Musicians spend a lot of time alone. We need to be alone to study new repertoire, practise, and perfect our art. We need to focus and concentrate to excel at what we do.
Yoga is an ancient practice which helps the practitioner achieve balance, flexibility, and focus. I was happy to read that yoga improves memory and concentration. Surely all musicians should take up yoga for that reason!
Here’s another article about the power of yoga, especially for musicians: “Play at your peak,” by Stephen Cope. After reading this, I’m convinced that conservatories should offer yoga classes (not just Alexander Technique).
I first became aware of the existence of yoga by my late grandfather whose calligraphy hangs in my living room. A quiet man who looked younger than his age with his elegant posture and straight back, my grandfather gave me a Chinese book about breathing and postures when I was a teenager. The ideas in the book did not click until I started doing yoga on a regular basis.
On Saturday 19th June 2010, I invited the Dutch life coach Henk Fransen and his Indian friend and yoga master Krishna Bijalwan to our piano guitar duo morning concert in Zoetemeer.
Afterwards, just before noon, we brought them to our Chinese/Dutch friends’ home in Nootdorp for a barbecue lunch. After watching the Holland vs Japan world cup game, Henk and Krishna came to our monument house for a special yoga session.
I had always wanted to do yoga on our oak parquet floor which has floor heating in the winter. I had mentioned this to one or two members of my yoga class at the local sports club where I belong.
It remained a dream for several years until I met Henk who told me about Krishna’s visit to the Netherlands.
I knew several people who did yoga locally. It was time to put my ideas into action. No longer the big, sold-out concerts of the Monument House — but an intimate 1.5 hour session of yoga followed by vegetarian dinner —- just a handful of people, that’s all we had room for. Small is beautiful.
…. to be continued…..