The sitbones are pointing upwards, the hands are well anchored on the ground, the fingers spread widely, the weight is distributed at the outside of the hands. The head is relaxed, the toes are spread, the pelvic floor is tight, uplifted and sucked in. The anus is contracted. And now breathe. Ujayi breath.
“How to do a Downward Facing Dog?” is a project which deals with the phenomena of yoga and itsposition inside the complex mesh of sociopolitical connections on the basis of one Asana (yoga position), biographically, physically and as well as theoretically.
Johanna Heusser is a trained stage dancer who, like many of her contemporaries and professional colleagues, did an education program to become a yoga trainer. Several residencies in India were the result. Spending this time in India gave her a new perspective on the yoga teacher training, as well as insights in the differences and culture imperialistic interactions between India and western Europe. One effect of that was her awareness of her own position as a white Swiss in this mesh. Within the context of the production Johanna analyzes this personal experience seen from a cultural appropriation and neo-liberal acquisition point of view. In a Lecture Performance her own body becomes the visual aid of the negotiation.
Repetitively she adopts the pose Downward Facing Dog and puts this process again and again in new contexts, hoping to reflect and question several aspects of the confusing ambiguity of yoga. The goal is to finally find a way of doing a Downward Facing Dog with the modality that has the meaning she is looking for. Johanna will premier the piece at Theatre ROXY on 14th of January.