Yoga and string playing: …And breathe…

yoga tadasana

There is a close connection between yogic principles and string playing technique, says cellist Ruth Phillips, who illustrates this with postures chosen in collaboration with her colleague Jane Fenton, and reveals how both Pablo Casals and yoga guru Vanda Scaravelli have informed her musical ideas

Reflecting on forty-odd years of making music – whether in the basement of a Cornish fisherman’s cottage or in prestigious concert halls – I realise that my teachers, my teachers’ teachers, the musicians who have touched me and, in turn, their teachers, all spring from one source: Pablo Casals. My yoga practice also returns to a single person, the Italian teacher Vanda Scaravelli. What attracts me to both figures is that they draw constantly on natural principles, such as breath, gravity and the wave. I have often thought how much they would have liked one another had they met.

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