Yoga for Musicians


Portland State University


Course number: MUS 187

Class time: M/W from 9:00-9:50 AM in Lincoln Hall Room 321

Basic description: This introductory course to yoga will give an overview of yoga and some of its history, basic anatomy, and physical practice (asana) specifically applied to practicing musicians.

Key components of

Yoga for musicians

A student who successfully completes this course should have the information to:

  1. Participate in yoga classes with increasing nonjudgement
  2. Have written & reflected throughout the quarter on the effect yoga has had on their instrument/practice in weekly journal questions
  3. Have experienced at least 3 styles or traditions of yoga
  4. Be able to identify a few key muscles used in a specific yoga posture
  5. Be able to lead a short yoga asana/pranayama sequence
  6. Understand a little about the lineage of yoga and its differences in Western culture
  7. Have a cursory knowledge of the 7 primary Chakras and Ayurveda & Doshas Learning

Each week has a theme in this course, here are two example weeks (Week 3 & 7)

Reverse Warrior -  Viparita Virabhadrasana

Reverse Warrior - Viparita Virabhadrasana

Tree Pose -  Vrksasna

Tree Pose - Vrksasna

Week 3

Warriors & Strength, Doshas and AYURVEDA

In Week 3, we dive into exploring the warrior series (1, 2, 3, and all the variations, reverse, extended side angle, humble warrior, etc.).  There is also a brief discussion and exploration of Aryuveda through taking a Dosha quiz.  Doshas are a categorizing of three kinds of body/personality types: Vatta (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth)


Week 7

Standing postures,


Week 7 focuses Standing Balances and on falling/failure - how do we feel when we fall in a yoga posture or in life?  Musicians must fail constantly in order to grow and often face rejection - how do we deal with this?  Is it normal?  Healthy?  Good?  I would argue that it is the only way to learn, grow and become a better musician!

Extended Side Angle -  Utthita Parsvakonasana

Extended Side Angle - Utthita Parsvakonasana

Crow Pose -  Bakasana

Crow Pose - Bakasana

Standing at Attention -  Samasthiti

Standing at Attention - Samasthiti

“Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul
create the symphony of life.” 
― B.K.S. Iyengar
Wheel Pose -  Urdhva Dhanurasana

Wheel Pose - Urdhva Dhanurasana