Most people who know me know how much I love yoga. I only started exploring yoga after attending a day course on Piano Yoga led by Evegnia Chudinovich at Jaques Samuel Pianos in London back in 2017. I got her book (linked below) after the session and started to work my way through the exercises, its mainly aimed at pianists with smaller hands but can be used by anyone who wants to develop finger dexterity and flexibility.
I completely forgot about this book and yoga when I was in my first year at RWCMD. However, last year I rediscovered yoga and decided to attend a session provided by our Students Union after experiencing tightness coming back in my forearms, an ongoing problem for me and many other pianists I know.
I can honestly say that yoga has changed the way I think about using my body at the piano. I often use yoga stretches to warm up and cool down in my practice sessions which is invaluable when practising or playing for 4-6 hours a day. It keeps the body and mind refreshed which is great for your general wellbeing.
Each week I’d like to share some of the stretches I find most helpful, only do what you are most comfortable with and most importantly enjoy!
Hand wrist and forearm twist
- Start by having your arms facing down
- Cross your right arm over your left, palms facing together
- Link your fingers together
- Pull your hands in toward your chest and bring them up
- Gently pull down using your wrists, this may take some practice if you are particularly tight
- Repeat with the left arm over the right
You should feel a stretch along the top of your wrist, down your index finger and through your forearm. It’s important to keep this stretch nice and gentle because you’re stretching the small intrinsic muscles in the hand.
Make sure that you breathe steadily during any stretch you do as it helps the muscles to relax even further.
Piano Yoga – https://www.piano-yoga.com/whatsinsidepianoyogabook