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.”
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.