Kundalini and Pranayama for the Actor (NDSF 2020)


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Join us as Scott Jackson, the Mary Irene Ryan Family Executive Director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, leads an interactive workshop on Kundalini yoga. This workshop blends breathing and physical techniques into exercises designed with actors in mind, helping improve your mind, body, and spirit. 

This event will be available on the Shakespeare at Notre Dame YouTube page beginning at 7:00 p.m., July 21.

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The stresses of performance (and actor training in general) can often lead to sustained periods of heightened physiological anxiety. These uncomfortable moments seem out of the individual’s control, and often lead to feelings of insecurity and a loss of personal agency. To counter this chain reaction, it is essential for us to foster an understanding of just what is happening to us on a neurological level during these moments of stress. 

This session will seek to broaden your knowledge of the autonomic nervous system and give you the tools to alleviate these sensations of overwhelming anxiety. We will focus on introducing you to Kundalini yoga and its associated breathing techniques (pranayama) that both strengthen and relax the nervous, endocrine, limbic, and immune systems. This will be an active session, so be prepared for dynamic movement in addition to periods of mantra and meditation. 

Scott Jackson provides executive oversight for the many Shakespeare-related programs housed at the University of Notre Dame, with a particular focus on engaging our local community through the works of William Shakespeare. Previously he served as Executive Director for the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre in Fairbanks, Alaska. At FST, he produced and performed in outdoor Shakespeare productions staged under the midnight sun at venues throughout Alaska and toured around the globe (most notably at VIII World Shakespeare Congress in Brisbane, Australia, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland). From 2000-2003, Scott was the Business and Legal Affairs Coordinator for Brighter Pictures, LTD (now a part of Endemol UK), one of the United Kingdom’s most successful independent television and film production companies. He holds a BA in Theatre from Indiana University Bloomington, as well as intensive study in acting at the London Centre for Theatre Studies. Scott served as the Treasurer for the Shakespeare Theatre Association from 2013–2017 and is an instructor of Acting Process at the University of Notre Dame. A firm believer in the power of Shakespeare and the theatre arts to effect positive social change, he is currently teaching a weekly Shakespeare in performance course at Westville Correctional Facility near Michigan City, IN, and is the co-founder of the Shakespeare in Prisons Network.