And you thought classical musicians just sat and made music? Fitness is as important for them as for the rest of us

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Mohan Veena exponent

It is very necessary for a musician to keep fit, because we travel to about 25 cities in a month. I just played about 30 concerts in 80 days. One thing a musician cannot stick to is regular timings for food, but it is important to eat nutritious food and to burn calories. I walk regularly. Health has both the mental and physical aspects. I concentrate on the former. Music itself is like meditation, concentration and worship. I keep myself happy through music. I also do pranayam. Recitation of the syllable ‘Om’ is very good. It starts at the abdomen, rises to the chest, then the throat, the nose and the brain. By the time you utter the sound ‘m’ it reaches the kapaal.

Madhup Mudgal, Hindustani vocalist

Musicians who are physically fit are the better for it. Some musicians come to mind whose career would have gone further if they had been fitter. It was lack of fitness that brought on the early demise of Nusratji (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) and cut short a great career.

I do abdominal exercises and some for the knees. I try to go for walks, but cannot always be regular.

Arshad Khan, tabla exponent

This aspect comes before all else. Fitness should be 100 per cent. I exercise regularly, including yoga asanas and walking. Without this, my hands and feet tend to get jammed.

While playing the tabla, our arms are always held straight in front of us, without support. The shoulders take the strain. We need to exercise to compensate this.

AS TOLD TO ANJANA RAJAN

anjanar@thehindu.co.in

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