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 out of the box, and the never-ending financial and otherwise stress.

Yoga For Musicians and Artists 

Regardless of the kind of artist you’re, yoga practices 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.

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 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
  • Headstand
  • Deep Breathing

You can as well practise meditation and mindfulness. 

The intention is to move your body in a rhythm with your breath, thus forming a connection between the mind and the body.

Improve Vocals

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 BreathAlternate Nostril BreathingOcean BreathBreath 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, enhance the clarity of speech and overall breath management in the challenges of live performance.

 Regular practice of Meditation and Chanting helps relieve anxiety, 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 best 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

Improve Posture

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 postures can also compromise your ability to perform well. Whereas, holding your body in a good posture puts the least strain on your supportive muscles, joints, and tendons. A 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 a bad posture caused by long hours of sitting. As well, it makes you more aware of your posture in general.

Yoga poses like Boat PoseDolphin Plank PoseWheel PosePlank Pose will help you build more strength in the core muscles. A strong core means a better posture, as core strength helps hold the body up. Yoga poses like Bridge PoseCamel PoseCat Cow Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Mountain Pose, Hero Pose, 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 illnesses. Improving your mental health while working under a lot of stress is quite the 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 practices 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 the mind. Pranayama is one of the best treatments to cure anxiety, depression and stress.  

Practising Yoga poses like Corpse PoseChild’s Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Plow Pose, Headstand, 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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Written By

Deepali Sood on

Deepali is a musician and Co-Founder of learnmusicproduction.in. She loves to play guitar, sing, do yoga, read books, listen to progressive metal, go trekking, collect shoes and eat lots of protein.