How Yoga Practice Can Help Musicians
Musicians face many challenges in day-to-day life, and it doesn’t end with composition or production. Mental health, staying motivated, thinking outside the box, and the never-ending financial and other stress.
Regardless of the kind of artist you are, yoga can help you connect with your creative mind and combat stress. As a musician, daily yoga practice can help you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Here are a few benefits musicians can get from a regular practice of yoga.
The Benefits Of Yoga For Musicians And Artists
Get Past A Creative Block
Do you often feel stuck? Lack of inspiration or creativity?
Well, you’re not alone.
The occurrence of creative blocks in musicians is quite normal, especially when you’re working on new songs or projects and have to meet the deadlines. A lot of stress or fear of imperfection can take a toll on your mental health. It also creates barriers to inspiration and inner creativity.
Creative blocks can last for days, weeks, or even months. Artists cannot afford a lack of creative thinking because it serves as the foundation of their art.
The good news is that yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation are some of the best ways to get past a creative block. Whether you are a vocalist, an instrumentalist, or just a hobbyist musician, yoga can help you break through your creative block. Yoga helps establish a deeper connection with your inner creative self by activating the creative part of the brain.
Whenever you are lacking imagination or feel stuck, get on your mat and take your mind off it.
You can practice:
- Child’s Pose
- Sun Salutation
- Pigeon Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Deep Breathing
You can also practise meditation and mindfulness.
The intention is to move your body in rhythm with your breath, thus forming a connection between the mind and the body.
The art of breathing is the foundation of great singing. A singer’s ability to breathe well defines their ability to sing well.
Pranayama Breathing Techniques, Meditation, and Mantra Chanting can help you master the art of breathing.
Pranayama is also known as the Science of Breath. Pranayama breathing techniques like Humming Bee Breath, Alternate Nostril Breathing, Ocean Breath, and Breath of Fire can improve your vocals by strengthening your vocal cords.
Regular practice of Pranayama Breathing Techniques will help singers improve vocals, fight stage fright, and enhance the clarity of speech and overall breath management in the challenges of live performance.
Regular practice of meditation and chanting helps relieve anxiety and stress and improves the performance ability of singers.
The Kirtan Kriya Meditation method used in Kundalini Yoga is one of the best meditations for singers. The Kirtan Kriya Meditation method involves meditating while singing. Most Kundalini Yoga methods involve singing, chanting, breathing exercises, and repetitive postures. Thus, it is one of the best practices for singers.
“Yoga composes my mind; it gives me more energy. As a singer, I also think some aspects of yoga, such as breathing properly, are key to maintaining a healthy voice. My lung capacity has also increased. I can certainly hold notes longer than I used to be able to do. "
~ Sting, Rock Singer, Yoga Journal, March 2010
Using your body inefficiently causes tension in the muscles, tendons, and joints. Long hours of practice, repetitions, and bad postures when playing instruments lead to muscle pain, and sometimes it may result in playing-related Musculoskeletal Disorders.
Bad posture can also compromise your ability to perform well. Holding your body in good posture puts the least strain on your supportive muscles, joints, and tendons. Good posture means aligning your body properly while sitting or standing.
Improving your posture with yoga can help you perform well as a singer or even as an instrumentalist. Daily yoga practice is a great way to reverse bad posture caused by long hours of sitting. As well, it makes you more aware of your posture in general.
Yoga poses like Boat Pose, Dolphin Plank Pose, Wheel Pose, and Plank Pose will help you build more strength in the core muscles. A strong core means better posture, as core strength helps hold the body up. Yoga poses like Bridge Pose, Camel Pose, Cat Cow Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Mountain Pose, Hero Pose, and Heart Opener Pose can help musicians correct and improve their posture.
Improve Mental Health
Musicians face many problems like stress, depression, performance anxiety, bipolar disorder and other symptoms of mental illness. Improving your mental health while working under a lot of stress is quite a challenge for musicians.
In a survey of April-June 2018 by MIRA and Princeton University – designed to examine the life circumstances and well-being of professional musicians – the findings suggest that several professional musicians face many challenges like high levels of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Yoga is not just a physical activity, but a mental one too. Just like lifting weights helps you with muscle growth, practising yoga brings increased concentration, relaxation, focus, and peace of mind. It also helps sharpen your memory as you age. Regular practice of yoga enhances positive psychological states in musicians. It reduces performance anxiety and improves the overall quality of life.
Study shows that yoga and meditation practises create a sense of well-being, improved self-reliance, increased efficiency, and an optimistic outlook on life.
A daily practice of Pranayama will help you relax and calm your mind. Pranayama is one of the best treatments to cure anxiety, depression, and stress.
Practising yoga poses like Corpse Pose, Child’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Plow Pose, Headstand, and Shoulder Stand will help improve your overall mental health.
A daily dose of Meditation will help musicians increase focus, concentration, self-esteem and self-awareness.
Improve Strength And Avoid Injuries
Musicians are prone to injuries as much as any athlete out there. Holding an instrument for long performances while trying to play your best is not that easy. Excessive stress on muscles, repetitions, and bad postures while performing for long hours may result in playing-related injuries. Most injuries in musicians are caused by the overuse of muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. Just like athletes, musicians need physical training to prevent injuries while performing long stretches.
Regular practice of yoga improves the strength of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, which makes them less prone to injuries.
Yoga poses like Warrior II Pose, Headstand, Downward Facing Dog, Half Moon Pose, Cobra Pose, Sun Salutations help musicians improve overall strength, endurance, and flexibility.
Musicians can strengthen their wrists, arms, neck, and shoulder by doing Wrist Rotations, Neck Circles, Cow Pose, Extended Puppy Pose and Shoulder Bridges.
*Yoga may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Incase of a medical condition please seek doctor’s advice.
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