Music is healing. It brings people together from different parts of the world and can sometimes lessen emotional pain by adding joy to many lives. Music is an expression of the soul and combined with yoga can be very powerful.
There is debate as to whether music should be incorporated into a yoga class, as playlists are becoming the norm. Practicing yoga without music is a way to connect to the breath and disconnect from the noise of the outside world. The peaceful atmosphere of practicing in a quiet room or listening to the natural sounds of the outdoors can beautifully serenade a yoga practice.
It is particularly beneficial to do yoga without music; however incorporating sound into a class can also be a wonderful addition. The perfect beat, with the right amount of vocals takes the practice up a notch. The power behind the pacing and beat as well as the lyrics expressed, is key. Compiling random songs together does not create the same effect as taking the time to choose the music.
In a group class, private or self-practice, one ideal strategy is to start without music. This approach allows the student to erase from the stress of the day. After a few moments of settling in, the addition of soft tones creates an atmosphere that establishes a blissful ambiance for class. Pop music or songs with a loud rock beat can become distracting and take away from the experience. Music with soul, smooth tones, and meaningful lyrics may ignite the energy in the room. Certain music creates intensity during a practice. It is especially noticeable at the peak of the class as it ads to the emotion and power.
Familiar pop music with vocals can become distracting as listening and anticipating the next lyric takes away from the moment. Searching for subtle music that floats freely into the background of the class offers the right amount of accompaniment.
If the practitioner has plateaued and wants that extra boost of fresh tunes in a class, look for creative ways to find new music. For example, movie soundtracks and music from television shows sometimes have indie artists or songs that are not in the mainstream. In the meantime, here is a list of 10 songs to inspire and re-ignite a yoga practice!
1.) “Dandelion”-The Atlas Amp– There are no lyrics in this song. The soft instrumentals and slow progression of additional beats and power is a perfect song to have in the beginning of the playlist.
2.) “Klingande”- Jubel- This is a fun track that would coincide nicely with a quick Sun Salutation B. A saxophone plays passionately during the majority of the song and gives the feeling of being on a beautiful island vacation.
3.) “Eastern Glow”- The Album Leaf– There are very few lyrics in this song but the consistent low beat and deep vocals can be played throughout any part of the asana practice.
4.) “Gooey”– Glass Animals– The singer’s voice, interesting lyrics, and rhythm of the beat creates a cool vibe when played during standing or balancing postures.
5.) “Warm Shadow”- Fink– This song has an intense sound throughout and beautiful vocals performed by the singer. It sets the tone for a strong and power filled practice.
6.) “No Less”- (featuring Louis M^ttrs) SG Lewis– There is a catchy beat and calming sound created by the vocals. It is similar to music played in a low-key lounge environment.
7.) “Rise up”- Andra Day– This incredible vocalist is reminiscent to the sounds of the late Amy Winehouse. Her soulful music, talented vocals, and inspiring words make it a desirable song to play during inversions or backbends.
8.) “Don’t lose your love”- Ivan & Alyosha- Pleasant and sweet, this song is perfect to play at the end of the practice when all of the hard work is over.
9.) “Enter one”- Sol Seppy– This 6-minute wonder can send the practitioner off to another planet or a restful sleep. “Enter one,” is a hard song to turn off before it is over.
10.) “Spiegel im Spiegel”- Arvo Part– This is also a long beautiful song at about 8 minutes with no vocals. It is similar to a sweet lullaby and also a great savasana song.
Music is a therapeutic and inspiring addition to a yoga practice. The choice to use music during yoga is dependent on the practitioner. Whether the student is listening to music or the sound of the breath, the musical element of yoga is just skimming the surface.