Health checkup: Yoga and music

Whitney Shroyer; photo courtesy of Shroyer

Editor’s note: The following Q&A is one of several featured in this week’s Wellness, Part 2 issue.

Whitney Shroyer, a certified yoga instructor, co-owns Purna Yoga 828 in West Asheville. He is also a local DJ, performing at several venues around town, as well as on Asheville FM. He speaks with Xpress about self-care, music’s role in health care and the respect he has for the history and tradition of yoga.

How central is yoga to your pursuit of wellness?

Asana and pranayama keep me flexible, smooth out my physical misalignments and keep my nervous system on an even keel. But it’s the “mind-body connection” created by a complete yoga practice that’s central to my ideas of self-care. The longer I’ve studied yoga, the more the artificial distinction between “thinking me,” “physical me” and “creative me” dissolves, and the more integrated I feel in all aspects of my life and in the world around me.

What role does music play in wellness?

I don’t listen to music while I practice or play music when I teach. For me, music erases the distinction between the mind, body and spirit. When music connects to me as a listener, I have a physical, emotional and intellectual experience all at once. Music changes mood, affects the nervous system, inspires movement, evokes memory. It enlivens the core energetic self — it gets you in your soul. Music is its own wellness practice.

What are some common misconceptions that people have about yoga and its relationship to wellness?

There’s a common misconception that yoga is on one hand just exercise, and on the other hand an empty New Age embrace of bogus enlightenment. But for me, a yoga practice is an ancient Indian system of spiritual growth and evolution with both practical and esoteric goals. As a teacher, I work to stay aware that yoga is a tradition I have adopted that has millennia-old roots that need to be tended and respected.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.