Yoga Tunes: Turn Them Up or Turn Them Off?

This is a great post on music’s role in the yoga practice, written by a friend a fellow yogi who also happens to be a certified yoga teacher. Abby hits the nail on the head when she says,

We teach yoga for others, not for our own personal growth; if music makes us more comfortable, confident teachers, great. I would far rather have a teacher who seemed comfortable with herself and her class structure, even if I “hated” her music, than a teacher who seemed unsettled. When I play music, it is because I want to, not because I don’t not want to. There are some who don’t care for my taste in music, and there are others who love it. But whether they like my music or not, I would hope that they come to my class, not for the playlist, but to gain a greater appreciation of their own bodies and selves.

Each one of my favorite yoga teachers uses music differently. One Iyengar teacher never plays music and instead fills the silence with her calming voice and clear instructions; music wouldn’t fit her personality if she did use it. Another teacher puts on a playlist that runs throughout the class, while a third turns music off and on depending on where we are in the practice. Each of these teachers’ music preferences fit with their personalities and the type of practice that they teach.

Straight Up Yoga

I don’t get angry very often. It’s an emotion I don’t enjoy, and one I generally prefer to reserve for social injustices or animal cruelty. But last week, I found my heart pounding and my ears steaming as I read some Reddit-users’ (affectionately deemed “redditors”) comments on the r/yogamusic page of Reddit. The topic was (surprise!) music in a yoga class, and it started innocently enough: “Yoga teachers: What are your current playlists for your classes? I need some inspiration.” It quickly migrated, however, to the age-old discussion: should music be played at all in a yoga class, or is it merely a distraction? Choosing a playlist is one of the most difficult aspects of teaching for me. I want music that is relaxing, yet energizing; music that is poignant, but not depressing; music that enhances the mood of the class, rather than distracts from it. To find 75…

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