MEDITATE WITH YOUR CELLO - Any Level -
A Daily 5 Min Exercise
I. MEDITATION VS RELAXATION
During meditation your mind stays alert and focused whereas when relaxing, it wanders uncontrollably.
Your meditation time can be preceed by a relaxation time in order to release the non useful tensions in your body.
II. WHY MEDITATION?
Meditation helps to create a good balance between the thinking and the emotional side of the brain.
It will make you more aware of your breathing, your body in general, being aware of the moment.
Meditation helps you connect with the part of you brain related to your intuition and imagination, it is rather receptive than active. When we are in a receptive state, the brain emits slower electrical patterns called alpha waves. Most people spend about only one hour in the alpha state per day, it is the time just before falling asleep and /or right after sleeping.
It helps to be fully present in the moment before the sensations become analyzed/interpreted by the brain.
III. CELLO MEDITATION EXERCISE
(between 5 and 10 min max)
Meditation takes time and practice. You only need to meditate for a few minutes at a time but in order to make progress, you should try to meditate regularly. I find it to be the perfect warm up exercise.
There are thousands of different meditation exercises, this is the one I created for cello playing and the one share with my students.
Stand in front of your chair and feel your verticality
Exhale as much as you can, you will then inhale naturally. While you inhale, lift your arms, Exhale slowly while you bring your arms down (repeat 3 times).
Seat on the Edge of the Seat - in your "sit bones"
note: sitting should never be static, it can be detrimental to your health and your muscles, keep breathing!
Take your cello and install it preferably without moving too much your feet, your right arm is resting on your right leg with your bow in your arm. (you can keep your left hand on your leg during this whole exercise)
Before playing, focus on your breathing, do not try to control it, observe it, let your body breathe the way it needs, close your eyes and look upwards at 20-25 degree angle towards the center of forehead until you reach a point where both of your eyes will become still and motionless (also called the third eye). (about two minutes)
Keep breathing and bring the tip of your bow to the G string, exhale.
Start inhaling while playing your up bow, regulate the speed of your bow to your breathing, observe, do not control. Feel the air coming in through your nose, let your body breathe.
You will inhale on G (up) and exhale on D (down) during the time you need, a few minutes is already a good start.
Once you feel like coming back from this meditation state, take the bow out of the strings, and rest your arm on your right leg, breathe in and out 3 times, meanwhile bring your eyes back from the 20/25 angle, and when you feel ready, open your eyes, let your body move, shoulder , back, don't be too static.
I recommend to repeat this exercise every day before you start practicing, it will become easy and natural. You will then be able to do the same thing while playing/performing...
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