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Adams Approach

The Adams Approach was developed by Jason Adams as a method to provide therapy for injured musicians. The three main aspects of the approach include: yoga, massage therapy, and postural education.


The development of the Adams approach

The Adams Approach is designed for professional musicians to overcome the rigors of performance and practice. The Adams Approach works with musicians who are under intense physical and mental strain—such as classical violinists who practice/perform hours a day, pro guitarists with shoulder problems/spinal injuries, and more chronic and localized injuries like Temporomandibular joint disorder or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Early history

At the age of 20, Jason Adams sustained a low-back injury--a vertebral subluxation--in the lumbar spine. Turning to yoga as a means towards strengthening his back's muscular structure and flexibility, he was able to avoid lumbar surgery. During the next few years, while studying music performance as a graduate student, Adams began incorporating yoga into his musical practice, focusing on improving breath capacity and postural alignment of the spine. With this perspective, Adams began offering Yoga for Musicians lectures and clinics. By incorporating massage therapy techniques and the encouragement of postural awareness, the Adams Approach soon developed into therapeutic system that assists musicians in performance and practice.

Components of the Adams approach


With hatha yoga's emphasis on balance and proper alignment, and the advantages of incorporating meditation & breathing exercises, yoga is used to help improve musical performances by increasing lung capacity, relaxation, and improving blood circulation[1].

A session incorporating yoga includes a combination of meditation/concentration, pranayama, & asanas:

Meditation exercises

Meditation/Concentration exercises (including Mantras, Tratakam)

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises (Pranayama)

Hatha yoga

Physical exercises/Asanas (Hatha yoga)

Instrumental/vocal incorporation

Specific work with the individual's instrument

Massage therapy

Massage therapy techniques are used to increase relaxation and remove restrictions throughout the body. Soothing the body into a balanced, tension-free state, a musician's body & mind can then be uninhibited, allowing for more expressive musical performances.

Specifically, benefits of massage include[2][3][4][5]:

  • provide pain relief
  • improve posture/body mechanics/range of motion
  • reduce muscular tension headaches
  • improve blood & lymph circulation
  • increase joint flexibility
  • enhance immunity
  • relax & soften injured, tired, and overused muscles
  • release endorphins (the body's natural painkiller)
  • stress relief
  • improving repetitive stress injuries (including injuries affecting musicians like carpal tunnel syndrome & Temporomandibular joint disorder)
  • improving respiratory function (decreasing ribcage & diaphragm restrictions)

Postural education

As the musician performs a musical excerpt, the Approach analyzes instrument-specific postural tendencies. According to Adams,[6] maintaining a properly aligned spinal column allows many of the body's functions to transpire with ease. Some of the benefits include: an increase in lung capacity, increased relaxation, reduced stress, and improved circulation of blood and energy. Keeping the spine in proper alignment will allow the lungs to be unhindered and able to expand to their capacity. The body is no longer putting extra weight against the lungs, which enables you to breathe more easily. As this alignment improves the respiratory system, less stress is placed on the body, which can help to make you more relaxed. An often forgotten aspect of alignment is its effect on the flow of blood and energy. The spinal alignment affects the ease or difficulty with which blood flows throughout the body to all of the various parts. It is important to ensure that oxygen and nutrients are reaching the brain and all other areas of the body.


Individual Adams Approach sessions usually last 90 minutes, and small group sessions are also utilized for similar instrumental groups. The Approach claims to be ideal for the following musicians[7] vocalists (Pop/Rock/Musical Theater/Opera), guitarists, woodwinds, strings, drummers/percussion, piano, and brass.


  1. ^ Adams, Jason. “Yoga for Saxophonists, Part One.” Saxophone Journal 29.2 (March/April), 2005.
  2. ^ Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals public education massage therapy site
  3. ^ National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  4. ^ Touch Research Institute, University of Miami
  5. ^
  6. ^ Adams, Jason. “Yoga for Saxophonists, Part One.” Saxophone Journal 29.2 (March/April), 2005.
  7. ^ The Adams Approach
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Adams_Approach". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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