The Summerglen Files

Music, Creativity, and Everyday Life at Summerglen Music in Raleigh, NC

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Puppies and ‘Bones

September 13th, 2008 · No Comments

Today I performed at the Brass at Bond festival, a free afternoon of brass music at a local park. I didn’t play my best by any stretch of the imagination. It was 90-some degrees out, and reeeally humid–so humid that it was tough to get a seal between the mouthpiece and my face! And when there’s no seal, notes refuse to speak, and you have to work twice as hard for half the sound. And work hard I did.

Usually, this situation would result in some seriously sore shoulders, because that’s where I tend to hold tension in my body. But to my surprise, my shoulders are LOOSE, and they feel GOOD! And the difference is yoga.

Puppy Pose from

Every day this week, I’ve been doing a little bit of yoga with a DVD called AM/PM Yoga for Beginners. It’s just been for a few minutes a day, but it’s made a big difference in my playing, (and has helped me sleep better!) The Puppy Pose seems tailor-made for trombone players, because it squeezes out the tension that likes to collect in the shoulders and upper back. There’s also a neck stretch on the PM side of the DVD that feels soooooo good, and helps to relax another tense area–the sides of the neck. And all the while, you’re doing breathing exercises. PERFECT for trombonists!

What is really amazing is the difference I feel already, after just a few days of setting aside 20 minutes for yoga. Today’s show was taxing, but you couldn’t tell from the nice feeling in my shoulders! I’d like to make yoga a habit, and maybe add that nice Puppy Pose to my warm-up. After all, dogs and ‘bones do go together!

Tags: Practice Tips · staying healthy

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