I started my yoga practice in the winter of 2014 to improve my running. When I started practicing, I had no idea how it might impact so many other aspects of my life: work, social life, and even other hobbies. However, as I continue to learn to play bass guitar, I’ve really noticed the positive aspects of my yoga practice creeping into bass practice.
One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is focus. A lot of the time when I’m practicing, my mind starts to drift to other things. What do I need to accomplish at work tomorrow? What are we making for dinner tonight? Though yoga, I’ve learned to really focus my mind to hold tough poses. I do the same when practicing a tricky song on the guitar and have noticed significant improvements and flow when I’m really able to focus.
I’ve also learned through yoga to breathe through difficult poses and to quiet my mind when I’m starting to experience discomfort. This has helped me to improve my endurance in general and for the faster-paced songs. I typically don’t have to rest quite as often and rarely need to take a break during a really intense song.
Finally, yoga has taught me patience and self-acceptance. One of my main areas of focus in yoga is hot yoga, where you move through the same sequence of postures in every class. Although it is so much fun seeing my own improvements as I practice, I’ve also come to understand that every day is different. I might be able to hold dancer’s pose for 60 seconds today without trouble (yeah right!), while tomorrow I might struggle with balance and fall out several times. Same with guitar. I always want to be improving but have come to accept that some days may just be off days and be glad I got through the practice session.
So no, yoga hasn’t made me into a super-confident and talented bad-ass bass guitar player, but it’s certainly coming easier now that I’ve started yoga. Please, talk back! I’d love to hear how you have created synergy with your hobbies!