YOGA & MEDITATION: Practice, Application, and Benefits for Artists featuring Carolyn and Donny of Dinosoul

A New Series!

Guess what? Today we’re debuting a brand new series! A video series! Artists share with us what they do in their daily lives to support their art. Artists share activities that help them be better musicians and performers, routines that increase their creativity and productivity, or ideas that help them feel whole so that they have the fortitude to dig down deep and express themselves. In this series, we take a peek into the lives of artists – they show us what they do to support their art and we learn from them. Get ready!

Carolyn and Donny of Dinosoul

I heard Carolyn and Donny of Pittsburgh, PA-based dark pop, indie rock band Dinosoul speaking on Petticoat Rule (a podcast about women and creativity) earlier this year. They talked a bit about their Kundalini yoga and meditation practices and how that connected with their music. I contacted them right away! I wanted to learn more about how these practices supported their art and ask if they’d be willing to demonstrate some of these practices here. They were enthusiastically on board. They wanted to share the benefits with other artists!

Trevor filming Carolyn and Donny of Dinosoul during the Meditation for the Fifth Chakra chant.

This summer, Trevor and I toted all the video and sound equipment to their home for an interview and some demonstrations. Our initial plan was an interview and some brief demonstrations – just hints of what they do in their yoga and meditation practices. It quickly became clear to all of us that these practices were best shown in full, and we were glad to capture them! The energy in the room was incredibly positive and inspiring. Carolyn and Donny are skilled practitioners.

Yoga and Meditation: Practice, Application, and Benefits for Artists

So here we are. Ready to share with you how yoga and meditation support Carolyn’s and Donny’s art in hopes that you, too, may benefit in some way. Learn something, try it, be inspired!

Interview with Carolyn and Donny of Dinosoul

Here is our interview with Carolyn and Donny! It was fascinating talking with them about how yoga and meditation inform the spirit of their band and support not only creativity but productivity and performance. Touring, marketing, practicing…for them there’s nothing that yoga and meditation doesn’t touch (and make better) in some way.

Demonstration of Kundalini Yoga Kriya and Meditation Chant with Carolyn and Donny of Dinosoul

In Kundalini Yoga, a kriya is a set of movements and breaths that are performed in sequence to achieve a specific outcome. Here Carolyn demonstrates Nabhi Kriya for Prana-Apana. This kriya creates balance and openness (it’s also good for strengthening your digestive system and alleviating mild depression). Carolyn demonstrates the entire set with grace. Here are written instructions.

Next, Carolyn and Donny demonstrate the Meditation for the Fifth (Throat) Chakra. In Kundalini Yoga, mantras are considered to be very powerful – they are sounds that affect consciousness. This mantra chant is beautiful to listen to, uplifting to sing, and supports the throat chakra (which – Carolyn and Donny explain – supports singing, effective communication, and performance)! The mantra starts at 38:20. Here are written instructions.

Demonstration of Vipassana Meditation with Donny of Dinosoul

Vipassana, or “to see things as they really are,” is an ancient technique of meditation that supports self-transformation through self-observation. Here Donny demonstrates the Vipassana Meditation method. This body scan meditation is incredibly grounding, and the method Donny skillfully demonstrates for us is very accessible. Its purpose is to create consciousness within your body – to be present in your body without distraction.

Some Thoughts on Yoga and Meditation

While yoga and meditation are interwoven into many religious traditions, we need not be religious – or practice a specific religion – to practice them. The techniques and methods Carolyn and Donny demonstrated can be used effectively by anyone.

In Kundalini Yoga, many kriyas and meditations involve movement, quickened breathing, and chanting which invoke feelings of moving upward into the ether. This uplifting and energetic form of meditation works well for Carolyn. On the other hand, many Buddhist meditations involve deep silence and stillness which invokes feelings of moving inward into the physical body. This grounding form of meditation works well for Donny. Try them and see what works best for you!

What Will You Do with What You Know?

Carolyn and Donny explained to us how yoga and meditation practice supports their art. They showed us a full Kundalini Yoga kriya to support balance and openness, a mantra meditation to open up your throat chakra, and a body scan meditation to increase awareness of your body. Yoga and meditation may not be for you, but then again…they may be. We hope you’ve learned something – or at least considered something – new. We hope you’ve felt inspired.

We’re so thankful to Carolyn and Donny for welcoming us into their home and sharing their practices with all of us. Be well!

You can find more videos from Of Music and Mind on our new YouTube channel. If you like what we’re doing, please support us by telling others about us!