Help me give my students a yoga mat where they can each use their minds and bodies to create and visualize sensory details that help deepen their acting. They are begging me to lead them in relaxation!
Picture kids in a small town, where pastures filled with goats and cows line the road leading to the school. Many are from homes that have one or both parents struggling to find or keep a job. They love coming to school, where music is such a part of every day. They love drama class at our school, where they get to stand up and be silly or dramatic. My students look forward to drama class every day. It is where they can relax and let go, where they can become a new person, where they can transform their reality.
We are a small country school with big school problems - bullying, kids from drug-addicted parents, poverty, and loneliness. I teach middle school, grades 6-8, and I have created a drama program that tries to meet kids' needs. Yoga will enhance their drama classes with relaxation and visualization. They need stillness to focus and create their roles. Many drama games and exercises require kids to be able to relax on the floor and visualize a different reality. Real learning happens when students are relaxed and open. Yoga will help them experiment in a non-threatening and semi-private atmosphere, where they can let loose vocally and physically on a mat. I will open class with yoga several times per week, where the students will stretch, and then lie down on a mat. I will speak to them, as they close their eyes, and imagine themselves in a certain setting. Sometimes, I like to lead them through an exercise where they are on a beach, with sand and the sound of waves. The goal is relaxation, visualization, and experimentation that leads to stronger acting skills.
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