Yoga + Music

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.

I hope it'll be valuable to many of you in your pursuits of health, meaning, & connection.

-sd.

5 Basic Moves to Improve Your Health

  1. Eat real food. The "foods" that are most popular and most accessible to us today in the U.S. are often not even real food anymore. What are they then? Food-like products chemically engineered to sell, be manufactured at the lowest cost possible, and to keep us wanting more of them. Here's a great guide to the basics of moving toward a healthier diet of the real foods we humans should be eating for optimum health.
  2. Make friends. We're built to connect with each other. There's even evidence linking quality relationships to stronger immune systems, better overall health, and decreased anxiety, depression, and addiction. So seriously, make friends and keep up with your relationships. If you don't know where to start or who to call...well call me. Or come by The Yellow House.
  3. Keep a journal. Expressive writing has real benefits for our mental and physical health! Here's a brief overview of why and how to make a practice of writing to heal.
  4. Exercise. And specifically with yoga if you haven't tried it yet. Yes, even you, men. Yoga is not just some hip fad right now. It's been around for more than 5,000 years and is an ancient science of the unity of body, mind, & spirit that can benefit us by relieving tension, improving strength & flexibility, increasing blood supply, eliminating toxins, lowering blood pressure, raising energy levels, improving mood & brain function, and bettering muscle tone. (That list's not comprehensive, but come on, why wouldn't you give it a try with all those benefits? I've been developing a daily yoga practice little by little for a few months now, and I'm loving it.)
  5. Get educated. And this can be fun! Check out the documentaries below for great overviews of our current food & health situation in the U.S. today. And/or read this article about what the processed food industry doesn't want us to know.