The Power of Practice

How Music and Yoga Transformed the Life and Work of Yehudi Menuhin

By Kristin Wendland

Subjects: Music, Religion, Buddhism, Yoga
Series: SUNY Press Open Access
Hardcover : 9781438496030, 202 pages, January 2024
Paperback : 9781438496047, 202 pages, July 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-07-02

Alternative formats available from:

Open access edition available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Yoga Terms and Translations
Introduction: Yehudi Menuhin and Yoga

1. Soul Connection: Menuhin’s Yoga Practice with B. K. S. Iyengar

2. Early Influences and Career: Menuhin’s Path to Embracing Yoga

3. Yoga Path of Action: Menuhin’s Musical Performances and Yoga Advocacy

4. Yoga Path of Knowledge: Menuhin’s Teachings and Writings

5. Yoga Path of Devotion: Menuhin’s Philosophical and Spiritual Beliefs

Epilogue: Menuhin’s Legacy

Situates yoga practice within a musical context in the life and work of famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin


The Power of Practice showcases the pioneering achievements of renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-99) and how both disciplines transformed his life and practice. Menuhin's contributions as a performer, teacher, and humanitarian are celebrated around the world. Less well known, however, is Menuhin's devotion to the practice of yoga and his close friendship with the renowned yogi B. K. S. Iyengar (1918–2014), whose guidance profoundly influenced Menuhin as both a musician and a philanthropist. Menuhin applied his understanding of Iyengar's teachings to his philosophy of musical practice, creating new ways to approach the teaching of violin technique. He also took broader lessons from yoga to inform his approach to interacting with the larger world as a cultural ambassador and influential artist. Through the lens of the life and work of the celebrated violinist and devoted yogi, this book uncovers deep connections between music and yoga. It shows how the practice of both disciplines can profoundly transform our world into a better place.

This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward
an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of American
Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research
Libraries—and the generous support of Emory University and the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation. Learn more at the TOME website, available at: A
manifold version of this title can be accessed here: It can also be found in the SUNY Open Access Repository at

Kristin Wendland is Teaching Professor in the Department of Music at Emory University. She is the author (with Kacey Link) of Tracing Tangueros: Argentine Tango Instrumental Music.


"Beautifully written by a musician and practicing yogi, this book is both scholarly and easy to read while providing a comprehensive and detailed overview of a musician's life, well lived and greatly enhanced by an active yoga practice and the study of yoga philosophy." — Lesley McAllister, Baylor University School of Music

"A highly readable account of Iyengar and his teachings' lasting impact on Menuhin and Menuhin’s legacy." — Suzanne Newcombe, The Open University