As someone who has been a musician my whole life, I know firsthand the struggle, alongside the joy, that come with this line of work. While music is a great channel for expressing emotions and experiences, I think it’s important to have another outlet separate from your art, which for many of us is also a career. For me, this outlet is my yoga practice. There are several reasons why I believe yoga is a perfect antidote to the stress of working in the music industry. Yoga has been a positive journey for me; now, being a yoga instructor inspires me to share the benefits of yoga with others.
I discovered yoga while I was earning my Music degree at Columbia College Chicago. I enrolled in a yoga class as an elective and had no idea how much I would wind up falling in love with it. After that semester, I continued taking yoga at CorePower Yoga and enjoyed how athletic and challenging the classes were. As I kept with my practice, I eventually found an incredible mind-body connection that I soon wanted to share with others. So, toward the end of my college years, I decided to train to be an instructor. Since then, I have been practicing yoga regularly and teaching it for about five years.
One of the main things I treasure about yoga is that it is its own outlet separate from my music. I strongly believe it is important for musicians to maintain a way to relieve stress and express themselves outside of their art. Making music after all is very hard work, but as musicians we never want our line of work to start feeling like a chore or burden. Yoga is definitely a mental space you can enter that is separate from any outside stress. It is about quieting the mind and the constant chatter that can interfere with creativity. During a yoga class, I try to not think about music whatsoever. While artists are encouraged to always seek inspiration and hone their craft, I think that 60+ minutes of just moving and clearing my head are more helpful to my creativity and my overall health in the long run. I see it in myself and the students that leave my classes: a good session lifts a weight off your shoulders and allows you to move and think more fluidly throughout the rest of your day.
Yoga not only encourages mental improvements, but it has obvious physical benefits as well. A healthy body supports a healthy mind and a productive workflow. This includes getting enough sleep, fueling your body with great whole foods, and moving your body every week. As musicians and artists, I feel we sometimes get caught up in the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality. I’ve found that yoga is a reminder that you need to devote time to taking care of yourself and remember that your health truly comes first.
Many of us who work in music tend to forget to set aside the necessary time to check in with ourselves mentally and physically. Sometimes we need a reminder to prioritize our health and seek balance in our art and our careers. I encourage you to explore yoga as a means through which you can exercise that self-care.
About the Author
Nashville Singer/songwriter Chelsea Burns writes from personal experience and connects with people through her authentic music. Midwest raised and fine-tuned in the Windy City, Chelsea Burns brings her refreshingly lovely voice and authentic songwriting technique to the pop genre, illustrating her thoughts and experiences through her songs.