Yoga for Musicians

For over 35 years, I have been performing as a flutist and freelance musician and have been a member of Klangforum Wien for almost as long. Since 2020 I have reduced my intense concert and travel activities, so that I can now devote myself more to teaching.

About 20 years ago I suffered a burnout and severe tinnitus. I realized that I was the one responsible for my body, soul and health, and yoga was the path that above all helped me through this life crisis.

Finding a way to break out of old destructive habits to form constructive behavior patterns affords me another, new approach to my social surroundings and my work.

LU JONG (Tibetan healing yoga) works on 3 levels: Physical, energetic and mental

During the yoga practice, our concentration moves from “outside to inside”, therefore we shift our senses from the outside world to inside our bodies. We learn to feel ourselves, to listen to ourselves and to find the source of inexhaustible strength and our center.

The 5 basic exercises to open the 5 elements of LU JONG are particularly effective in the prevention of health problems, above all in people that experience chronic stress. In Tibetan medicine, the disruption of the inner winds (lung) is spoken of as negatively affecting the balance of the 5 elements and the 3 juices or energies (wind, bile and phlegm). That manifests itself as a disruption of our internal powerhouse and is followed by physical and psychological disease (weak immune system, chronic back pain, digestive problems, insomnia, trouble concentrating etc). In the eyes of western medicine, stress is defined as a physical reaction to external or internal burdens. Musicians are often placed under enormous strain for extended periods of time, for example: Perfectionism, intense work and endurance pressures, exaggerated awareness of duty, noise, bullying and so on.

By total emotional exhaustion, the feeling of estrangement from one’s self and/or experiencing other adverse reactions and a diminishing capacity to function (or increasing dissatisfaction with performance) is how the so called ‘Burnout Syndrome’ is described.  

Burnout’ is a notion of core energy and means the burning out of fuel elements due to overheating or a decline in cooling.

In TibetanTantrayana burnout is understood as a closure of the energy channels whereby inhibiting the free flow of energy in the body. This impacts on physical, energy and mental levels.

Lu Jong – Exercises

Lu Jong exercises concentrate mainly on the movement of the spinal column, our powerhouse (or battery).

The spine is stretched, turned and bent in every direction. Lopsided, unbalanced stresses and strains, as are caused by instrumental playing are evened out, damage caused by long periods of sitting, through bad posture and tension are counteracted.

The energy channels become permeable again, blockages are unblocked, the 5 elements and the body energies are brought back into balance.

Breathing Exercises

“The impossibility of to calmly control the breath, goes along with a mind that is complicated by problems” (Yoga Sutra 1.31, Desikachar 1997:42)

In yoga, the breath is defined as the link between body and mind. Through body exercises and careful attention to internal factors, we can achieve a natural deepening and regulation of the breath.

The breathing exercises of TSA LUNG (TSA meaning channels and LUNG internal wind/breath) penetrate deep into our body and help even the smallest channels to open.

Meditation

Our thoughts and emotions are also focused during the practice of yoga. Initially, through observation of our thought and emotional activity, we get to know our mind better both inherently and through evaluation. Bit by bit we can identify the imprint of thought and behavior patterns and habits (eg. stress reactions such as tension in muscle groups, breathing and movement patterns or perpetual speculation, etc).

We can also identify that we have the capacity to stop and change these factors. We learn to let go, to relax totally and have the ability to concentrate more effectively. The goal is ultimately to bring the mind into a state of calm.

The Traditional Tibetan Mindfulness Meditation helps us to better understand the function and mode of action of our thinking and our emotions. There is a path, a map and a compass to change ourselves, to learn being present in the moment in a non-judging way.

LU JONG (Tibetan healing yoga) furthers the healing process and improves overall health, but is by no means intended to replace traditional medicine and doctors’ advice.

www.lujongzentrum.at