Eric recently graduated from our 2014 Yoga Teacher Training. Throughout the program he has been interested in how music can enhance yoga (both home practice and teaching with music in the background). In this post he shares some ideas for creating a stellar yoga practice mix, and shares one of his own mix tapes.
Like so many things in yoga, opinions vary about the wisdom of sequencing a practice to music. I find certain kinds of music to be unbeatable ingredients for laying down a solid foundational layer in many practice spaces and themes. Well-curated songs can support strong, steady and rhythmic breath, plus provide non-verbal cues to keep a yogi’s mind intent through particular poses or tough portions of a sequence. For practicality’s sake, songs are also great organizing devices for what to teach when and for how long.
At the same time, I agree that music can present a distraction. I’ve been using a few basic filtering rules to choose songs that feel capable of overcoming this legit concern:
1. Avoid songs with lyrics – they can ignite inner dialogue and/or other faraway life experiences that can unexpectedly take anyone out of the practice room.
2. Don’t ever accept vanilla new age music or pick something just because it’s Indian.