Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moving to the Music

We all know that there are 101 ways of practising (and teaching) yoga.  Now more than ever yoga is kind of a free-for-all, with something for everyone, from naked yoga in Hawaii to yoga with your dog.  And somewhere in between, there is yoga with music.

Different styles embrace different techniques, and music is no exeption.  An absolute no-no in Iyengar classes, music is becoming a must for the Vinyasa Flow style.  And then, of course, there's the ever-so-exiting new trend of practicing yoga to live music, which you can find more and more (at least, in America) from small classrooms to huge yoga festivals.

Last week the rocking Misanthropic Yogini posted about the challenges as a teacher of making yoga playlists for her classes, here.  A great discussion followed, and the overall synopsis seemed to be fairly neutral: few people expressed strong opinions either way.  The consensus seemed to be that good yoga is good yoga, no matter what the soundtrack.

I use music in my vinyasa classes and while my own practice is mostly without music I do use it to drown out the occasional distracting ambient noise and enjoy it.  For teaching I have about 10 playlists organized by tempo and duration (e.g. "mellow 1.2 hours") that I use in my classes, and every now and then I resuffle them.

Recently though I have been craving new music and sadly have been fairly disappointed by the compilations I've bought. :(  My last 5 albums have been pretty much busts - albums that I'm struggling to find even 1 or 2 songs that I can use in my classes!  This has got me down to no end...

So, if you practice vinyasa and love moving to the music... Any recommendations?


  1. Hey Gypsy, thanks for the link! As for the music, I'd be at a total loss if it weren't for the boyfriend's extensive music collection. He has tons of eclectic world music, with or without lyrics, that I've been digging through for my class playlists, so I got lucky there. I really like to use music with strings, especially cello and bass tones, or African desert blues.

  2. A few suggestions which you may or may not like:

    Autumn Leaves
    Boards of Canada
    Explosions in the Sky
    Ray LaMontagne
    Broken Social Scene
    Bebel Gilberto
    Joao Gilberto

    Check them out on Amazon, and let me know what you think. Best of luck finding music!


  3. Good blog. See extensive related discussion at Eminem in My Yoga Class on Elephant Journal.

    Bob Weisenberg

  4. Thanks so much for the suggestions and links!

  5. MC Yogi has some awesome hip-hop/rap yoga music that I love to hear in yoga class.
    Check out - you can input a music genre or a musician you like and they continue to play music that is of a similar style by different artists. It's a great way to listen to different artists and check out songs before you download them.
    I love a good playlist in my yoga class and prefer modern music. Good luck in your quest for the perfect yoga playlist.