Yoga and Acting

Yoga is essentially based on breathing. Breathing connects the inner and the outer worlds. It is connected to energy and thought. The exercises are deep explorations of the action of the breath. The practice moves from extensive physicality to stillness and the reduction of activity to breathing and through this focus to the restraint of uncontrolled mental activity and thought. As a practice in concentration and focus it can be invaluable for the actor.

One way of looking at this is to consider the moment after exhalation. Since the intake of breath is connected to the rising thought this is a moment where physical and mental activities are 'in the balance'. In the ninth sutra of the third part of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras he states:

"To study the silent moments between rising and restraining subliminal impressions is the transformation of consciousness towards restraint"