Feedback from Adult Theatre Therapy Workshop, Karuna Wellness Centre, Delhi

 Since 2010, Gaurav has conducted many workshops – theatre, theatre therapy, and clowning – at the Karuna Wellness Centre, a Pranic Healing Centre in New Delhi.

 

“Reconnect to the Child Within”: Participants share their experiences

“Just wanted to thank you for the super time i had at the theatre workshop conducted by Gaurav. It was a wonderfully relaxing 2 days spent with a small group of people, each wanting nothing but a way of reducing the unnecessary stress that we each carry with us.

What i really enjoyed was Gaurav’s easy style of handling people across age groups, his self confidence (not misplaced at all) and his true respect for each of our personalities.The completely non-judgemental approach Gaurav had to all our activities, really helped me see through the true essence of what he was trying to tell us. I did not feel defensive about any of my expressions nor did i feel at any stage incapable of learning or growing. It helped me evaluate my inner being and understand that some issues that i have struggled with for a long time in life (like a total lack of rhythm in my body) can actually be addressed by really simple ways.

I am happy that i could attend this workshop and do hope we will have more such varied interactions chalked out by our centre.”

Thanks and best always,
Shalini

(5 January 2010)

*****
The Theater Workshop curiously titled “Reconnect to the Child Within” has justified its name in the unusual way.I always thought that the mind controls everything. In the process of the workshop I realized that it’s not true! We tried something unusual, something new – to switch off our normal mental functioning and to switch on awareness. ‘Thinking with the body’!

The simple exercises, the relaxation techniques produced unusual and effective results. The trainer created a light and pleasant atmosphere. I remember his words: “Please do not try to correct your partner and teach them the ‘correct way’ of doing the exercise. Let them figure this out on their own”.

These two days passed as if I was on a holiday in the mountains. The light and humorous atmosphere in the class, the tea breaks and a tasty lunch kept reminding me of a holiday in a hill station. I realized that our normal routine during weekends – to go out on Saturday and to rest and sleep on Sunday – doesn’t give such excellent relaxation and rejuvenation for the soul and body.

The exercises gave me a lot of lightness, elevated mood and surge of energy so much needed for us, working married women. Special thanks to the trainer, Gaurav, the organizer, the Karuna Wellness Centre, and all the students who attended the workshop. Because of all of them, the results were great!

(Anna Jha)
(January 2010)

*****
It seems that the main purpose of the sessions, conducted by a theater actor Gaurav Saini, is to awaken our awareness towards Life, to teach us to pay real attention to the events happening within and without our ‘selves’.It looks like that most of us are living like ‘bio-robots’, programmed by the family and the society. We live in our mental constructions and are never aware of Life. We are not aware of our bodies. We are disconnected from our feelings. We need someone to think for us, to tell us what is best for us, to direct our life. This workshop breaks our stereotypes and reconnects us to our true self – in an atmosphere filled with laughter, amity and respect.

The medium of teaching are physical forms (based on Tai Chi and other martial arts) and theater exercises. Physical movements and the theatrical language are the two most essential human languages. Joined together masterfully, they introduce us to the ‘Art of Looking at Ourselves’. Brilliant!

(Yulia Pal)
(6 January 2010)

*****
The ‘Child Within’ has an interesting teaching pattern and employs various beneficial techniques. We had two days of fun-filled sessions. We practiced theater exercises such as Improvisation, the Alexander Technique for relaxation and posture alignment, Facial Masks, Vocal, Opening all Senses, Foot Tapping (Group Rhythm), Trust, Song Singing, vocally and silently, – all this was to train us to be together as one soul of this session. The end result was feeling good about ourselves.
(Sumita Kapoor)
(12 January 2010)

*****
Why was a Theatre workshop organized at a Pranic Healing Centre?Of course, this was not any ordinary Theatre workshop, but this is the natural question that would occur to anyone, and therefore, this article. Yes, there is a huge relevance of this kind of a workshop in this place.

As Pranic healers, we are concerned with energy and proper flow of energy, and aware of the close link between the excellence of this flow and good health. Most of our ailments are caused by a disturbance in this flow somewhere or somehow. As healers, we try to clear these obstacles, restore the circulation and balance the energy in the various parts of the body. However, unless the flow is thereafter maintained, the imbalance of energy will inevitably re-occur and so also, the illness. The bottom-line, therefore, is that we have to consciously correct the unhealthy patterns – of our lifestyle and our thinking – that upset the energy flow and cause illness.

On the Physical Plane

This workshop, through a wide range of games, exercises and activities, actually opened our eyes to a fact that we were not ready to accept initially – that we don’t really know our own body, let alone have much control over it in the true sense.We unconsciously adopt wrong breathing habits and incorrect posture. We strain ourselves and punish our bodies by being unaware of the correct use of the various parts. There is no manufacturer’s manual that tells us how to use and maintain our bodies properly as we maintain our cars. We use certain faculties too much, and never use certain others. On the energy level, we are unaware of our immense power – because we use the wrong chakras to do the wrong job, and certain chakras are underdeveloped while others are overworked and misused. We are unaware of how we waste our energy in doing simple actions the wrong way, and fail to achieve energy efficiency or qualitative excellence.

The first step towards correcting this is to be aware of ourselves, deeply and truly. The potent combination of Theatre techniques and various techniques from different Martial Art forms taught in this workshop are powerful tools to begin this journey.

On the Inner plane

Master Choa Kok Sui has given us one simple mantra regarding the way we should lead our lives – “Follow the Virtues!”

However, as we all realize, this is easier said than done. “Loving kindness towards oneself
and others” is not that easy to practice as it first seems. We fail to understand, in many situations, what kindness is, or in how many countless ways our actions, words and thoughts are injurious. “Honesty” is almost impossible to attain because we are not even aware of the levels of our dishonesty towards ourselves. “Moderation” is hard to practice because we are swayed by emotions rather than guided by our inner voice.

Do we listen when we are hearing others out, or see when we look? Do we really respect others and their sensibilities? Do we truly trust the people we call our friends, let alone acquaintances or colleagues? Though we are constantly trying to control so many things and people, including our children and our spouses, do we really have control over ourselves? Do we really understand love, though we use the word so often?

These are just some of the pertinent and hard-hitting questions that were thrown up during the two day workshop. Every little game we participated in were exercises that are designed to help us identify the Virtues –in practice, in life –and make us aware of how we break them. Directly or indirectly, they gave us insights into ourselves and each other. They made us gently explore aspects of our nature that we don’t know how to deal with, and therefore, have learned to ignore or have even stopped acknowledging. They also made us realise that if we modify some of our habits, and adopt some others, we can effortlessly achieve Beauty, Harmony, Oneness and Happiness, all of which are the ingredients of Good Health!

The Facilitator

As all students would agree, the quality of the Teacher is what decides the quality of the learning. Gaurav Saini, who has the powerful and potent combination of Theatre and Martial Arts as his training, came across as a sensible, sensitive, perceptive, experienced and deeply evolved person, bringing with him the compassion and wisdom of much internalization of great teachings. His experience spoke for itself from the ease with which he got his fingers on the pulse of each participant, and the quiet confidence and respect with which he handled the motley group of people from different backgrounds and with different varieties of mental blocks and inhibitions. His gentle, non-judgemental attitude made everyone comfortable and helped build up a level of trust quickly. He believes in and practices the policy of letting people find their own questions and answers rather than imposing his views. To cut a long story short, he is the kind of teacher you respect deeply and would love to keep learning from! Thank you, Gaurav! Thank you, Master, for leading us to him, and thank you Yulia, for sharing this great experience with us!
(Sujasha Dasgupta)
(January 2010)

*****
The workshop with Gaurav Saini was a very beautiful experience.I have always felt very nice being in a group and doing exercises, dance and other way of expressing releasing and letting go.

Gaurav has an excellent mix of great exercises to get the group together to create a sense of togetherness, safety and gentle affection.

Being a life coach myself, who is focused on expression and release work, I learnt a whole lot of new exercises which I would like to use in my programs.

Gaurav has a good knowledge of acting, martial arts and bodywork and he can really help you to drop your mind and to connect to yourself.

Such work shops are a great way to heal, express yourself, enjoy and learn. What can be achieved in a group, cannot be achieved alone.

Some of Gaurav’s exercises have a potential of really helping others through letting out all the repressed emotions and things that make us feel stifled and inhibited.

(Baljit Singh)
(22 January 2010)

*****
Gaurav Saini’s weekend session with us was very interesting in terms of the activities and exercises that he had put together on both the days.
I personally took away the Alexander technique that he taught us for overall relaxation and release of tension and blockages from the body. I have begun making use of it for a period 30 – 45 mins per day and gain a lot of relaxation from it at the end of the day and wake up much more relaxed the next day.
Some of the Tai chi free hand exercises have also been quite relaxing and good for gaining focus back into oneself. His sessions are highly recommended for all.
(Aditi Rai)
(24 January 2010)
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Feedback from the organiser:

“I have attended several workshops conducted by Gaurav Saini. It’s difficult to put in words the uniqueness of his teaching style. I would describe it as an extreme awareness and honesty towards himself, the ability to see things as they are, from which streams a strong power of observation.
What qualities do we appreciate in Gaurav? You have a trainer who is very sensitive to any form of falsehood, in acting or otherwise, and who will tell you so, with no trace of an ego. Whose acting talent shines forth. Who is humorous, naturally open and warm towards the participants, yet keeps the class disciplined.
His style of teaching is very physical and stems from his many years of training in various martial arts. He is amazingly athletic, even though he is not training intensively now. He is an independent thinker and uses his own teaching methodology. His is a good Hindustani classical singer, with a pleasant voice. Moreover, his sense of responsibility and punctuality is applaudable.
All rolled together, it’s quite a combination! The only thing about him is that he very careful in choosing the projects to get involved with. However, if the project rings true to his heart, he goes into it with all his passion.”

Yulia Pal
Senior trainer, Pranic Healing Foundation of Delhi
New Delhi, July 2010

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