skip to main content

Musicians’ Yoga Essentials Course

MU members have free access to this specially commissioned yoga course designed by MU member and yoga teacher Veronika Klírová.

Created especially for musicians, the course consists of the following sections:

  • Orientation – short videos introducing the course and a yoga practice
  • Shoulder and wrist savers – short exercises to help look after your wrists and shoulders during the yoga classes
  • Connect with your breath – short videos concentrating on lungs, diaphragm, and belly breathing
  • Release tension and help prevent injury – more in-depth videos looking at your neck, shoulders, upper back, core, jaw, and lower back
  • Find calm and foster resilience – a collection of short and longer videos focussing on performance anxiety, rest, and self-compassion
  • Bonus content – extra videos covering lower back, pre- and post-performance routines, meditations and box breathing

The course has been designed to follow in order, or if you’re more experienced with yoga or have a specific interest, you can pick out a video in any order without having had to complete the others before it.

Start the course

About the teacher

Veronika is a flute player at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a yoga teacher for musicians, and a passionate performance wellbeing advocate. She completed her first yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India in 2018 and has been teaching and further educating herself on this subject ever since. She is the creator of Musicians’ Yoga with Veronika and through her classes, workshops and private sessions, helps professional musicians avoid injury and burnout so that they can enjoy sustainable careers staying connected to their love of music.

She has delivered Musicians’ Yoga sessions for the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Flute Summer School and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Veronika’s first online course - Musicians’ Yoga Essentials - is also a start of a collaboration with the Musicians’ Union.

Visit Musicians’ Yoga with Veronika website and follow the Facebook page.

Feldenkrais Method for musicians

MU members can access free weekly online Feldenkrais sessions. Registration is required. Members can access recordings of these sessions by emailing wellbeing@themu.org.

The Feldenkrais Method is based on sound principles of neuroplasticity, physics and physiology, optimising brain connections with our skeleton, muscles and soft tissues.

Benefits of using the Feldenkrais Method include:

  • Reduce tension, pain and discomfort
  • Be the musician within that you know you can be.
  • Improve your stage presence and posture
  • Reduce anxiety both on and off stage
  • Discover easier breathing and movement
  • Find greater ease and freedom in your musical expression

Neuroscientists such as Norman Doidge have shown that the brain is able to re-wire and constantly keep learning throughout life, contrary to old ideas that we stop learning when we are adult. You can change how you are, and how you move at any age, if you understand how to `re-wire' your nervous system and commit a little time and effort to the process.

Habitual patterns or movements, embedded in our nervous system, often become outmoded or dysfunctional, creating unnecessary limitations. They can cause pain, tension, amplify performance anxiety, and stage fright – or just not allow you to play at the top of your game.

Through this unique combination of explorative movement and learning greater physical self-awareness you will discover and develop your ability to move ‘intelligently’. This will improve your posture, strength and flexibility in the way you move and play.

Learn more about how Feldenkrais benefits musicians.

About the teacher

Emma Alter is both professional viola player and Feldenkrais Method teacher. She brings a wealth of experience – understanding the pressures of standing in front of an audience, and performing at the highest level, whatever the situation. She understands the complexities of being a musician, and how our mind and body can get in the way of performing optimally.

Emma has been teaching the Feldenkrais Method since 2013. She's helped hundreds of musicians improve their posture, restricted movement, chronic tension, shoulder and back pain, RSI, self image, and anxiety. Emma is passionate about working with musicians, helping musicians be more comfortable playing, and easier in their own skin, so they can enjoy performing more without injury or pain.

She has taught for the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine, Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Future Talent (charity for Young Musicians), Musical-U (online Coaching course for Musicians) and The British Army. Emma has been teaching for the Musicians Union since 2016.

More recently Emma has been running online courses for Musicians, “Reducing Anxiety, improving Stage Presence”. In these Emma teaches about anxiety from a physical standpoint, giving a toolbox of resources for those dealing with anxiety, no matter what stage of the profession they’re in.

Visit Emma’s Feldenkrais website, and follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Book your Feldenkrais session

Meditation based on Ascension meditation techniques

MU members can access free weekly online meditation sessions

In each of these weekly Meditation sessions, Shukri Devi provides insight to a particular aspect of the musician's lifestyle, career and the difficulties the mind can often create during practice and performance. This is followed by a guided meditation and questions are encouraged afterwards.

Shukri Devi will share techniques to help take you to the still, silent space in each of us. These weekly sessions are an introduction to this still, silent space.

About the teacher

Shukri Devi has been a professional violinist for over 20 years. She has toured extensively across the world with a variety of different groups, from chamber/symphony orchestras to pop artists, and now works predominantly in the West End. Her current show is & Juliet in the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Shukri has been meditating for ten years & became a teacher of her practice in 2016.

Visit Meditation Changes Lives on Instagram and Facebook.

Book your meditation

Mental health training

Tonic Rider is a programme from the registered charity Tonic Music for Mental Health with the aim of promoting good mental health in the music industry by providing bespoke training and support.

Courses, groups and workshops are led by facilitators with experience working in mental health and music, each using a non-clinical approach to equip music industry professionals with the skills to support themselves, their colleagues and the wider music community.

Explore Tonic Rider programme and resources

Upcoming events

Last chance to book

Last chance to book

Last chance to book

Last chance to book

11 Mar 2024

Guided Meditation

An extremely efficient and powerful meditation practice, based on Ascension meditation techniques.

Online Member only
Read more about Guided Meditation

Upcoming