I had a request from a friend the other day for some yoga music suggestions. Not being overly impressed with my music collection, I did a web search and found a few playlists recommended by other instructors. Unfortunately, these playlists weren’t jiving with me. It made me realize that my preference leans towards instrumental tracks or Kirtan-style music, where the lyrics are in Sanskrit (leaving me mostly unaware of the meaning of the song, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing ;)). I realized my desire from a yoga class is to immerse myself in the present and to enjoy the meditative flow or stillness of my body in asana, and my hope for my students is the same. You know, let the music accompany the experience, but not take the spotlight.
This is not to say that I don’t use songs with English lyrics ever in the my classes. I’m just very selective and considerate of the way a song might grab my students’ attention. Perhaps that’s taking my yoga too seriously. Some might say it’s fun to lighten up the class and “get jiggy with it” (I guess there’s no hiding my age now). I certainly understand loving music and music diversity. However, for yoga, I’m mostly in search of soulful, melodic, and subtle. I’m always looking for new suggestions if you have some.
Here’s what I’ve been playing with lately… For Kirtan, I recently discovered Girish and for a more upbeat or flow class try Thievery Corporation. Also, iTunes has a great selection of familiar songs done in karaoke tracks, e.g. I just downloaded some Jack Johnson, Jason Miraz and Colbie Caillat in acoustic guitar/karaoke. A nice website for yoga/meditation music which samples a nice compilation of albums to browse is http://www.whiteswanmusic.com/.
Peace and harmony.