Like in many other expressive fields, playing music can be a technical skill that is acquired over time with practice or it can be a unique artistic expression when the musician and his/her instrument become one. Then, they both become a perfect channel for the music.
To reach this stage, the more your body functions as the integrated whole that it is, the more you can become a channel for the music you play and access the gifted musician within.
As a musician, if you focus mainly on the perfection of the music you play, it is likely that you disconnect from the guidance of your body intelligence, in the same way that yogis focusing on the perfection of a pose tend to be disconnected from their body intelligence. As a result, body “misuse” or/and “overuse” through repetitive movements builds excess tension in your body eventually promoting pain down the road.
Playing music as a yogic expression is allowing this synergy between your integrated mind/body/heart functioning, the integrated body of notes, and the integrated functioning between you and your instrument. This has the benefit to reduce, eliminate or prevent chronic tension or pain that is common among musicians, especially when playing professionally.
Playing music or practicing yoga works best as a true yogic expression when the energy can flow rather than when there is holding in the body.
TIPS FOR MUSICIANS TO PROMOTE INTEGRATED FUNCTIONING
1 – Stay Present to your Body as a Whole while playing: When you ignore your body or you focus on body parts at the expense of your whole body, you are not fully connected to your body intelligence and you may be building tension in areas you are not including in your awareness which can account for feeling uptight or tired after playing for a long time, or even getting hurt.
2 – Pay attention to how your body feels first then how you go about connecting with your instrument when you start playing: For instance, pay attention how connected and released you are within yourself first, then pay attention to how you pick up your violin to bring it up where you want it. As a pianist, pay attention to not carry tension in your body and arms even as you bring your hands and arms to the keyboard of your piano.
3 – Sit in a way that supports your skeletal structure rather than your muscles: It is common to slouch, hold up, or add support where we tend to get tired muscles. However, that does not necessarily help you sit upright effortlessly. Connect your sitz bones to a firm support and add support if needed behind your coccyx area rather than your lumbar region. The more you are supported in a way that keep your postural muscles doing their job, the easier it will become to sit upright effortlessly over time.
If this work speaks to you and you are ready to invest yourself in its process to be finally free of excess tension or chronic tension fueled by the repetitive movements to play your instrument…..
Then, sign up for the 2-session workshop I will be giving in January by clicking on the link below:
(Number of spaces is limited, so registration happens on a first serve basis)
Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries. Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.
Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.
Cécile can be reached by responding to this blog or by contacting her through her website: https://cecileraynor.com/