- A Rockin’ Vinyasa Workout Playlist
- Olympics Workout Playlist: 15 Songs to Go for Fitness Gold
- ‘Let’s Get it Started’ by Black Eyed Peas
- ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen
- ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry
- ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor
- ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem
- ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles
- ‘My Hero’ by the Foo Fighters
- ‘Fighter’ by Christina Aguilera
- ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ by LL Cool J
- ‘Try’ by Pink
- ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey
- ‘Can’t Hold Us’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- ‘You’re the Best Around’ Karate Kid by Joe Esposito
- ‘Chariots of Fire’ by Vangelis
- And a few more for good measure
- Welcome to the Journey
- What is The Best Music For Yoga Class?
- Which artists work well with yoga?
- At What Point Should You Listen to Music during Yoga?
- Yoga Flow Music #1 (vinyasa playlist 2018)
- Vinyasa Yoga Playlist #2 (2017)
- Stream the 2017 yoga music playlist through Spotify
- 2017 Song Breakdown: 60 minute Vinyasa Class
- 700 Songs for Vinyasa Flow Yoga Music Inspiration…
- Tips for making a good yoga playlist
- Let’s Wrap Up…
- Music During Your Yoga Practice: Do or Don’t?
- Stillness of the mind
- Get into the flow
- But how do you use music during your practice without it being a distraction?
- Where do I find music?
- 10 Perfect Songs For Your Next Yoga Playlist
- Here Are 10 Songs to Kick-Start Your Next Yoga Playlist:
- There You Have It: Your New Favorite Yoga Playlist!
- The Ultimate Guide to Your Next Yoga Music Playlist
- Do you need music?
- How do you set a tone for your class?
- What’s the trick to finding the right music for Savasana?
- A 75-Minute Class Playlist
- The Fine Art of Creating a Yoga Playlist
- So, How do you create a good yoga music playlist?
- Consider What Yoga Style You’re Teaching
- Set Your Intention
- Personal Experience
- Read the Room
- Screen the Song Beforehand
- Pay Your Dues
- Bookend Your Playlist
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- Songs to Sweat to: Two Playlists From Lyons Den Power Yoga
A Rockin’ Vinyasa Workout Playlist
There’s nothing like the perfect power song to get you pumped up for an intense workout. So why not apply the same musical motivation to your yoga practice? That’s exactly what certified yoga instructor Karen Kassover did, and it eventually led to the creation of her popular “Rockin’ Vinyaysa” class at Reebok Sports Club/NY. With artists like Jay-Z, Fun., and Florence & The Machines serenading you through your downward dogs and warrior poses, Kassover’s class puts a seriously modern spin on the ancient practice. “But if yoga is supposed to be about quieting your mind, isn’t the music distracting?” you might ask. To the contrary, Kassover says. “I also found helps people get out of their own heads.”
Kassover aims to help all of her clients detach from the stresses of the corporate world that are all too familiar to her. Upon graduating from college, she spent seven years working in equity sales and trading at Goldman Sachs. During her time in “the grind,” she found that she was “constantly running to yoga class from work.” So it wasn’t too surprising when, in 2001, she changed career paths and got certified by YogaWorks.
RELATED: The Ultimate Treadmill Running Playlist
Dedicating nearly a decade of her life to a career in finance wasn’t a waste. Kassover’s experience extends to her practice and helps her relate to her clients today. “A lot of my private clients are actually former Wall Street-ers or from that corporate world. I understand when my client needs to wear her four-inch heels, and I’m not going to scold her for that!” she says. This realistic approach to working out is evident in all of Kassover’s classes. She knows that doing a workout you truly enjoy that fits into your life will bring you back again and again, which is why her classes are always exciting, with new music that reflects the changing seasons. (In the winter, she’ll mix a holiday playlist, and the music is themed around love when Valentine’s Day is near.)
“If you play a very strong song, the poses become stronger. If you play a relaxing song at the end, it helps you relax. The music really helps the practice,” Kassover says. To help you get started on your own Rockin’ Vinyasa series, Kassover designed the following playlist to go along with this yoga flow. Add these tracks to your iPod and then check out the detailed sequence here.
Daughter Darling Sweet Shadows – Dust in the Wind
Infinity – The XX
It’s Time – Imagine Dragons – 106 BPM
Killing Me Softly With His Song – The Fugees
Love Is My Religion – Ziggy Marley
Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap – 129 BPM
Feel This Moment (feat. Christina Aguilera) – Pitbull
Just a Dream – Nelly
Never Tear Us Apart – INXS
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Come Together – The Beatles
Love the Way You Lie, Pt. III (Original Demo) – Skylar Grey
Fade Into You (feat. Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen) – Nashville Cast
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Cat Power
Ride – Cary Brothers
Can’t Help Falling In Love (Live At Daytrotter) – Ingrid Michaelson
Mad World – Michael Andrews & Gary Jules Donnie Darko (Music From the Original Motion Picture Score)
Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
- By Heidi Pashman
Olympics Workout Playlist: 15 Songs to Go for Fitness Gold
Last week, U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen’s pre-performance warm-up dance went viral. And while Hansen was rocking out to Beyonce, we decided to put together our own Olympics workout playlist. We hope this playlist inspires you to greater heights in your own fitness and makes the conclusion of every workout feel like a medal ceremony!
‘Let’s Get it Started’ by Black Eyed Peas
Great for getting pumped before the big performance, this Black Eyed Peas ditty applies to every Olympian, from figure skaters to curlers. Inspirational lyrics: Burn it till it’s burned out / Turn it till it’s turned out…
‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen
The ultimate songs of battle and triumph, Queen’s 1-2 punch is popular at high school football stadiums across the nation. They’re also perfect anthems for our victorious Team USA. Inspirational lyrics: And bad mistakes / I’ve made a few / I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face / But I’ve come through…
‘Roar’ by Katy Perry
The perfect song for competition, Perry actually performed ‘Roar’ at last year’s VMAs in a boxing ring.
Inspirational lyrics: You held me down, but I got up / Already brushing off the dust / You hear my voice, you hear that sound / Like thunder, gonna shake the ground…
‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor
Perry namechecks this song in hers – famous for motivating everyone’s favorite underdog, Rocky Balboa. Inspirational lyrics: Risin’ up straight to the top / Had the guts, got the glory / Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop / Just a man and his will to survive…
‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem
Maybe the ultimate “pump up” anthem, Eminem’s song debuted along with his movie “8 Mile.” Inspirational lyrics: You better lose yourself in the music, the moment you own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime…
‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles
In this 2013 hit Bareilles encourages us all to speak our minds and be ‘Brave.’ Inspirational lyrics: Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of these days you can let the light in / Show me how big your brave is…
‘My Hero’ by the Foo Fighters
The Dave Grohl-led band released this opus to everyday heroes in 1998. It appears on their second album, ‘The Colour and the Shape.’ We imagine most Olympians feel this way about their parents and those who supported them along the way. Inspirational lyrics: There goes my hero / Watch him as he goes / There goes my hero / He’s ordinary…
‘Fighter’ by Christina Aguilera
Aguilera thanks all of her critics and exes in this anthem to the adversity that makes her ‘Stronger.’ Inspirational lyrics: Makes me that much stronger / Makes me work a little bit harder / It makes me that much wiser / So thanks for making me a fighter
‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ by LL Cool J
Ideal for Olympians in contact sports, LL Cool J’s rap is up-tempo and motivating. And it’s nearly impossible to listen to it without shadow boxing. Inspirational lyrics: Don’t call it a comeback / I been here for years / Rockin’ my peers and puttin’ suckas in fear…
‘Try’ by Pink
Another one-word title for a very intense song. ‘Try’ demands we pick ourselves up, no matter what adversity we face. Inspirational lyrics: Where there is a flame / Someone’s bound to get burned / But just because it burns / Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die / You’ve gotta get up and try, and try, and try…
‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey
At some point, we all doubt our ability to reach our ultimate goals. Journey advises us to stay the course and push through the adversity. Inspirational lyrics: Don’t stop believin’ / Hold on to that feelin’ / Streetlights people / Don’t stop believin’…
‘Can’t Hold Us’ by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
What lyrics are more applicable to an Olympian’s final performance than ‘Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ‘til it’s over’? Inspirational lyrics: We put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us / Like the ceiling can’t hold us…
‘You’re the Best Around’ Karate Kid by Joe Esposito
Ultimately, this is what every Olympian wants to be: the best around. Inspirational lyrics: Never doubt that you’re the one / And you can have your dreams!
‘Chariots of Fire’ by Vangelis
Perfect for a cool down, the theme to the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’ has resonated with Olympians since the film’s 1981 release. The opening scene’s slow motion running sequence is perfectly complemented by this theme — beautiful and haunting. Inspirational lyrics: OK, there aren’t any (it’s an instrumental) but the theme is still exceptionally inspirational.
And a few more for good measure
The following are a few more to get your athletic juices flowing!
- ‘Stronger’ by Kanye West
- ‘Break My Stride’ by Matthew Wilder
- ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen
- ‘Won’t Back Down’ by Eminem featuring Pink
- ‘Seven Nation Army’ by the White Stripes
- ‘Feel this Moment’ by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera
- ‘Fame’ by Irene Cara
- The Soundtracks of ‘The Natural’ and ‘Rocky’
What music would you recommend to your favorite Olympic athletes? Let us know in the comments!
Whether you’re targeting your core at a sweat-heavy hot yoga session or chilling out in corpse pose for a calming restorative class, freeing up your body in yoga is all about getting into the moment. To start the energy flowing in your limbs, unclog your chakras, and tune out weekday worries, ease into your yoga session with the croons of Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens or the mid-tempo beats of Sylvan Esso: it’s the sonic equivalent of a soothing cup of tea. Soak it in and ohmmm it out.
1. “Coffee” – Sylvan Esso
2. “Sun It Rises” – Fleet Foxes
3. “At Once” – Beirut
4. “I Need a Forest Fire” – James Blake feat. Bon Iver
5. “Phoenix” – Laura Doggett
6. “Tesselate” – Ellie Goulding
7. “I Walked” – Sufjan Stevens
8. “Look Up” – Chairlift
9. “To Lose Someone” – Taken By Trees
10. “Black Mambo” – Glass Animals
11. “How Did I Get Here” – ODESZA
12. “Sunrise” – Norah Jones
13. “Awake” – Tycho
14. ” Rise” – Solange
15. “River” – Leon Bridges
16. “It’s a Fire” – Portishead
17. “Down the Line” – Jose Gonzalez
18. “Letting Go” – Braids
19. “Wash.” – Bon Iver
20. “Above the Clouds of Pompeii” – Bear’s Den
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Welcome to the Journey
Oh Savasana, you do me so good.
You always know how to make things right, how to seal the moment, how to send me into a state of thoughtless bliss.
You simply get me.
Anyone else have this intimate relationship with savasana? Oh wait, who am I kidding….. all yogis (or the mass majority) have a serious intimacy with the ending to their practice.
It’s the seal to our efforts. It’s the moment where we can release and sink into the depths of who we are – body, mind and soul. It’s our permission slip to let the exterior become fuzzy, so damn fuzzy, and slip into the interior beauty of our journey.
It’s beautifully incredible, and sometimes, because it’s so damn beautiful – it’s also so damn hard to come into.
Am I right?
Depending on the day, time or our specific situations, sometimes savasana isn’t the perfect scenario. Some times it’s filled with bustling thoughts, outside noises, anxiety, panic, stress and the itching desire to get the fuck up and move on with the day.
But as we all know….. savasana is THE most important part of our practice.
It’s like hitting the reset button.
And to help us all reset the button with grace and depth, below is exactly what we need to start the process.
10 Epic Savana Songs
….. enjoy yogis, you’re going to love these!
p.s. – these are all shared via Spotify, my favorite program to discover music + create playlists. Feel free to follow me for fresh finds + to use the playlists for your personal or teaching experiences.
For the below songs,
1. Nuvole Bianche
by Ludovico Einaudi
2. Bolo Ram
3. Ra Ma Da Sa
by Snatam Kaur
by Deva Premal
5. Ganapati Om
by Donna De Lory
6. Fields of Gold
by Mars Laser
by Tombi Bombai
8. Devi Prayer
by Craig Pruess
9. Shanti Omstrumental
by MC Yogi
10. Timeless Soul
by Cornell Kindernecht
10 EPIC Savasana Songs for Your Yoga Practice – Pin now, discover epic music now!
What is The Best Music For Yoga Class?
Learn about all the yoga equipment you need for a class!
Which artists work well with yoga?
As Delphine, a yoga teacher offering yoga near me and blogger based on the French Riviera, explains, there are no rules when it comes to the music you can use.
From Mozart to Justin Bieber, through Coldplay. Everything works. Whatever you want to listen, and whatever will go with your flow.
Pretty straightforward , right?
You can find artists whose music is compatible with yoga exercises on the Internet (YouTube) or via smartphone apps like Spotify or Deezer. Learn which apps are best for practicing yoga.
On Spotify, just type in ‘yoga music’ in the search bar and you’ll find all sorts of playlists, like:
- Yoga Music concentration (12 tracks),
- Mindful Healing Sounds,
- Calm Spa and Yoga Music (12 tracks)
- or Yoga Remedy with 28 tracks.
Womens Health published their top 19 songs used by Yoga instructors to create a welcoming environment and get everyone in the right head space for doing yoga, which included:
Chants in Sanskrit (traditional Indian language) are very exotic and conducive to creating a relaxing atmosphere. Try for example the Hare Krishna song or the Mantras for Life album produced by singer Deva Premal.
British artist Moby is a great follower of yoga, he has even created his own playlist! Source: moby.com
Some playlists recommended by Superprof:
Many contemporary artists practice Yoga.
This is the case of Moby who practices a lot of dynamic yoga and who created a free 4h playlist, enough to last several online yoga classes and still not get sick of it! You can download it for free via WeTransfer or stream it via Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music or Deezer.
Marie Claire online has concocted a playlist of 20 songs to help you reach a state of complete zen. Perfect for a quick yoga session in the morning before starting the day or in the evening before getting tucked up in bed.
Discover the best yoga instructors to follow on social media.
At What Point Should You Listen to Music during Yoga?
In this day and age, unless you live in the desert, silence does not exist. We are constantly being stimulated, and sometimes disturbed, by the sounds that surround us.
During a yoga class, you will have to learn how to handle silence. If you are a beginner, it is possible that you will not be able to control your thoughts, which may take over and prevent you from fully enjoying the benefits of stretching and letting go triggered by yoga exercises. So music can help you by creating a soothing atmosphere and releasing your emotions.
For other people, silence can be a welcome break from the day that has just unfolded and prepare them perfectly for the relaxation session.
Superprof’s top tip:
If you can concentrate on your body and your breathing, without thinking of anything else, you can keep doing your yoga without music. If you feel like your mind is drifting and running through your day at work, the kids, or the errands you’ve forgotten to do, music can help you focus better and tune into your emotions.
Yoga is a time to meditate, it’s up to you to see if silence is right for you! Source:
People who are used to meditation or concentration can reap all the benefits by practicing yoga in total silence (think of the great Buddhist monks). As your yoga sessions progress, you may not feel the need to listen to music. Development in your yoga abilities is likely. There is no specific answer on whether to use music or not, it’s a personal matter!
If you practice yoga in a school, the option of playing music during a class is up to the instructor. If there is none, nothing is stopping you from asking them to or bringing your iPod and a speaker!
During a group yoga class, having music can interfere with the teacher giving instructions on how to perform the different asana. However, alone at home or with a Superprof instructor, feel free to try some music and see what effect it has.
During the final relaxation section, it’s best not to listen to any music. As Delphine, a certified Yoga Alliance teacher with more than 200 hours of experience in Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga, explains on her blog:
I always try to pick my music carefully. I always play instrumentals or sanskrit chants during Savasana (deep relaxation time at the end of class).
Personally, I tested a yoga session playing natural music (flowing water, sounds of nature, waterfalls, …) and this kind of harmonious melody can help you reach the final state of well-being . But be warned, you might end up falling asleep!
Now, why not try finding ‘yoga classes near me’!
Keeping your playlists fresh is challenging for all yoga teachers.
Are my students as sick of these songs as I am?
Luckily, this article is full of yoga songs you can add to your collections.
In this article you will find:
- Most up to date vinyasa yoga playlist – 2018
- A modern yoga playlist – 2017
- My 700+ song mega playlist full of potential yoga songs to choose from
Before you go any further… I know what you’re wondering. Can I trust this random person on the internet’s taste in music…
What kind of music do I like?
I like upbeat music with an earth/eastern tone that you definitely won’t find on the radio. The majority of my playlists are full of vinyasa yoga music because that’s what I normally teach. I prefer instrumental or songs with very little lyrics. This eliminates potential distractions.
Music is my thing
I’ve been teaching yoga since 2013 and spend a lot of time crafting playlists to go with my classes. I keep this article up to date by continually adding my most up to date yoga music playlist for you 🙂
Let’s start with my most up to date playlist…
Yoga Flow Music #1 (vinyasa playlist 2018)
This is my most up to date playlist full of my best yoga flow music.
2018 vinyasa yoga music flow playlist at a glance…
- Number of songs: 12
- Total time: 61 minutes
- Type of music: Chilled out, electronic, acoustic
- Access: yoga playlist – Spotify
Vinyasa Yoga Playlist #2 (2017)
This playlist if full of the best yoga music from 2017.
vinyasa yoga playlist spotify
Vinyasa yoga playlist at a glance…
- Number of songs: 14
- Total time: 65 minutes (extra 5 mins for extended Savasana)
- Type of music: music for yoga flow, chill, electronic, acoustic
- Purchase: via Amazon
Stream the 2017 yoga music playlist through Spotify
2017 Song Breakdown: 60 minute Vinyasa Class
Songs are available to purchase via Amazon & stream through Spotify.
- Dustin O’Halloran – We Move Lightly | Amazon | Spotify
- Desert Dwellers – Wandering Sadhu | Amazon | Spotify
- Thrupence – Thought 8 | Amazon | Spotify
- KAASI – Those Days | Amazon | Spotify
- Emancipator – Minor Cause | Amazon | Spotify
- Nosaj Thing ft Toro Y Moi – Try | Amazon | Spotify
- Lapa – Waves | Amazon | Spotify
- Stwo – Lovin U | Spotify
- Nick Leng – Tunnels and Planes | Amazon | Spotify
- Mtns – Fears | Spotify
- Chet Faker – Talk is Cheap | Spotify
- Rising Appalachia – Novels of Acquaintance | Amazon | Spotify
- Alexi Murdoch – Orange Sky | Amazon | Spotify
- Garth Stevenson – Flying | Amazon | Spotify
*If you purchase any songs through these links, we earn a small commission, at no extra charge to you. Support like this is how we continue to deliver free content to you!
700 Songs for Vinyasa Flow Yoga Music Inspiration…
Here’s a link to my ongoing yoga flow music playlist which I use for inspiration. There’s over 700 songs in here and I’m continually added new songs over time. You will find some popular yoga music but I try not to play “popular” stuff and I hope the vast majority will be new to you.
There is a mix of “modern yoga music” and some more ancient sounding “eastern spirituality” stuff as well. I also included some power yoga music with a little heavier beat. Fe
I’ve made countless yoga music playlists based off this pile of inspiration and hope you can too 🙂
Feel free to dig around and if you like what you hear, you’re welcome to “follow” the playlist on spotify if that’s your jam.
Tips for making a good yoga playlist
- Overlap / crossfade songs by 5-10 seconds to make the mix seamless (easy to do on both soundcloud and spotify)
- Make sure the songs match your sequence (gentle songs during the warm-up, etc)
- Make sure the playlist is longer than 60mins if you allow extended Savasana
- DOWNLOAD your playlist before class… don’t want any WIFI issues during class
- Vinyasa flow music benefits from fewer words (less distracting)
- Try to pick songs that aren’t as well known… again to minimize distraction
- Practice teach with your playlist on. You’ll pick up subtle cues in the music to guide your teaching, know when to transition, keep time, etc.
- The best vinyasa music keeps a steady beat/flow and has very few lyrics
Let’s Wrap Up…
Did you find what you were looking for? Aka the best yoga songs ever? lol.
Joking aside I sincerely hope this article helps you with your yoga playlists! Check back every so often as I continually add new music 🙂
You turn… Leave a comment below linking to a yoga flow playlist that you love! Sharing music makes my heart sing!
Music During Your Yoga Practice: Do or Don’t?
Many yogis are familiar with chanting mantras like ‘Aum’ and ‘Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu’, often used to open and close a yoga practice. Mantras and yoga have a long and interweaved history. But using music other than mantras during a yoga practice? Well, not everybody agrees on that. Some feel that it is too distracting or that it takes away from traditional yoga. I would like to argue that it can really add something extra to your practice, both for you and your students, as stillness of the mind does not necessarily go hand in hand with silence.
Stillness of the mind
Traditionally yoga is a spiritual practice, which silence may seem to fit better with. However, yoga is essentially about inner silence, or rather inner stillness. Patanjali (one of the founding fathers of the yoga philosophy) defines yoga as “Yogas chitta vritti nirodha”. Translated from Sanskrit this means as much as yoga stilling the mind. According to this philosophy yoga calms the fluctuations of the mind. What is left is mental stillness which enables you to experience life as it really is without distracting thoughts or judgements. You may also call it turning inward or coming home to yourself and to your body while the mind quiets. Many students tell me that this is exactly what yoga brings them and for me this is no different. Practicing yoga definitely helps me to let go of things, to turn inward and feel grounded and connected. And this is something that music can be of great help with.
Music can support this turning inward. It can help you to get into that physical and mental flow. So in this sense, using music certainly does not have to detract from the yoga tradition.
Music can support this turning inward. It can help you to get into that physical and mental flow. So in this sense, using music certainly does not have to detract from the yoga tradition. Playing music to support your flow and introspection may be somewhat different than how Patanjali intended the yoga sutras when he wrote them down some centuries BC, but we also cannot deny how much the world and the way we practice yoga have changed since then. Maybe it is time to broaden our horizons about ‘what is yoga’.
In my personal experience music is really helpful to find my inner stillness and flow during my yoga practice. Of course this is different for everyone, but especially when you are easily distracted music can be great to mute background noises. For some people it is even so that music works better than verbal instructions. And sometimes it is indeed music that moves us and brings up memories or emotions that you didn’t know were stuck or bothering you. It is a physical and mental moving with the rhythm of the music that our mind can’t really make any sense of.
Get into the flow
Scientific researchers have been trying for years to understand the many effects that music has on our minds and bodies. Many researchers have focused on the effects of music on our moods and wellbeing, and also specifically on the effects of using music during physical activity. It turns out that music can improve your mood, it can make you feel like you have to put in less effort to do something and it can enhance work output. It also facilitates getting into a flow state and helps you to shift your focus away from feelings of fatigue.
Research shows that people naturally react to rhythms by synchronizing their movements and tempo to them. Clearly yoga is not a Zumba class with catchy upbeat songs, but softer (background) music has been found to have positive effects as well. Music used during any type of physical activity will stimulate people to work harder and longer. In other words, playing music during your yoga practice can help you to get into the flow more easily and can give you that extra push to fully go for it.
But how do you use music during your practice without it being a distraction?
Clearly having the right playlist is vital. Fast upbeat music, heavy piano recitals or lyrics may not work for everyone during their practice. So start with selecting music that can deepen, motivate and guide your practice. To use the words of well known yoga teacher David Lurey “music is like the banks of a river and your asanas are the river itself led by the many curves and bends of the river banks”. And that is exactly how you can use music during your practice. Let it guide your movements. And of course, enjoy, flow!
Which type of yoga you are practicing makes a big difference of course. While Vinyasa could use dynamic music that you can ‘flow’ with, Hatha is more static so it needs a different – less dynamic -approach.
Which type of yoga you are practicing makes a big difference of course. While Vinyasa could use dynamic music that you can ‘flow’ with, Hatha is more static so it needs a different – less dynamic -approach. With Yin/Yang yoga classes, using a playlist to emphasize the Yin/Yang aspects even more can work really well. Generally speaking, fast, upbeat music has a more energizing effect whereas slow, soft music has a more soothing effect. You can use this to your benefit to create and strengthen the structure of your practice.
- Warming up (soft intro that slowly build up)
- Sun saluations (more energetic, flowy music)
- A short relaxation (calm music)
- Second peak with more intensive asanas (active and engaging music)
- Working towards savasana (calm music)
Savasana (soothing music that carries you away)
You can change and customize this as you wish to suit your practice. Make sure to use engaging and flowy music for the more active parts of your practice and mellow music that facilitates concentration and relaxation for the calmer parts of your practice like balancing poses.
A good way to start may be creating a general playlist to use during yoga and choosing one specific song to play during a specific series of asanas, a meditation or yoga nidra. For example, for my home practice I often use the Surya Namaskar mantra during my sun salutations. I always use the version of Kai Franz (listen to it here or stream it via Spotify Kai Franz – Surya Namaskar). This really helps me to get going if I need some motivation. Before you know it you did 12 rounds of sun salutations just because you flow with the music which provides you with an even rhythm and a steady pace. And it doesn’t even feel like an effort really.
But also less traditional music can work really well. Some yoga teachers like to set an intention for each class while others work with themed practices like detox flow, grounding, heart opening poses etc. Think about how you can use music to deepen your practice here, it can really strengthen the intention or theme.
Where do I find music?
The sky is the limit when it comes to finding the right music to use during your practice. There is so much available online and via streaming services like Spotify. Think singing bowls, mantras, guitar, duduk, ambient or music with lyrics like this one and also this. There are complete albums to use during your yoga or meditation practice. You could also look for playlists on Spotify (there are plenty!) for more inspiration. You can use Spotify to set up your own playlists as well. Music producer Moby recently released a playlist that he uses during his own yoga and meditation practice. You can find it on his website and stream or download it for free!
Taste in music is very personal, so take your time to find something that inspires or moves you. Also, write down the names of songs that you randomly come across and think you could use during your yoga practice. If you don’t know the name of a song you can always use phone app Shazam to find the details for you (open the app, hold it next to the speaker and it will recognize the song).
If you still find music too distracting, try to focus on your breathing instead of on the music. Just breathe a little louder. You will notice that after some time your breath, movements and the rhythm of the music are synchronized. Your body and mind will intuitively respond to the music. Now try to not getting into the flow!
10 Perfect Songs For Your Next Yoga Playlist
If you’ve ever sat down to create a playlist for a yoga class, you know it can be like staring at a blank page that gets blanker by the moment. Building a playlist is no joke.
You can’t just throw random songs together and expect the class – or your personal yoga practice – to flow well. It takes intention, thoughtfulness, a keen ear, and vision.
Do I take music and making yoga playlists too seriously? Hell no! Music has such a powerful impact on everything, and your playlist can make or break a yoga class experience. I was teaching a class last week and accidentally had my music on shuffle.
“Sabatoge” by The Beastie Boys came screaming on in the middle of a yin pose, and it fucked with the vibe I was aiming to create in a big way.
To start, each song needs to be flow-friendly. Your playlist also requires an order that defines the beginning, middle, and end of your yoga class.
Here Are 10 Songs to Kick-Start Your Next Yoga Playlist:
1. “Lebanese Blond” by Thievery Corporation
Start with this tune, and explore their repertoire of very yoga-conducive greatness.
2. “French Exit” (SNRF version) by The Antlers
Both calming and energizing, just like Ujjayi breathing.
3. “Gold” by Chet Faker
It makes you want to practice yoga. It makes you want to cook. It definitely may excite you in other ways too, but try to keep it together when you’re practicing at the yoga studio. ☺
4. “Africa” by Cottonbelly Remix
I heard this song while watching the incomparable Sarah Tomson Beyer do one of her patented Flowmotion sequences. You can watch it here:
Now, I couldn’t quite pull off the re-creation of this incredible flow, but I did snag the song on Spotify, and it delights me every time I play it.
5. “Get Free” by Major Lazer
This song ripped through me the very first time I heard it. It’s on far too many of my playlists, and I don’t care.
6. “Crush” Metaform
This song has some vocals, but no lyrics, and it’s perfect for that arc in class when things are dialing down, but you’re not yet headed for savasana.
7. “Drowning” by Banks
I fell for her after hearing her first well-spun song, “Begging for Thread.”
8. “To Be Alone” by Hozier
If you don’t feel something when you hear this song, be concerned.
9. “Holiest” by Glass Animals
I play the hell out of this band in class, and this particular song is very unique and dreamy.
10. “I” by Benn Jordan
A sweet, calming, and lovely savasana song.
There You Have It: Your New Favorite Yoga Playlist!
There is so much music to love and be influenced by. It’s so much fun to go to a yoga class and hear a song you’ve never heard, but can’t wait to hear again, and maybe include in your next yoga playlist.
Being wowed by music is one of the best feelings there is. That with the accompaniment of doing yoga, well, there’s very little that’s better than that.
Follow me on Spotify for my public yoga class playlists.
Building playlists takes practice too, so talk to me! Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments below.
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The Ultimate Guide to Your Next Yoga Music Playlist
Think of a time when you were driving, stuck in traffic, and running behind for your next yoga class. You were running late, stressed, and low on your typical yoga high.
But, then your favorite song came on the radio and all of sudden your entire mood shifted. The traffic started to flow, you started to sing out loud with the song, and you even had a smile on your face—amidst the sea of red lights.
Music can have that kind of effect on your mood, which is why choosing the right yoga songs to create your yoga playlist is important when setting the tone for your class and creating your playlist.
Before getting overwhelmed by the process and wondering where the heck you even begin, this yoga music guide is here to help.
Download Your Free yoga playlists
Having trouble creating a yoga playlist that works for your class? beYogi has created a series of playlists for every style of yoga.
Do you need music?
Music isn’t for everyone in a yoga class, but it sure is a staple in mine. I like to use music as an enhancement to the feeling, rhythm, and energy flow I’m striving to create.
Where can you find the right music? You can start with beYogi’s Spotify channel or iTunes. While Spotify does offer a free account option, it’s worth it to pay for the premium account—no one in your yoga class wants to hear voiceover ads in the middle of their sun salutations.
How do you set a tone for your class?
Think of your playlist in the shape of a pyramid. There’s a base start that elevates, until reaching a peak point, then begins to scale back down reaching a level ground again.
The base level includes pre-class, introduction, and breath-work.
Offer your students the space to begin emptying their mind. Try to play calming, light tonal, or instrumental music without words.
Most of us rush into our practice looking for a way to disconnect from a busy, noisy world. Creating that environment right off the bat with some chill tunes will already set good intentions and a zen-like vibe for the class.
Recommendations: Chasing Cloud Nine by LUCHS, Being Here (Excerpt) by Shastro
The incline includes both warm-up and standing postures.
Let the yoga begin! Shift into the energy space and kick up the tempo with some higher intensity tunes.
Let the music blend—like temperature rising from cool to neutral, neutral to warm, warm to warmer, building the heat in the practice.
Like a musical cheerleader, the accompanying songs give your students an energetic boost for the final standing posture, right at the moment they may start to mentally disconnect.
Where can you find inspiration for your own incline portion of your class playlist? You can start with The Incline playlist on beYogi’s Spotify.
Recommendations: For What It’s Worth by Kygo, River by Ibeyi
The peak includes inversions and back-bending.
Provide the energy when it’s needed the most. Your peak posture can include an inversion, back-bends, or can be any of the postures you include right before you begin to cool down.
Like a cheerleader who’s had way too much caffeine before a pep rally, this song selection is the final peak to the musical pyramid.
Recommendations: Circular Motion by Pilote, Drinkee by Sofi Tukker
The decline includes cool-down postures and floor work.
Like a sunset at the end of a hot summer day, these tunes take from a heated high back to a mellow warm—like beginning with longer holds, to transitioning to floor work, or cool-down postures you incorporate before Savasana. The musical selection for the decline lets your students know the end of the class is nearing with less of a beat, softer vibes, and quieter words.
Some of my favorite music to use during the decline is piano or guitar chords. These offer a mellow mix and chill out space for the mind and body.
Recommendations: After the Storm by Mumford and Sons, Berlin by RY X
What’s the trick to finding the right music for Savasana?
This music brings it back to grounding, relaxation, and restore mode with a soft tune, low pace, and calm vibration.
My favorite choices for Savasana include music with little to no words or words softly sung in Sanskrit, and if possible, the sounds of the hum of a sound bowl.
Choose Savasana songs that are long enough to last the entire Savasana to prevent the jarring break of music—when students may juuuuuuust be getting in to their meditative zone. For inspiration, check out beYogi’s Savasana playlist on Spotify.
Recommendations: Dunes by Chequerboard, Weightless by Marconi Union
A 75-Minute Class Playlist
Looking for an example of the entire yoga music pyramid put into action? Below is a 75-minute yoga class playlist from Sara Quiriconi, an inspirational yoga teacher and ambassador for Manduka, KiraGrace, and more.
For more yoga music playlists from Sara, check her out on Spotify at @livefreewarrior.
Download Your Free yoga playlist
Check out this playlist by DJ Taz Rashid to explore the calm and soothing rhythms of yin, meditation, and yoga nidra.
The Fine Art of Creating a Yoga Playlist
While on a recent vacation in Bali, I decided to go for a nice and serene experience with Qi Gong. After all, I had some Qi (pronounced “chee”) to clear out and felt I could use a self-care day. A calm, relaxing Qi Gong class would do just the trick.
On my way over, I strolled past small clusters of coconut trees, rustic temples and sleepy dogs lazily resting by the wayside. Envisioning the flowy movements my fellow studio-mates and I would make, I started breathing more intentionally until my breath became slow and steady. Ah, serenity now. Even the cat hanging out outside the studio seemed to know this was a calming place– everything was so quiet, I could hear her purr as I scratched her head.
The instructor was a much older gentleman wearing baggy sweats and a faded-blue t-shirt. His relaxed nature was all over his face and his demeanor. He clearly had practiced Qi Gong for a long time, and his energy added to the sense of calm in the room.
As we began, the veteran students quickly got into their Qi Gong groove, with the rest of us still feeling a bit awkward. But, with the instructor’s calming voice and patience, we were well on our way to finding our own rhythm.
Halfway through the class, we really got into the flow of things. I could feel a wave of heat from my head down to my core and towards my knees. We all began to sweep our arms in unison. Just sweeping in peace, sweeping like there was no tomorrow, nourishing our fascia, listening to our bodies ever so intimately.
“I’M BRINGING SEXY BACK!! YEAH!!”.
Heads turned. Literally.
“THEM OTHER BOYS DON’T KNOW HOW TO ACT”
“I THINK IT’S SPECIAL, WHAT’S BEHIND YOUR BACK”
I was not amused.
This wasn’t the first time that I’ve observed or participated in a yoga class with inappropriately-curated music, and it’s distracting every time.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Justin Timberlake– I’ve been known to blast his 20/20 Experience album on repeat. In fact, I am a sucker for pop, hip-hop and all genres in between. But there is a time and a place for fast-paced music with lyrics about hooking up, broken hearts, and life regrets. And in my opinion, a standard yoga class is not one of them.
So how can you make a playlist that’s appropriate for the yoga style you’re teaching and one that will help to create the atmosphere you want? As a life-long musician and co-founder of Deep House Yoga, I have a lot of experience when it comes to creating musical ambiance. There’s an art to creating the ideal yoga music playlist, and I hope sharing my thoughts and tips will help you create the perfect accompaniment to your vinyasa or hatha teaching.
Take this example of how I handle the yoga music playlist when I teach vinyasa. At the start of class, I give my students several minutes to practice their Ujjayi breath and to hear the sounds distinctly. Then, I gradually increase the volume for the first track on the list. So, there is some melody, but not enough that my students can’t hear their breath.
I believe that Ujjayi breathing is so critical to the practice that it’s important to play music that accompanies that rather than drowns it out.
The rest of the tracks remain slow and steady, or I will lower the volume down for a bit. This is to give my students some time to be alone with their bodily sensations before I increase the volume for another track to be heard.
For Savasana, I slowly fade out the last track during the first minute so my students can get the full benefit of their meditation the rest of the time (usually 10-20 minutes).
I’m very careful about the music I play and how I play it because I teach yoga to help my students unearth the layers of stress and feel more connected to themselves. I don’t want yoga to be just another “band-aid” and outlet for stress like any other workouts. Yes, I want some of my classes to induce sweat, but I also want to encourage my students to think with clarity. So, I don’t play any pop music with lyrics that could trigger someone’s memory and distract them from paying attention to their breath. In fact, I often play ambient tracks with indistinguishable lyrics or no lyrics at all.
For Savasana, I slowly fade out the last track during the first minute so my students can get the full benefit of their meditation the rest of the time (usually 10-20 minutes).
How else can they learn to listen to their mind-body in a world where there’s nothing but distractions going on 24/7? How does any yoking happen when a part of you loses the mindfulness? How does equanimity occur when your emotions run in various directions at the sound of your music choices?
Does this sound like a huge responsibility?
It should be— people are putting their trust in you to guide them, and that doesn’t stop at anatomy and biomechanical awareness. If you take your music as seriously as you take your cues, your classes will become more fulfilling for your students, and chances are they’ll be more likely to come back.
“Yes, I want some of my classes to induce sweat, but I also want to encourage my students to think with a clear mind. So, I don’t play any pop music that has lyrics that can trigger someone’s memory and distract them from paying attention to their breath.
So, How do you create a good yoga music playlist?
Consider What Yoga Style You’re Teaching
What kind of class are you planning to teach? Is it a creative Vinyasa flow with lots of transitions? Is it a Power Yoga session with fewer Vinyasas and long holds in postures? Is it a gentle Restorative class or are you leading a yoga workshop?
Set Your Intention
Based on what kind of class you’re teaching, think about what intention you have with your playlist. Do you want a high energy, heart pumping class? Or to keep the energy lower, the heart rate slow and steady?
Your students are putting their trust in you to guide them, and that doesn’t stop at anatomy and biomechanical awareness
What tracks have been great for your personal practice? Have you heard a track somewhere and felt compelled to put it in your playlist? Have you been in a class where a song was played that pulled you out of the moment? Or found a song that really helped you deepen into your breath or into your bodily sensations?
Read the Room
How are your students responding to your music choices? Do they look annoyed when you blast Massive Attack (even though you LOVE their tracks)? Do they look relaxed when you play a track by Dr. Toast?
Screen the Song Beforehand
Do you still want to play some songs with clear lyrics? Have you read the lyrics in their entirety and think it’s appropriate for the theme of your class? Will it enhance your theme or derail it?
Pay Your Dues
Do you have the licensing to play the tracks in your studio? (Sorry, paying a monthly Spotify account and buying from iTunes doesn’t count). Sure, your friends and studio owners may not be reinforcing this legality, but if your class is popular, you should have your butt covered in that respect! It’s the least you can do to support the artist directly! If you’re in Canada, your studio can purchase the appropriate license from SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers) so they will distribute the fees back to the music creators.
If you lead your own yoga events separately from the studios, you would purchase your own license. Before each Deep House Yoga SF session, my yoga business partner and I would purchase each track from Beatport. There are many different genres of beats on the site with very little lyrics. (These track purchases are tax-deductible, so keep your receipts!) For the studios you teach at, ask if they have purchased business licensing from services like Cloud Cover Music, ASCAP or BMI.
Bookend Your Playlist
Make sure the first track in your yoga music playlist is gentle and slow. If you’re teaching a creative Vinyasa flow, then you’ll want to choose subsequent tracks that begin to speed up as you guide your students towards their peak pose. Then, the following tracks should be slower in pace to bring them to their Savasana.
If you want to get really technical, you could spend some time learning about beats per minute (BPM) and how to incorporate that into choosing different tracks. Not interested in learning what all those numbers mean?? Not to worry at all! What I always like to suggest to other teachers and DJs is that they choose a track that goes with the natural pace of your breath. Try out any of your tracks along with your breath, and you’ll see what I mean.
This might not be noticed by your students, but if you care about providing the best experience in your classes, here’s something to try. If you’re playing music while your students are setting their mats down and hanging out, don’t just shut the music off abruptly when you start your class. The abrupt switch jars the energy in the room.
Instead, fade the volume out, lowering it gradually to silence. Then, start your class. Increase the volume as you start the first track. Lower the volume as you finish the last track. This creates a dream-like experience as your students enjoy every bit of their Savasana.
The same goes for switching to another track. If you suddenly find yourself hearing a track you don’t want to play anymore, fade out of the song, then fade into the next one. It’s just a nice pleasant detail that goes a long way.
Follow these tips, and the power to create a great playlist and a more transformative yoga class will be in your hands (and your sound system). Good luck and enjoy making your next yoga music playlist!
Illustration by Katya Uspenskaya
Edited by Jaimee Hoefert
Songs to Sweat to: Two Playlists From Lyons Den Power Yoga
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Welcome to Racked’s Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year’s resolutions off right.
Jessica Willis at Lyons Den Power Yoga
Training with an instructor at a group fitness class is like working out with a super fit friend who, hopefully, has great taste in music. Trying to replicate those playlists at-home is another story, which is why we’ll be posting one a day from some of the city’s best studios. Yesterday’s was courtesy of Body & Pole; today’s is from Lyons Den Power Yoga.
Instructors Jessica Willis and Terri Bahr incorporate just about everything into their playlists, from old-school classics like “Wild Horses” and “Tiny Dancer” to indie singer-songwriters like Iron & Wine and Bon Iver. (A$AP Rocky also makes an appearance.) See both after the jump, as well as what each instructor has to say about the importance of a good soundtrack.
Jessica Willis: When I make a playlist, I like to take into account what kind of mood I’m setting for the students. I want the music I choose to have reflective, playful, nostalgic, and meditative qualities. In this playlist, I play with some new music that I like because it’s always good to try on new things. It’s also laced with some iconic voices that any person could recognize, and some songs that are wordless with really beautiful instrumentation. In this way, the music itself aids the intrinsic flow of the practice. Like life, it’s a journey we embark on together for an hour.
Terri Bahr: Just like a class, playlists have to flow. Music is powerful, and I choose songs that inspire my students to get more connected to their bodies so they can naturally flow and move. I keep in mind that the playlist should work with the specific flow of the Baptiste sequences we teach at Lyons Den; with a warm up, peaks, then tapering off at the end. I choose a combination of songs that create a sense of playful, yet powerful energy.
· All Fitness Playlists
· All Fitness Week 2014 Posts