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Sat Bir S Khalsa, Stephen Cope
Med Sci Monit 2006; 12(8): CR325-331
Background:Previous research has suggested that yoga and meditation practices are effective in stress management, alleviating anxiety and musculoskeletal problems and improving mood and cognitive and physical performance. Musicians experience a number of challenges in their profession including high levels of stress, performance anxiety and performance-related musculoskeletal conditions. Yoga and meditation techniques are therefore potentially useful practices for professional musicians.
Material/Methods: Musicians enrolled in a prestigious 2-month summer fellowship program were invited to participate in a regular yoga and meditation program at a yoga center during the course of the program. The 10 participants in the yoga program completed baseline and end-program questionnaires evaluating performance-related musculoskeletal conditions, performance anxiety, mood and flow experience. Fellows not participating in the yoga program were recruited to serve as controls and completed the same assessments (N=8).
Results:The yoga participants showed some improvements relative to control subjects on most measures, with the relative improvement in performance anxiety being the greatest.
Conclusions:The results from this preliminary study suggest that yoga and meditation may be beneficial as a routine practice to reduce performance anxiety in musicians.