Classic Flow is your private, portable, all-levels yoga class and classical music concert rolled into one bliss-making podcast.
Most of the routine actions we perform every day happen in front of our bodies, so gravity tends to round us forward. This means our back muscles become long, our chest muscles contract, and our shoulders get all hunched up around the ears.
If you’re a musician, even holding or playing your instrument can put your posture a bit ‘out of whack’. Back in the 1950s before yoga had become popular in the west, the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin was introduced to Mr BKS Iyengar - one of the father’s of modern yoga - to help him with his musician’s posture.
The yoga worked so well that Menuhin became a dedicated yogi - with yoga becoming part of his music and his life. He learned to understand, to play and manipulate his body with the same attention and dedication that he directed towards his violin.
Mr Menuhin said, “The practice of yoga induces a primary sense of measure and proportion. Reduced to our own body, our first instrument, we learn to play it, drawing from it maximum resonance and harmony.”
The point is, we all have asymmetry in our bodies, caused by our history, our habits, and our repetitive movements. And Yoga allows intimate self-study, or Svādhyāya, so that we can more easily recognise these limitations within our bodies, as well as what feels good and gives us pleasure. Essentially, the practise of yoga is about learning to “play our body” as if we were finely tuning a treasured instrument.
So, with that in mind, turn up the volume on this episode and turn your entire attention to the very first instrument you learned to play - your body.
ROBBIE PASTER (Prince’s valet): He always had a baby grand piano in the hotel rooms so he could play his music. One of the promoters said, “We can’t get a baby grand piano up in the room.” This was the Chelsea Harbor Hilton in London. I said, “There’s got to be a way. It’s the Presidential Suite.” He said, “The only way we could do it is if we got a crane and lifted it over the balcony.” I said, “Do that.” So they lifted it up three floors, and took it out the same way. Who knows how much that cost? Who cares how much that cost? We were there for a month, gotta have a piano. In those days, you didn’t want to cut corners. - Star-Tribune
me as a beginning musician:wow, that actually didn't sound as bad! I'm super proud of myself!
me now:I've played this one phrase twenty times and something about the musicality still isn't right. I'm putting too much emphasis on the e flat and my marcatissimo sounds more like a staccato so I'm basically a failure