Effects of a yoga lifestyle intervention on performance-related characteristics of musicians: a preliminary study.

Division of Sleep Medicine BI, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research (Impact Factor: 1.22). 09/2006; 12(8):CR325-31.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous research has suggested that yoga and meditation practices are effective in stress management, alleviating anxiety and musculoskeletal problems and improving mood and cognitive and physical performance. Musicians experience a number of challenges in their profession including high levels of stress, performance anxiety and performance-related musculoskeletal conditions. Yoga and meditation techniques are therefore potentially useful practices for professional musicians.
Musicians enrolled in a prestigious 2-month summer fellowship program were invited to participate in a regular yoga and meditation program at a yoga center during the course of the program. The 10 participants in the yoga program completed baseline and end-program questionnaires evaluating performance-related musculoskeletal conditions, performance anxiety, mood and flow experience. Fellows not participating in the yoga program were recruited to serve as controls and completed the same assessments (N=8).
The yoga participants showed some improvements relative to control subjects on most measures, with the relative improvement in performance anxiety being the greatest.
The results from this preliminary study suggest that yoga and meditation may be beneficial as a routine practice to reduce performance anxiety in musicians.

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