Photos courtesy of Melissa Stephens (melissastephensphotography.com)
I thoroughly enjoyed playing live music for a class at Breathe Yoga Shreveport earlier this month! The connections between yoga practice and making music abound, and I experienced these tangibly during the class. Both yoga and music require:
- awareness of one's body,
- attention to the breath,
- openness to the feeling and energy of the environment,
- centering in the present moment,
- allowing discomfort,
- and receiving one's thoughts, emotions, and sensations without being controlled by them.
I've known the importance of these things for years, as it's nearly impossible to record or perform music and not bomb terribly without these abilities. Eventually I found yoga as a form of literal practice that strengthens the metaphorical muscles (and more precisely: the neural pathways) needed for this sort of attention.
Of course these skills are valuable in most areas of life, and not everyone learns or practices them via music. I'm grateful to get to put music and yoga together in this way in hopes that it may contribute to other folks' practice––whatever form it takes.
I so enjoyed this experience, and the response has been so positive that I have decided to record an album precisely for this purpose...
I'm working on a collection of ambient, instrumental songs intended for the accompaniment of yoga, prayer, & other meditative practices that will be released in the near future.