Music in Yoga Classes: Yay or Nay?

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”
― Plato

The first time I heard a song I knew playing in a yoga class I was totally surprised by it. It actually distracted me.  What is this? I thought. I know this song….it has words.   I was used to associating yoga music with instrumental songs, chants, nature sounds or anything of the Kirtan variety.  It was soothing and evoked nature and peacefulness.    I always preferred practicing in class with music but it belonged in the background.  I suppose I had this opinion because that was what I was used to in yoga class. I no longer feel this way.  In the past few years I have discovered that music can enhance my practice.

A few months ago I was in a class when the Pandora station suddenly changed from the yoga- like one to a different station.  It was a fast beat and was more fitted for a nightclub I would say.  The teacher made a joke and quickly changed the station back.  Everyone in class laughed and it was a fun moment.  While, I don’t think that all types of music are suitable for all types of classes, I definitely think that music with words has a place in the studio.  I love when a song I know comes on in a yoga class.  A few songs have even inspired previous blog posts.  They evoke a mood in me or a memory that I can come to while in a pose and it gives deeper connection to my practice.   I look forward to certain songs and know when they come up in rotation in a particular class.    Sometimes I make a mental note to ask what a certain song I heard and liked was so I can look it up later.  Some may say that this means I am not totally present on my mat if I am busy making mental music notes…I disagree.  When I am in Warrior Two pose and a great song comes on, a smile comes on my face and I sink deeper and connect more to my mat.  Or perhaps I am in plank pose and a song that makes me feel strong comes on, I will hold the pose longer and ground down into myself deeper.

Music is a very important part of my life.  It is a rare day that I don’t listen to music.  It is in integral part of my existence.  When people tell me they don’t really care much about music, I don’t understand where they are coming from.  So I guess it goes without saying that music has become an important part of my yoga practice.  Recently, I was asked to make a yoga playlist for a workshop assignment here at the studio.  It was so much fun!!  I could make so many more and I think I will.  Many times after a class I hear a student go up to one of the instructors and ask them what a certain song was.  I love hearing this because I know that it means others are happy to hear the music too.

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