This week’s blog post is by guest writer Anne Domitrovits.
“Like music, yoga is a journey, one that is long enough so you keep developing and keep learning. I don’t see an end to it…yoga is an important part of my creative life.” ~Sting
Music, like yoga, brings about a joining together. Yoga translated from Sanskrit means yoke or union. When we share music together we feel that sense of connectedness or coherence not only within our own being, but also within our community. We can feel uplifted or moved by the experience. The same can be said for a good yoga class. Time at the mat sharing good vibrations also brings about lightness, ease and sense of wellbeing. Both music and yoga have a therapeutic nature that brings about joy and healing. Both can shift our vibration and tap into our creative spirit.
Yoga does support a musician’s growth in a multitude of ways. Some of these ways include awakening creativity and mental focus. Creativity can be unleashed at the mat as we rest back from self-judgment, and negative self-talk and begin to cultivate the dynamic peacefulness of ahimsa. The monkey mind, as it is called, learns to become more focused as we let go of our reactive habits. Repetitively, taking the shapes of poses that require a quiet mind over and over again is the practice of dharana. Dharana is simply concentration or fixing the mind on one object. With Dharana, a musician can infuse his/her energy completely into the “performance” or expression at hand, offering his/her complete presence in the performance.
Yoga also invites awareness of body symmetry and how we must honour the body to prevent repetitive stress injuries. Musicians log countless hours of practice. Within the practice of an instrument there can be great imbalance of symmetry in the body position or muscle use. Hatha Yoga offers us the space to explore asymmetry and bring us into the awareness of muscular, structural, and energetic balance.
Of equal and perhaps greater importance is the awareness of breath. A proper breath supports relaxation, musical phrasing and performance. Pranayama, or the breath exercises in yoga, will help a musician to develop stronger breath awareness, a greater breath capacity as well as strengthen the diaphragmatic muscles that facilitate breath. This is great news for the singers in the audience. Voice and other instruments are powerful tools of expression just as the body is in the asana practice of hatha yoga.
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.”~B.K.S Iyengar.
I love Anne’s yoga classes. If you live in Ottawa, you can benefit from her classes too. Find out more here.