What do you think about music in yoga class?
It’s actually controversial in some circles; I know my asana teacher would only use the most simple tabla music (if anything at all!) and thought anything else was just distraction.
So it took me a while to be okay with my own personal style; but eventually, I realized, it’s okay — I like music; usually loud, crazy music.
At least most of the time.
I also absolutely adore a class with complete silence; just the huge, pulsing vibration of a group of like-minded people breathing. Though usually that requires experienced yogis to create a comfortable-breathing-deeply-spiritually-connected-but-in-our-own-experience-in-a big-ole-room-of-strangers vibe.
But let me tell you — when it happens? That is awesome; incredible. If you’ve ever been to a class where the breaths are counted (at a good deep-but-reasonable-pace) that is a singular experience that truly reminds you of that song that modifies the Biblicl quote “whenever two or more of you are gathered in my name there is love.”
But for me; and for many of my students; music helps break me out of my regular life; it sets a certain vibration, a beat; a toe tapping, head boppin’ rhythm. I know students tend to hold poses in a static way, but when I practice on my own or in a class, I MOVE, I groove, I pulse; it feels natural to me.
Love to close my eyes, find the music in my muscles, my cells; practice like no one is looking, you know?
Steve Ross, my original guru, always played the best music in class; and my style of yoga is similar to him; my music is who I am — intense, thoughtful; moving through some stuff. And my playlists (if you listen carefully) can tell you a lot about where I am, who I am, what I’m processing.
For example, here’s the playlist from the day my ex-husband moved out of the house.
Yeah, I remember it; it was an intense day, for me and my children:
Xotica — Kinetik — Phutureprimative
Digging in the Dirt — Us — Peter Gabriel
Bedroom Hymns — Ceremonials — Florence + The Machine
I’m Not Driving Anymore (Remix) — I’m Not Driving Anymore – Rob Dougan
Set Fire to the Rain — 21 — Adele
In the End — Hybrid Theory — Linkin Park
Where is the Edge — The Unforgiving — Within Temptation
Karuna — Star of the Sea — Stellamara
Story of Pingala — Dasi: Prayers by Women — Karnamrita
Power of Forgiveness — Beyond — Tina Turner
Shri Vidya — Grace is the Name of the Game — Steve Ross
Summer of 2012? Linkin Park; like, LOTS of Linkin Park. This Summer, a little more dance-y music; a little slower, deeper, smoother pace. And some great retro stuff from my childhood; a favorite recent class:
Dream On — Aerosmith — Aerosmith
Ready, Steady, Go — Bunkka — Paul Oakenfold
Lights (Bassnectar Remix) — Divergent Spectrum — Ellie Goulding
Promises (Remixes) — EP — The Presets
Paradise — Mylo Xyloto — Coldplay
Red Rain — Hit — Peter Gabriel
Revolution — The Nu Nation Project — Kirk Franklin
Rama Bolo — Maha Moha: The Great Delusion — Wade Imre Morissette
Kyrie Eleison — The Seven Valleys — Stellamara
Dust in the Wind — The Best of Kansas — Kansas
Pure Essence — Sadhana — Maneesh De Moor
Holy Harmony — Holy Harmony — Jonathan Goldman and Sarah Benson
By the way, my new savasana music, Holy Harmony, listed above, is amazing; truly magical; check it out, it’s a super long track, great for relaxing and breathing and connecting.
So whatever vibration you attune to — rock, classical, electronic; the pulse of your heartbeat; the sound of the birds outside your window; yoga is meant to bring you into the moment; to bring you joy, happiness, peace, contentment.
Whatever facilitates that, DO it.