Venue: #90, 4th Cross (Park road), AGS Layout,
New BEL Road, Bangalore – 54

Register NOW
(First class will be a trial class)
Contact – 8767444666

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Small epiphanies in Yoga

I recently taught a workshop on hip openers for a group of enthusiastic yoga teachers in Helsinki, Finland. As the hips are said to be the trash bin of ignored and trapped emotions, I decided to start the workshop with a short (that turned out to be rather long, really) talk about the issue.

All out past traumas cause a kind of a residue that settles in the hips and get stuck if we don’t learn to release and let them go. Asanas that work on opening and softening our hips can help release the residue , resulting in a rather emotional experience for the practitioner.

When I first started yoga I kept hearing people tell me they’ve experienced sudden onsets of emotions during a completely ordinary, routine yoga session. I, in all honesty, never really believed them. I must’ve be one of the most cynical aspiring yogis in the world! But to be honest, my practice was very superficial for many many years. Only about four years ago when I started deepening my practice, I understood what a deep connection there is between body and mind. I mean I always knew it in a sense that I had heard stories and read yoga books that talk about this unity, but I never felt it. My body never knew it.

So there I am, talking about hips and emotions, when I suddenly realise that the only way we can let the emotions out and release them in a healthy way, is to surrender. It hits me like a ton of pricks. I thought I was the teacher in this workshop and here I am having a little epiphany. Just surrender! That is the key. Just let go of the horrendous need to be in (unhealthy) control all the time. Surrender in an asana instead of forcing your body go any further than it needs to. Surrender in life, in a sense that learn to go with a flow instead of mapping and planning every turn. Give it a try and see where it takes you.

I am not saying it is simple or easy. Surrendering and letting go take a huge amount of courage and willingness to walk the path that opens up to you. We tend to think that surrendering means being a push over, but by surrendering we actually can empower ourselves much better that if we constantly fight to be in control. Blend in with the universe! It will take care of you, if you let it.

So my little talk about hips and emotions turns into an excited yapping about all of the above. And a studio full of fellow practitioners nod in equally exited agreement. So we surrender to our hip opening, water element focused asana practice and afterwards we fully succumb to platefuls of delicious aloo gobi in a near by restaurant.

– Anna Olkinuora

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Charity (and everything good) begins at home

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 10.17.49 AM“What are we doing to this planet?”
“How can we continue to live like this?”
“How can we bring more children into this situation?”
And similar questions always echoed in the mind. I tried to make small changes for the moment, but continued with the flow, postponing anything more impactful. Until my 1 year old child showed me how it is natural instinct to want to live with nature even if it goes against the ‘flow’ we humans have created. She grabbed her salads (without any dressing) and fruits, and was moody about (read turned up her nose at) cooked or packaged baby food. It is then that the details of pesticide content in our raw food, where they are grown, who are the distributors and all the rest of the theories really started bothering me. The ‘organic’ way began to feel heavy on the purse, but priorities were clear and I cut other excesses.
The terrace vegetable garden was not far behind. The little patches and pots of greens sprouting involved patience and hands on work. Setting out to learn the organic methods, I remembered the good old days of default kitchen gardens of my grand mother and mother, and their no fuss, no chemical methods of gardening.
Composting was another initiative to cut the gardening costs and use the resource rich kitchen waste. Once you start collecting organic waste resources you understand the pain of waste segregation at a mammoth level. Law or no law, waste segregation at source is as essential as charging your mobile phone  (just in case brushing teeth has gone out of fashion)!
And once I started earnest segregation and began analysing the trash, I learnt so much about our lifestyles. I put into action all the small things I have been thinking of, mostly by refusing to take/buy more than necessary. They add up to a different way of thinking, a different way of life. And what is “necessary” keeps reducing….

I have now become sensitive to everything that was happening to someone else – landfills, climate changes, smoky images, news of extinction of species, natural calamities, viral/bacterial mutations, you name it!
So do we live in paranoia spelling doom? Do we go back to the stone age? No. But we can live with awareness and do the little things that we CAN DO one step at a time.

-Shridevi

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Beyond the classroom?

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As a mother of a 14 month old, I enter the dreaded world of planning schooling. Having discovered the joys of creative learning, I go through a lot of attrition when I picture my little one in a ‘class’ in the traditional sense of the word. Of course most of us went through it and we apparently turned out all right. Or did we?

I began to understand myself somewhere in my late twenties (I am still figuring out the ups and downs of being ‘me’). There were so many things I was more suited to do and probably excel, compared to what my formal education had taken me through. It was too late to start many things at a practical level, but I went ahead thanks to the belief of it being never too late. It has gotten me this far and there are no regrets whatsoever. But there are many times that I wonder “what if…”.

I have had the privilege of meeting some brilliant young children in my line of creative work . By brilliant, I mean children who are grounded, secure in themselves, but still retain their childlike wonder. These are definitely few and far between, but its heartening to know that their tribe is increasing. Despite the commercialisation of education, this attitude of letting children be natural learners, allows them to trust and hone their instincts rather than replace it with the worldly ideas that industrial revolution has discovered.

We need more such citizens of the world. We need them for a better tomorrow, for a better earth. Coincidentally almost all these children have one thing in common. They do not ‘study’ in a conventional system taught to them. They teach themselves to study in modern systems, but with original ideas. Many a times, they are just allowed to “study themselves”.

But like all things that “catch up”, there are the me-too’s too. So the make-a-fast-buck-while-saying-jargon ones are mushrooming too. It takes some discretion to differentiate.

More power to the original thinkers. After all, we only apply what we learn beyond the classroom in real life. Many a times, we learn as we live life. So why cant formal education also be encouraged be experiential?

PS: Pic – How I teach my daughter the centripetal force!! 😀

– Shridevi