Roman Kushniarou, musician and yoga teacher

Solstice at the Rhein river, 21.06.2012
Solstice at the Rhein river, 21.06.2012

I was born 1985 in the capital of Belarus, Minsk. I started to play clarinet at the age of seven, because my parents loved and played music, and they passed that love on to me. After the music school I went to the music college for gifted children and graduated with distinction in 2004. But rather than enjoying my school prom I auditioned at the entrance examination at Cologne’s High School of Music and Dance in Germany the same day. In Cologne I studied classical clarinet from 2004 to 2009 with Prof. Ralph Manno, who has inspired and encouraged me a lot.

Numerous scholarships and grants also supported my learning process: the Cologne Gymnasial- and Stiftungsfonds, the Cologne High school Committee for promoting talented students, the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the Werner Richard- Dr. Carl Dörken Foundation - they all gave me the opportunity for serious study and frequent performance. Eventually I won several international competitions, played a number of piano recitals and solo concerts with symphonic orchestras, regularly joined master classes and participated in a variety of music projects. Many of those projects did not necessarily revolve around classical music, but dealt with sound experiments, including electronic, jazz, "vital" pop, and, most of all, the so-called ethno-world-fusion-sounds.

Especially the freedom in spontaneous improvisation has gradually inspired me since I began to approach jazz-standards and to play jam sessions at the age of 17 in Minsk. Today, 10 years later, I try to combine rare, beautiful classical works for clarinet and piano with jazz and free improvisation elements in my recitals, sometimes using wind instruments like overton flutes, Belarus bagpipe or Vietnamese Jew’s harp. I also play a lot of world fusion music - for example with Kurdish, Iranian or Croatian singers. That makes my work both more diverse and more integrative at the same time. The same applies to Yoga.

 

The principle of unity is the principle of Yoga.

Today we can experience life in its endlessly different manifestations of wholeness.

I have been exploring this holistic approach through Yoga since 2006. Yoga is one of the most efficient ways to enhance the power of body, mind and spirit, making life more conscious and one’s lifestyle more sustainable. After having completed the basic Hatha Yoga teacher-training 2009 in Cologne, I have been over and over joining further education courses. In my teaching concept I try to impart the approach of uniting one's body, breathing and soul also for basic daily activities, such as biking, cleaning, or making music intuitively.

One of the techniques I use is expressing one’s mood with colors, or with certain tools like the ancient Greek "modi" scales. Over time, dorian, frygian or mixolydian scales have become an essential part of my music teaching concept. They help me to make my students acquainted with free improvisation, as a way to make and to experience music. All of my classical music students between 8 and 65 years of age have been able to understand, feel and enjoy this free inspiration. It can bring one into a certain state of trance and meditation, in which time and sorrows dissolve.

By approaching different schools of yoga and other disciplines like Pilates, Qi-Gong, Thai Yoga massage or shamanism=nature-connected rituals, I have been trying to understand the common principles of healing processes. My latest attempt is to find out how the combination of yoga and music making can come together and enhance each other.

 

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