“Yoga has gradually become one of the very most important things in my technical practice and physical preparation, and also for my mental focus and breathing control before going onstage. As a trumpet player, of course breathing is important, but people underestimate how much breath control determines a large part of one’s success as a brass soloist. Stamina, nerves, coordination and sound quality are all vastly improved if we are able to consciously control our breathing technique — and under pressure. I would literally never attempt a full evening solo recital or a concerto performance without some form of
"I would highly recommend Intermission to all performing artists everywhere. I was fortunate enough to participate in the inaugural Intermission Retreat and I came away with an incredibly strong feeling that it helped me in just about all areas of my life without exaggeration. It is a total mind, body, and soulful experience. Do not miss out!!"
-Daniel Matsukawa, principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra
yoga that day. Of course, yoga is not just about breathing, but all the many benefits we know it can bring to our physical and mental well-being, which align themselves perfectly with what we constantly aspire to do as musicians — to detach from the physical demands in order to raise ourselves, and therefore our listeners, to a higher plane. Yoga helps us discover this, and I would highly endorse any kind of opportunity to further improve the linking of the disciplines of yoga and classical music performance of every kind.”
-Alison Balsom, international trumpet soloist
“Practicing yoga has improved my breathing, my balance, my concentration, and my emotional equilibrium: all incredibly useful to me as a musician. I would recommend it to anyone.”
-Jonathan Biss, international piano soloist
"Joseph Joachim was quoted as saying, 'There are three ingredients that comprise success as an artist: talent, character and health IN EQUAL PROPORTION.' It has been my experience, over a period of many years, that there is more truth to that than what might be immediately apparent."
-David Cerone, world-renowned violinist and pedagogue
“I started doing yoga a couple of years ago and immediately found an enormous difference in my body awareness, my sense of alignment, and also the kind of core strength that your muscles need — all of these things are so incredibly important to play your instrument as well as possible! We do a lot of contortions and things that are very awkward when we play our instruments, and a lot of the time we don’t then take care of how to counter that. For young musicians to be doing a program which actually combines yoga and all of its elements with high-level music-making, I think that’s a gift. I only wish I had the opportunity to do that when I was younger.”
-Nicola Benedetti, international violin soloist
“Yoga has transformed my life experience for the better. Through yoga, I discovered meditation. The meditation for me was the x-factor in winning three auditions in a row!!! The actual practice of yoga helps me specifically with breathing and concentration, especially with concentration. After taking yoga class my lungs are so stretched and oxygenated I go to play my trumpet and it's like I'm barely trying. The ease of playing is quite astounding. Maybe it’s all the fresh air to the brain, but the biggest thing practicing yoga does for me is improve my focus and concentration.”
-Billy Hunter, principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
“I find yoga to be such an important part in my life as a violinist. It has not only helped with stretching and strengthening my muscles but it has also improved my mental clarity and reduced anxiety. Perhaps my favorite thing about going to a yoga class is that no matter how challenging it feels at the time, I always leave with a sense of peace and inner calmness.”
-Bella Hristova, international violin soloist