Earlier this evening, Liam and I skyped briefly with the members of Ensemble Interface that will be travelling out to Australia to work with us later this month (yes, it is September already). I’m getting really excited about it!
But naturally that excitement is balanced out by a host of other, less positive feelings – both emotional and physical. It was the physical that got me today. I was in a good head space this morning and stayed focussed and relaxed through meditation. But when I picked up my flute I was greeted with pains through my right shoulder and down my middle back. I tried all the correct stretches, but sometimes that just seems to aggravate the muscles further. Liam gave me a little massage, which helped, but I ended up only being able to practice in short bursts. I’m seeing my masseuse/muscular-skeletal therapist tomorrow, and will be taking my flute, so hopefully she can tell me all the things I’m doing wrong as well as fix me up.
It’s frustrating, because I’ve found recently that focussing on using the muscles in my lower back to support my playing has allowed my upper body to relax better, which means my sound production has in general seen a great improvement – but my neck and shoulder are still so full of calcified muscles and knots and very, very tight spots that it’s going to take more than just starting to use the right muscles to hold myself and support my sound.
Yoga has definitely been helping, and I should be practicing at home more regularly. The problem being that I feel sometimes it’s stealing from my limited flute practice time – it’s hard to strike the right balance.
Anyway, after skyping Interface I did get a bit of a burst of energy that seemed to melt away the pain, and played through Carter’s Scrivo, some segments of the Donatoni, and the Bach Partita. How much of the pain is mental? Is it – at least in part – just in my head?
One last thing in this stream-of-consciousness post – I got Kathy Patalsky‘s “365 Vegan Smoothies” out of the library, and now I’m going to be on another one-per-day blitz. I plan out food every week and eat pretty damn healthy (and, increasingly, entirely plant-based), but I don’t eat a lot of fruit actually. And I’m always trying to stuff meals with more greens, more good fats, more good stuff, and smoothies are a great way to get all of these things in. Kathy’s recipes look so very amazing. So I’m looking forward to a yummy smoothie every day!