Reader Query: A Yogi Gal Who Wants to Groove to the Music

Hi Rebecca,

I met you after the [focus group] last Sunday*. . . I really enjoyed your class and I especially liked that you played music as we went through a few series of sun salutations. I have never practiced to music, and I would like to incorporate that element into my home practice. I can’t remember what music you played but thought it fit the asanas very nicely. What type of music do you suggest listening to while practicing? What music do you like to listen to when practicing?


Hi Erica:

I am so happy you enjoyed the tunes! I don’t use music all the time when I teach, and you’ll notice that even when I do, it’s only for a song here or there, rather than a consistent soundtrack throughout class. In general, it’s important for students to experience external and internal quiet during practice, to listen to their breathing and tune into themselves instead. However, the right song combined with a great sequence can be complete bliss. And music during a home practice is a wonderful way to add a dose of inspiration to ordinary surroundings. If my memory serves me correctly I played one song each from the following three artists in that class: Matisyahu, Reema Datta, and Cat Power, each soulful in his/her own way.

The song I played during sun salutations was One Day by Matisyahu, which experienced a recent boost in popularity due to its association with the Olympic Games. It’s a really uplifting song and fits the energy of sun salutations well. That, and the energy of, say, stomping a McTwist a la Shaun White, but we mere mortals will just have to settle for the accessibility of sun salutations, I guess. [Insert sigh].

Reema Datta’s album would be a great addition to your home practice, as the kirtan vibe matches an asana practice well. My friend and CEO of YogaEarth, Dan Cook, turned me on to Datta, and I’ve been incorporating her music into the latter half of classes or sivasana a lot lately. [Disclosure: I am on the advisory board for YogaEarth].

I was a bit late to the Cat Power craze, but she’s among my favorite artists right now. I have a feeling I must have played Lost Someone when the class was doing floor work. She rocks, pure and simple.

You might enjoy and gather more suggestions from a few other posts related to the topic of music, here:

Hey Yoga Teacher, Play That Funky Music

Am I Still a Yogi If I Listen to Gangster Rap?

Happy grooving.
-Om Gal

*On Sunday, February 28, I taught a special class in conjunction with a focus group of experienced yogis for a company researching innovative yoga products.

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  • Erica

    Thanks!! I am going to download these from iTunes.

  • Em

    These are great suggestions – thanks! Can you disclose what's on your iPod for running? Need inspiration!!

  • Anita

    Thanks!! I believe that music has an intrinsic ability to create mood and therefore can only enhance a flow. I will check these out 4 sure.