The Yoga of Making Media
Years ago, I ran across an interview with philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. It was plain to say the least. He sat in a chair and talked while a camera watched. There was no lighting, editing, expensive set or comedian sidekick making jokes. At the time, I was a producer for MTV and spent most of my time focusing on fancy camera angles and $600/hour post-production facilities in an effort to keep my audience’s attention. But this video blew me away because although it had none of that, it worked.
I work with many healers and teachers using my skills and experience to assist them in producing media that opens minds and hearts. What I’ve learned is that high production values are nice if you can afford them, but not necessary.
For those of you considering producing a video, podcast, audio course, or any type of media, the crucial questions to ask yourself are these:
1. Where are you coming from? It begins with your student so the first step is to empty your mind of yourself. Although the camera is pointed at you, it’s not about you. The goal is to create an experience for your student, like you would in person that is alive, potent, and impactful. Bells and whistles may capture her eyes but what will capture her heart? Your authentic soul will.
2. How much can you show up? Videotape captures your soul. Although this fact frightened aborigines, it works to the teacher’s benefit because this is the seat of the power of your video. The quality of your presence is key. Like in any relationship, your connection with the camera, and ultimately your virtual student, hinges on your level of presence. Performance is not presence. It doesn’t mean you don’t perform but don’t rely on it. Presence first, then play around with the performance.
3. Can you play? Video recording is cheap. Experiment! To warm up, get everyone on set to do a meditation or some yoga to release excess energy. Talk with an accent. Mess around. Play. I’ve seen lots of people freeze up when the camera turns on and end up blustering their way through on ego power. This will come through so relax and try stuff. Don’t worry, the camera is not judging you.
4. Can you accept yourself? When we face a camera, stuff comes up. It’s kind of like facing God, some see Him as all-loving and some as all-judging. True with cameras, too. Some relate to the camera as lover, some as judge but more than anything, it is like a highly evolved yogi. It is neutral and sees you in your entirety. How does this make you feel?
5. Who do you let into your life? Choose your video crew wisely. You will need to open up completely on set, expose your soul, be vulnerable. Make sure you only invite people who support you. For women, it can be like giving birth. You need to feel safe so you can trust.
6. Can you trust yourself, your teaching, the Universe, yoga? Don’t attach to scripts and the past. Or worry about the future. Be in the moment and let it flow. And if it’s not, do something silly, then try again. And again. You will get there and when you do, you will be able to touch students all over the world without leaving your living room.