Music in yoga class can be controversial. There is validity to many of the arguments out there. I have enjoyed taking and teaching music-free classes, for sure. And music should not be a crutch for the teacher. But I won’t go so far as to adamantly adopt on teacher’s philosophy on music while harshly rejecting another’s. To each their own. Not every class, style or yoga, or teacher, is for every student. And this whole music/no-music in class debate is of minuscule importance when compared with the reality of what yoga is about (considering asana classes are just one slice of a much bigger pie).
Here’s what I’ve learned about playing music in class, so-far: Music can be fun. Music can be distracting. Music can be annoying, it can be funny, and it can be energizing. Music can helpfully drown-out loud, disturbing clanks of giant weights and swish-swishing of cardio machines just inches away. Music can unhelpfully drown-out the volume of the teacher’s voice. Music can sometimes be a key part of a workshop or experience (if you haven’t yet, try taking a class with live harmonium, kirtan chanting, or other live instrumentals).
Some studios have an expectation for quiet; some environments call for a soundtrack to accompany the breathing of the students and cuing of the postures. Whether you play music or not, there will be an auditory aspect to a class. Choose carefully. Remember you are guiding a class and building an experience for others; there are other things more important than your duties as a DJ. You never know when you’ll be teaching and the power goes out, or the spinning instructor who finished before you accidentally goes home with the iPod connector cord for the mixer.
This playlist was designed for a 90-minute Power Vinyasa Flow Class. I skipped several songs (mostly towards the end) for a 60 minute and 75 minute class taught the same day.
The slightly sassy highlights: a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth, Falling by Florence + The Machine (plays around some balancing postures), and the Ryan Adam’s cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall (during Savasana.)
- Anam (Part 1 – Alap) by Stevin McNamara from Shanti Guitar
- Track 01*
- For What It’s Worth (India Dub) by DJ Drez from Jahta Beat: The Lotus Memoirs
- Track 04*
- Track 05*
- Aimless by Intinsic from Alucidnation
- Palladio by Dr. Gee Wiz from Hip Hop Featuring Classical Instrumentals
- Ummah Oum (Kaya Projects Slow) from Ummah Oum Remixes EP
- Falling by Florence + The Machine from Lungs (Deluxe Edition)
- Albatross (featuring Peter Green) by Chris Coco from Next Wave
- Track 04* by Jai Uttal
- Track 13*
- Dub Latina by Calexico on Feast of Wire
- Bolo Hari (Dharma Dogz Remix) from Buddha Cafe
- Track 06*
- Latika’s Theme from Slumdog Millionare Soundtrack
- Track 15*
- Wonderwall by Ryan Adams from Love is Hell Part 1
*From unlabeled yoga-music mixes. I will update this mix-list after some investigating!