The beauty of music is that it can drive you to do ‘things’. They say that music often has a positive impact on the mind, though the genre and the selection of music are important for that kind of effect. There are many medical studies that have endorsed the usage of music for restorative as well as curative purposes.
Doing yoga is an activity where you have to apply your body and mind—sometimes, you feel out of the zone to put yourself in that crucible and need an inspiration or a driving factor. For some, good music or a song can provide the inspirational energy to engage in the activity. Many yoga centers incorporate music into a routine during their practices and teaching sessions. It becomes imperative to know what kind of music is conducive to yoga. Is there any subtle connection between sound and the way our body and mind responds to it?
Yoga music is an emerging genre which has selective instrumental and vocal music that is considered helpful for yoga practice. It may include Indian Sitar, flute or Bansuri, new-age, alternative, Kirtan, electronic, acoustic guitar, chants, mantras and even Buddhist instruments like gongs and bells etc. Unlike gym music, yoga music is played at a relatively lower volume—the idea is to support your rhythm and not distract you from your routine.
With the emergence of yoga music as a choice, there has been the arrival of yoga music artists catering to particular types of yoga—for example, Hatha Yoga practitioners in the Western countries, the music of Krishna Das or Jai Uttal is more popular. For Kundalini Yoga practitioners, the music of Snatam Kaur or Gurunam Singh is more appealing. Yet there are people who have associated Sanskrit mantra chanting with particular yoga poses and found that mantra music has enabled them to do these poses with more authenticity and ease.
There is a thin line between branding any music as suitable yoga music because of the intent and the subtle energy carried by the music to support the physical, mental and spiritual journey of any individual play major roles. There is nothing wrong in choosing a rock band as your yoga music companion though many believe that it will not have the desired impact on your psychological being.
Some of the best styles of music during a yoga practice are:
1. Classical music
Considered as the best music genre for yoga, this type of music helps in soothing the mind and elevating the latent energy within an individual. The instruments used for this type of music usually have a very calming effect thus assisting in providing balance. You can choose Indian classical music (the best bet, indeed) or even Western classical music of your choice.
2. Ambient music
Ambient music is very close to yoga because it involves a lot of natural sounds. Sometimes, you will hear birds chirping or other sounds of natural creatures woven in the music, which provide a very calming effect on the listener. It is a very popular choice for yoga practitioners and goes well as a complement to the classical music. If you are doing yoga indoor in your own room or a yoga studio, this type of music can help in creating an outdoorsy experience.
3. Ethnic music
Ethnic music, as clear from the name, involves music of various cultures and geographies. There’s can be a touch of spirituality in the music and chants that some of this music has. Chinese, African, Egyptian, Sufi and North American Native music are few common examples of this type. The beauty lies in the fact that you can experiment and search for more ethnic music from different cultures.
4. Sanskrit Mantra music
A small community of yoga practitioners prefer mantra chanting and songs based on Sanskrit mantras. There are few artists in the market who cater to the demand of such music by composing music based on mantras. Right from Bija Mantras, long mantras are also used in such type of music.
With the demand of yoga music rising, there are many online stores and portals that offer free as well as paid music streams. You can choose to download or purchase as per your needs.
If you are an individual, you can choose whichever tracks you want to listen to—if you are an instructor and run classes, you can even ask your attendees to give their choices and then choose from a bigger pool. Adjust the volume according to your space and preferences of the attendees and you will be able to enhance the experience, and at the same time promote the physical and mental balance. Of course, find the music that makes you feel your best when practicing yoga. We are all unique and have different preferences, and ways that different types of music can affect us, so explore and discover what you love!
By Yoga Vini
Viniís journey into Yoga started many years ago. As a young boy he practiced daily as part of his school routine merely as a form of exercise where there was no form of any spiritual intent.
As a young adult he began to work a very busy schedule for a large Japanese corporate company which resulted in an extremely hectic lifestyle. It was at this point where he started to discover the true form of Yoga. His daily practice enabled him to find not only the relaxing power of his action but also developed the true consciousness inside of him. You can connect with him here.
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