During my Yoga Teacher Trainings, I always incorporate my love for music into our classes.
And in every Teacher Training, my students ask me if it’s possible to get the playlist of the music I played. It goes over so well because, when used carefully and mindfully, music can be such a healing tool in a yoga setting.
To create your own mindful playlist, I recommend really spending time with the music before you ever incorporate it into a class. I always take my time with a song to make sure it is authentic to the atmosphere I am trying to create. And I create a custom playlist for every class I teach.
I usually start with listening to new music while driving in my car. If I’m drawn to a certain song, I play it during my own personal practice. If it really resonates with me during my practice, then it becomes a part of the music I play in class.
Now, I was raised in the Iyengar method, and there is NEVER music played in Iyengar classes! But as a young teacher, I was so nervous and music helped calm my nerves and stay on track with my timing. For example, Deva Premal’s song Samasati was always my cue to bring my students into Savasana.
When I was teaching 20 classes a week, I loved incorporating my tried and true favorites like Neil Young and The Grateful Dead and my students loved it! So, get creative. Healing music can come from all sorts of genres.
You just need to be very intentional about it, making sure to pair asana, pranayama, and meditation with the proper melodies. Music sets a mood that allows for deep inward focus. Make sure it enhances that inward focus, not distracts from it.
It is worth noting that there are some music licensing laws to be aware of if you do choose to play music in your yoga classes. Read up on them here.
Below is a list of musicians I suggest getting to know to see if you resonate with any them. I’ve found that the sacred music of Deva Premal, Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, and WAH! adds depth to any practice. And you will never go wrong with David Newman and Kristin Luna Ray.