Yoga is an art form in which the body, mind and soul are connected as one. The music in which you choose to flowto can truly make or break your practice. Depending on your mood, vibe, yoga teacher and class in which you are taking, it is important to choose the right songs.
Yoga itself is melodic, therefore, picking the perfect playlist has to follow the melody of your practice and intention for each class.
Yoga teachers choose their playlists based on their practice, while also always keeping the Yogis in their class in mind, and ensuring that the playlist follows the purpose and intention for each class they teach. Our very own Lacy Noble is a master in the art of making the perfect playlist. Luckily for us, she gave us some insight to the art of a Yogi’s playlist and how tocreateone.
Consider the style and mood of your class.
Because Yoga can run the gamut from super relaxing to highly energized, it’s important that your music matches the mood and energy of the class.
Avoid anything that will get stuck in your head or that uses profanity.
Yoga is for clearing your head. You don’t want anything that is distracting from the practice; instead, you should choose songs that compliment it.
Consider music without lyrics or those that are sung in a foreign language.
Again, if you can support the practice without drawing your mind into the lyrics of a song,that’s all the better.
Go with music that makes you happy.
Exercise, meditation, and deep breathing can all induce the release of positive chemicals in your body and brain. So can music! When a song speaks to you in that way, you’ll feel it. Lacy says, “I like to explore lots of different styles of music for my yoga classes: moody, electronic, bluegrass, instrumental, pop hits, country, etc. I typically stick with a single genre or “sound” for each playlist. I suppose it’s not terribly different from how Spotify or Pandora builds a playlist based around a similar vibe or style.” Don’t be afraid to use music that you wouldn’t typically think of for “yoga”. In the right environment and with the right audience, you’d be surprised what really works!
Align songs in your playlist so that they build in pace, energy, or intensity and then soften again.
There should be room in your practice to allow you to connect with yourself, first and foremost. To that end, very soft background music works well for the very beginning and end of your practice for centering and savasana. You might take that one step further and refrain from beginning your playlist until after you’ve gone through centering and maybe even warmup and slowly turn down the music all the way at the beginning of savasana. Whenever you do choose to begin the music, it should build slowly just as your practice builds. As you begin to cool down toward the end of your practice, as should your music. Don’t agonize over the exact timing of things. A practice is just that. It’s not a choreographed dance perfectly timed to the beats of a playlist.
Extra credit: Listen through your playlist start to finish.
Sometimes time is of the essence. Sometimes the playlist is just for you. But, if you plan to use this playlist over and over or share with others it’s worth listening through it start to finish. It will help you shuffle things around if you find a weird transition between the end of one song and the beginning of the next. No matter how well you know a song it can surprise you with it’s volume or energy when set up side by side with other songs.
Come join Lacyevery Tuesday night for Candlelight Vinyasa at 7:30pm right here at Om On Yoga and experience the art of a perfect playlist in motion.