woman beauty with headphonesYoga music, as the name might suggest, is a great way to enhance your yoga practice.  It can help you set your pace, choose your poses, and practice for as long (or as short) as you like!  But it can also be a bit of a distraction if it isn’t properly balanced with the poses you’re doing.  So how can you choose the right songs to support your practice?  Here are some tips for choosing music to create a great yoga music playlist.

Think about your usual yoga practice and choose accordingly. I usually start my practice with a few minutes of relaxation over a bolster.  It helps me to transition from my pre-yoga running around into my practice.  So I always make sure to put something slow and soothing right at the beginning of a set.  Also, maybe it’s just me, but I like doing sun salutations to the Gayatri mantra.  It just seems fitting.  Think about the way you like to practice yoga, how long and what kind of sequencing, and plan your music from there.

Have several playlists for different yoga practices. My general asana practice is a medium paced vinyasa style.  So I have a good number of upbeat songs, and then mellow out for big poses and relaxation at the end.  But sometimes I’m not in the mood for my regular practice.  I keep a playlist of slow and sweet songs for restorative or yin practice, and a “spicy” list for the days I’m really feeling motivated.  Having different lists to choose from keeps my practice feeling fresh, and prevents me from getting bored listening to the same tracks practice after practice.

Balance male and female voices. This is really a matter of personal preference, but I try to alternate tracks by men and women.  I heard once that tv news stations like to have a male/female broadcast team so that viewers don’t get bored hearing the same vocal register throughout the show.  In the same way, mixing up your tracks keeps a nice balance between the male and female energy in a practice.

Don’t skimp on savasana! I cannot stress this enough.  If you think a 5 minute track is enough, try a 10 minute one and see how you feel afterwards.  Even if you have a gentle practice, savasana is time for your nervous system to reset and integrate everything you did in your practice.  Also, it just feels good!  So pick a nice cozy track, and enjoy yourself.

Adjust your list every now and then. Repetition can be great.  If you use the same list over and over, you’ll know exactly where you are in your practice, when you need to start your serious preparations for big poses, and when to start winding down for savasana.  But it can backfire and make your practice feel routine.  So mix it up, take out a track or two and add something different.  Just that small change can bring new energy to your asana practice, which is always a good thing!

Here’s a yoga music playlist that I like to use for my regular practice:

“Shanti (Peace Out)” by MC Yogi

“Bajarang Bali” by David Newman

“Gayatri Mantra” by Deva Premal

“Burn it in the Fire” by Wade Imre Morissette

“Mahadeva Soulshine” by Wah!

“All Good” by Girish

“Kabir’s Song” by Snatam Kaur

“Guru Ram Das – Healing” by Gurunam Singh

“Akal…Deathless” by Simrit Kaur

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