As part of our Meet The Singing Dragon Author series, we speak to authors to discuss their motivation for entering their respective industries, inspiration for writing their books, what challenges they faced and who they would recommend their books to. Is there a specific Singing Dragon author you would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation using #MeetTheSDAuthor.
How did you become interested in yoga therapy? Were there any challenges you faced in entering this industry?
I started working as a yoga therapist before I knew what yoga therapy was. After my 200-hour training, I was hired by Johns Hopkins University to help develop a yoga program for people with arthritis. My training was essentially safe, but largely inadequate to meet their needs, so we learned from each other. I brought the fullness of my yoga training and they brought the fullness of their arthritis, and together we figured out what worked, what was most helpful, what needed further adaptation. Since then, with additional training as both a yoga therapist and a scientist focusing exclusively on this population, I’ve come a long way. I’m proud to say that since learning about yoga therapy, I’ve been actively involved in the professionalization of the field and its representation in the broader movement of integrative health. There was so little work being done specifically in arthritis when I got my start, despite how prevalent it is. I was basically handed my dharma and have been following it ever since.
Galvanizing Performance, a new release from August, is an application of the teachings of the Alexander Technique to the performing arts. This collection demonstrates how deliberate movement and specific practice in theatre, music, song and dance can improve the art form, as well as the artist’s wellbeing.
We have an extract from the book, in which you can read about how increasing self-awareness can increase self-confidence and lead to an unlocking of creative potential.
Read the extract here.
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More Books Like This
The Energetic Performer
New anatomical and physiological knowledge is combined with eastern energy techniques and traditional actor training methods as the basis for this pioneering approach to actor training. Practical exercises extend understanding of the somatic systems and how to create flexible bodies for truthful performances.
Click here to read more.
Isobel Knight discusses new research, co-morbid conditions and management strategies for hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in this Q&A. Find Isobel Knight’s books on hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome here.
For those who are unaware, could you briefly describe what hypermobility is?
A hypermobile joint is one that has a larger than normal range of movement. If you look at the figure of the elbow picture below, the joint looks ‘inside out’. Hypermobile people tend to be people we consider ‘flexible’ or ‘bendy’, and as such there is a high prevalence of hypermobility in the dance and performing arts sectors.
Hypermobility can be generalized at a range of joints – for example knees and elbows, or sometimes found in peripheral joints (e.g. hands and feet). It is perfectly possible to have joint hypermobility and be asymptomatic, but for some people their hypermobility can cause pain, dislocations, soft-tissue injuries and there can be other findings – such as extensible and stretchy skin which might be more suggestible of a form of heritable connective tissue disorder such as hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
There are now new and strict diagnostic criteria in place to distinguish between those who have generalized or peripheral joint hypermobility through to those who have what is now called a Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) or hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). The diagnostic criteria that I discuss in my books refer to the old names of Hypermobility Syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility-Type or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type III) – but although the name and diagnostic criteria have changed, the overall management strategies remain very much the same for these conditions.
In this blog by Amanda Brennan, author of The Energetic Performer, Brennan provides an overview of her method of acting and how increasing awareness of the body can enhance the acting experience.
I recently ran a series of workshops for professional actors in Santiago, Chile. The course was designed to refine performance skills, explore the craft of screen acting and discover how to create a rich and complex inner life. In my book The Energetic Performer, I refer to the inner life as all that moves with in, thoughts, vibrations of the nervous system, the beat of the heart, the flow of breath, all feelings and emotional expression. Its cultivation is at the heart of screen performance, where the real action is on the inside. To achieve this aim, I began with what I believe is the fundamental necessity: preparing the body for work.
This extract from Leo Rutherford’s The Book of Games and Warm Ups for Group Leaders features games and exercises to get any group energised, comfortable with each other, and ready to work together. Many of the exercises are based on Shamanic principles and are suitable for workshops, martial arts groups, classes or any gathering of people looking to feel connected to each other.
Read the extract here…
Leo Rutherford has an MA in Holistic Psychology and runs Eagle’s Wing, a centre for contemporary Shamanism. He teaches Shamanic practice including the wisdom of the medicine wheel, Shamanic journeying and trance-dance, healing the inner child, sweatlodge, visionquest and other ceremonies, dance and playfulness. The Book of Games and Warm Ups for Group Leaders is available from the Singing Dragon website now.