How Increasing Self-Awareness Can Unlock Your Creative Potential

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

Amanda Brennan

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.

The history and heritage of mudras – extract from Mudras of India by Cain Carroll and Revital Carroll

Cover of Mudras of IndiaIn this extract from Mudras of India, the authors explore the meaning and use of hand gestures in both vedic and Chinese traditions, and describes the ancient spiritual origins, and meaning of the mudras of India.

“Our hands are a source of tremendous power. With such profound dexterity,sensitivity, and utility, the human hands may be one of our most defining features as a species… With the hands playing such a central role in our experience of being human, it comes as no surprise that many of the world’s great spiritual and artistic traditions have considered the hands as sacred.”

Click here to read the extract

Mudras of India is now available in paperback, and includes a new chapter that comprehensively lists the benefits of hand mudras, covering major health concerns as well spiritual and psycho-energetic categories.

Mudras of India is a much-needed compendium that beautifully illustrates the incredible variety and versatility of the hand gestures that play a key role in India’s sacred traditions. Every dancer, yogi, or yogini will want to keep a copy on hand!”

– Roxanne Kamayani Gupta, PhD, author of A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance: The Yogini’s Mirror

Cain Carroll teaches yoga, qigong, meditation and self-healing worldwide. He has trained extensively under the guidance of Daoist, Buddhist and Indian Yoga masters. His journeys have taken him to remote areas of India, China, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand and South America, where he received private instruction in many rare and powerful practices. Cain is co-author of Partner Yoga and creator of three self-healing DVDs. His website can be visited at www.caincarroll.com. Revital Carroll has been dedicated to the study of Indian spiritual arts since childhood. Intensive study and practice of yoga and meditation in the Himalayas led her to discover her passion for Odissi Indian Dance. She is the creator of three instructional DVDs and she offers classes, workshops and performances worldwide. Visit www.shaktibhakti.com for more information.

Raise awareness of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome this May

 

EDS awarenessMay is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) Awareness Month, raising awareness of this multi-systemic and complex connective tissue disorder, and supporting those who live with this invisible condition.

As awareness and understanding of EDS are central to early diagnosis and management of symptoms, take the time to learn about the condition, and simple steps that can help the many people who live with it.

Learn more about EDS (especially type III – Hypermobility Syndrome) with these interviews and resources, and more:

Books:

Interviews:

Organisations:

See also:

© 2013 Singing Dragon blog. All Rights Reserved

Understanding and treating the complex chronic patient – an interview with Isobel Knight

Isobel KnightWhat makes treating the chronic complex  patient so difficult? Do you think there is still a lack of understanding about how best to approach this?

I think that practitioners are very scared by complex chronic conditions and can become very overwhelmed. I’ve had so many medical professionals dismiss me because they really didn’t understand what the problem was. Treatment of chronic complex conditions really does require a multi-disciplinary team of people and medical experts, as well as an overarching approach to treatment plans. This can all be overwhelming for one person.

Conditions become chronic and complex over the years. There’s often a long delay in diagnosis (research by the Hypermobility Syndrome Association in the UK suggests that diagnoses can take about 10 years). As an individual gets older, he or she will gather more problems, which makes treatment even more difficult, relating to more bodily systems. If the condition is intercepted younger, these can all be addressed and hopefully better controlled.

How has being an individual with EDSIII (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – Type 3, Hypermobility) influenced the way you treat people in your clinic?

Based on what I’ve experienced, I can certainly spot the condition very quickly in people who haven’t had a diagnosis. Although I can’t officially diagnose, if the symptoms are there, I can get them sent to their GP for a referral to an expert rheumatologist. So in this way it’s really helped some people. I also know what ongoing management they are often going to require, so I can both refer them on to practitioners that I know, and support them with Bowen Therapy in the areas that I know they will need help with.

I’m never overwhelmed by what patients say, and I always believe them. And that helps a lot.

Why did you choose the autoethnographic approach in writing your new book?

That was inspired by an author I quote in the book, who wrote about life with a kidney condition and eventually turned it into a PhD thesis. I thought it was a really good way of framing the book. It uses my story as a basis, but also weaves in the stories of others, to ensure that it’s socially representative of that culture group. But also, this is a personal story. I include some quite personal details, and I hope that this makes it much more accessible to read, not a dry textbook. It really says how the patient feels, from my point of view and from the points of view of others.

Book cover: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Managing Ehlers-Danlos (Type III) - Hypermobility SyndromeIn the book, you go into quite a lot of depth on the psychology involved both in having a chronic complex condition and in treatment. Do you think that the importance of this area is underestimated?

Yes. I was actually really surprised how large the psychological section of the book ended up being. There are so many layers to it, trust being a very important one. The issue of trust is so important for any medical professional dealing with a chronic complex patient. Personally, I had been consistently told by a range of professionals that the pain I was experiencing was psychosomatic, and that there was nothing wrong with me. I think that most patients have years of that to contend with. In so many cases these conditions involve a legacies of problems that haven’t been fully handled since a young age. Behaviours change because of pain. That really has an impact on people. They get angry, they get depressed, they get anxious.

I’ve also included a section for the patient on managing chronic pain, cognitive behavioural therapy, and other psychological aids such as goal-setting, pacing, ways of communicating and dealing with doctors.

Medical professionals also need support psychologically in dealing with the complex chronic patient because, as mentioned, treatment can be very overwhelming for them, and quite emotionally draining. If one of your patients comes back every week with little improvement to their pain, it can be emotionally difficult as a therapist to make a positive spin on it and focus on treatment.

Social media seems to be a really supportive, positive force for the treatment and understanding of these conditions. How do you see this developing in future?

I think that because some patients with this condition can become quite disabled, and socially isolated, Facebook, for example, can be a real lifeline for them. It’s a way for them to get mutual support, to learn more about the condition, to realise they’re not alone in their experience. I’ve been staggered by the response to my Facebook page, and how it’s being used internationally to provide support and share information on this subject (but never any medical advice).

How do you hope this book will help professionals working with, and patients with the syndrome?

I hope that the patients will be able to see that there has been, in my story, quite a positive improvement due to the level of care I’ve had, and the experts I’ve managed to have access to. Physiotherapy has been essential in this. I’d like to offer patients hope but also the reality that this is a genetically inherited condition, which is about management, not cure. I hope that the book provides not only treatment information, but validation – they can take the book to their doctors to show them what’s going on. It’s as up to the minute as up to the minute can be in terms of medical research and practice.

In terms of the medical professionals, I hope that they can understand the full impact of a multi-systemic chronic complex condition, what it means to have bodily systems not working very well, and the impact that this has psychologically, physically and socially. I hope this helps them to develop a bit of a more empathetic approach.

I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to have 6 real experts in each field contributing to the book. This means that they’ve been really able to bring the book up to date with the latest research on treatment and medical management of the condition. That’s a real privilege.

© 2013 Singing Dragon blog. All Rights Reserved

Prana Mudra with Cain Carroll

This is the second video in Cain Carroll’s ‘Mudra Moments’ series. See here for part 1: Apana Mudra.

In this two-minute mini-class, Cain Carroll introduces Prana Mudra, a traditional Indian hand mudra which improves overall vitality and immunity, activates the body’s self-healing capacity, improves concentration, and strengthens stamina and willpower.

More information on Prana Mudra, including technique, application, benefits and sanscrit notation, can be found in Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance.

Apana Mudra with Cain Carroll

In this two-minute mini-class, Cain Carroll introduces Apana Mudra, a traditional Indian hand mudra which improves digestive health and elimination (including easing constipation and hemorrhoids), and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle (alleviating cramping, dryness and clotting).

More information on Apana Mudra, including technique, application, benefits and sanscrit notation, can be found in Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance .

Look out for more videos in the series of Mudra Moments coming soon to the Singing Dragon blog.

VIDEO: Master Chungliang Al Huang on Living Your Own Tao

This month, Singing Dragon was honoured to host an afternoon talk by author and Tai Chi Master Chungliang Al Huang during his visit to London for the launch of his four new perennial editions: Quantum Soup: Fortune Cookies in CrisisEmbrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji; Essential Tai Ji; and The Chinese Book of Animal Powers.

We are very pleased to share this edited video of that event below.

Master Chungliang Al Huang is the founder of Living Tao Foundation, an international cultural-arts network for lifelong learning, and the director of the Lan Ting Institute, a cross-cultural study and conference center at the sacred and historic Wu Yi Mountain, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the People’s Republic of China, and at Gold Beach on the Oregon Coast in the USA. He has written many classic books including the four named above, all of which are now brought back into print by Singing Dragon.

Part 1: Master Huang shares the background behind each book and demonstrates his beautiful calligraphy.

 


Part 2: Master Huang shares some stories about his amazing life’s journey and the larger-than-life people he has befriended along the way – including Sammy Davis Jr. and Alan Watts.


 
Part 3: Master Huang shares with us the essence of the Tao and how we can lead more balanced lives.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.