Yoga And Music
When I first started teaching yoga, I would make playlists for all my classes. I have some old cassette tape’s and Cd’s left over even (back in the stone age haha). Then I got to a point about ten years in to my teaching, where I just didn’t use music much at all; and I would let the breath be the guide. Many students would point it out to me after class; but also mention how they liked just listening to their breathing and my instruction.
Once I began teaching at Peloton, I started using music again. It has been really fun for me to make the playlists and I absolutely love music more than anything. I grew up in a very musical family and attended NYU for acting school and did a summer of musical theater training. Music is a really great aid in keeping your attention during class as well since it’s immediate and intimate much like the breath.
The Power Of Music
The power of music is undeniable. Its effects go far beyond our surface experience of song and rhythm. We experience something similar when our breath or heartbeat naturally falls into sync. In a group yoga class, we practice together, moving and breathing as one. We naturally all sync up with one another, whether we’re practicing to rock music or simply to the sounds of breath.
Music and yoga both provide healing and therapeutic benefits. Music can invoke special memories for us or bring us immediately into the moment when we hear a song we love. Bringing music and yoga together can create a really powerful experience. I love making magic happen in my yoga classes through music, movement, and breath.
Some Music I Love
I personally love Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, Nora Jones, Coldplay, Eva Cassidy, John Denver, James Taylor, to name a few. I also have created classic rock playlists, as well as used Motown, inspired songs. Sometimes I’ll use less lyrical song especially if I’m teaching a beginner or restorative class. I also like to weave in some chanting or songs by Krishna Das or Donna De Lory who sing chants that are very yoga appropriate.
You can always play your favorite music when you’re practicing on your own as well! I’d love to hear who some of your favorite musicians are to listen to when you practice or if you prefer no music.
Listen to my Spotify playlist below!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!