Lora Hogan > Yoga  > Did playing the flute ruin my back?

Did playing the flute ruin my back?

I think the little girl did it.

In the music room.

With the flute!!

I found my flute in my closet at my parent’s house.

First of all, go me! I can still play the flute–and some rather hard music, at that. (I had to try.) Do do do deet deet! I am an amazing flute player extraordinaire. Actually, I must have been way better than I remember, because playing now ten years later, I definitely did not suck.  Maybe I should use some flute music in my yoga classes?

Second of all, wowza to my shoulders, neck, and back! I had some pretty impressive insight to how my left shoulder was encouraged to be so high–and the scoliosis “C-curve” on my right side.  Definitely relates to my “One of these things is not like the other” leg length difference. My pelvis may be off (or my leg off) from other causes, but I am pretty positive that my flute playing made my torso shorter and my scoliosis worse. I have photographic evidence of imbalances before fifth grade, so I can’t actually blame the flute for my scoliosis–but I am sure it was not the best for it. (And I certainly never stretched before or after playing my instrument! Who does that!?!? Probably should have…..)

I was an excellent flute player in my day.  I still remember, way back in 5th grade, I wanted to play the trombone. They told me I couldn’t. Not because I was a girl, I’d like to point out. But because, quite frankly, I was so small, there was no way I could physically carry the trombone or reach all the positions.

So I picked up the flute.

Just looking at the flute, however, you can see that it is not the best for the posture or the back.  The flute is entirely asymmetrical and, by the very shape of the instrument, promotes imbalance in the body.

Here’s my flute:

My flute. And my gorgeous trunk. Both at my parent’s house.

See the shape? The mouth-piece is at the far left (center of the face and placed at the mid-line of the body) and the rest of the three-piece instrument extends out to the right.

In doing some googling, I found that flute players who have scoliosis tendencies will find that the flute will increase symptoms and increase the back deformity. Interesting, no? If paired with pre-existing leg differences, poor posture, it’s really no wonder my left shoulder only grew HIGHER and HIGHER than my right. Also, my left shoulder holds WAYYYY more tension than the right, as it tries to compensate for my imbalance.
What do you think? Could my childhood flute playing have played a key part in my current back and pelvis issues?
I will have to develop a yoga sequence for flute players.  If I see the imbalance after not playing for a decade (but I did play for a good decade before that and practiced regularly), I can only imagine what imbalances professionals must suffer from today!!!

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