Classical 101 "Ohm" Mondays
Yoga is a fantastic way to relax, exercise, or even meditate, which leads many classical musicians to use yoga to strengthen breathing and focus.
Unfortunately, most yoga classes online and around Columbus do not offer Classical music during their classes. This June, the Classical 101 blog will present a short, easy sequence every Monday - each with a few Classical music selections. It's summer and it is time to unwind, Columbus!
Let's start with a great piece of music to gently wake up and get seated and ready on the mat. Debussy is perfect for yoga.
1.) Easy Seated Position (Sukhasana) To begin, sit in a cross-legged position and begin breathing in and out through your nose while sitting up straight.
For images and full descriptions, check out Pocket Yoga
2.)Tabletop Position (Cakravakasana) to Cat and Cow Variations (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana) On an inhale, slowly curve the spine upward, pushing through your hands into the mat like a cat arching its back. Then, on the exhale, round the back in the opposite direction with the navel pushing towards the floor. Repeat until ready to move on.
To build more energy but keep a gentle focus, here is the aptly-named Bach D Major Orchestral Suite No. 3, commonly refered to as, Air. With this title in mind, keep breathing deeply through the next three poses.
3.) Downward Dog (Mukha Savasana) From Tabletop position, push backward and raise the hipbones into Downward Dog position. (I like to "pedal" my feet to stretch the hamstrings along with Bach's string section.)
4.) One-Legged, Downward Facing Dog, both sides From Downward Facing Dog, raise the right leg into the air behind you while the left heel reaches down to your mat. Stretch upward and downward, and repeat with opposite leg.
5.) Tabletop Position (Cakravakasana) Return to this position for one full breath in and out of the nose.
Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 21 Andante is the perfect finale for this gentle yet energizing yoga sequence.
6.) Extended Child's Pose (Uthita Balasana) From Tabletop position, bring your two big toes together and gently push your lower body back over your heels and extend your arms toward the front of the mat with forehead lightly touching the mat. Relax and enjoy the end of the Bach Suite.
7.) Seated Twist (Marichyasana III) From a seated position, extend one leg forward, then bend the other knee so it is pointed toward the ceiling. Take the opposite arm and reach around the knee either to hug it in to your chest and twist gently towards the bent knee, or place the elbow opposite of the bent knee outside the knee for a deeper twist. Lengthen upward on an inhale and then twist deeper from either position. Repeat with opposite leg and arm.
8.) Corpse Pose (Savasana) Repeat the previous poses as many times as desired or add more from your own knowledge until you are ready for the final rest pose.
Now that you have made it through about 15 minutes of relaxing yoga, check out this energizing video of sitar music by Anoushka Shankar; the daughter of the famous Ravi Shankar and an excellent musician in her own right.