Rhythmic Breathing for Actors

by Ashley Wain

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Stanislavsky, Michael Chekhov and the actors of the First Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre meditated.

They used a particular form of meditation, drawn from the writings of Yogi Ramacharaka. Stanislavsky called it 'rhythmic breathing' and put enormous importance on it.

It inspired and underlies many elements of their techniques: radiation, communion, the centre, rhythm.

The three tracks on this album are intended as a first step in the rhythmic breathing practice, via Heart Rhythm Meditation, which I studied with Puran and Susanna Bair at the Institute for Applied Meditation.

It's a very similar practice to the one Stanislavsky was using but makes some changes to make it safer, and it goes further in some ways, too.

The first two tracks draw heavily on Puran and Susanna's teaching. I stick closely to their form and sequence, and even sometimes use their wording, which has seeped into my soul over years of practice.

The first track introduces the basic practice, and the second carries it further. You can use the first two tracks as one meditation but the second won't make sense without the first.

The third track stands alone. It goes back to the start of the practice, and integrates it with Michael Chekhov's centre exercise, which is one of his most important and beneficial contributions.

There are many other dimensions to this work and practical applications to character, text, and so on. I'll make recordings of those practices sometime down the track. But these meditations alone can have a significant effect on your work.


released July 7, 2011

Recorded and mixed by Todd Carter at his studio in New York in October 2009. Many thanks!

I am deeply indebted to Puran and Susanna Bair. They are great meditation teachers and wonderful people, and if you are drawn to go further with this kind of meditation, I recommend further study with them at the Institute for Applied Meditation (IAM): www.iamheart.org.

50% of all proceeds from sales will be donated to IAM.



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Ashley Wain Melbourne, Australia

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