I love music. And all genres too. Anything from pop, jazz, rap, new age, country, kirtan (duh) and beyond! I’m open to it all and that’s how I feel about yoga as well. So when you ask me what goes into one of my class playlists, it’s simple; what I like, how I feel, and what I think you might want to flow to as well!
I also take into consideration what type of class I have planned and if there is a specific theme involved. As a yoga teacher, you have to adapt, meet your students where they are and think on your feet! If I’ve planned for a super chill, relaxed vibe/class and my students walk in wide awake, ready to work and raring to go, then I might switch to my more upbeat and energetic playlist (and class plan).
There are also some schools of thought on whether to play music in yoga class at all. Some styles of yoga/teachers strongly suggest not playing any music what-so-ever. Reasons for this vary; but many believe that music can be distracting and take away from the practice. For me, I choose to play music because I enjoy it and it makes me feel more comfortable, which in turn helps me to be the most authentic person and teacher that I can be. Not to mention that my students love it as well!
When creating a class playlist, I do think it is important to follow some simple guidelines:
• Keep it clean: Unless you’re putting together a playlist for your home practice, stay away from inappropriate songs/messages/lyrics.
• Keep it simple: I love playing music in class, but you do want your students to listen to you and pay attention. It’s always fun to dance in class, but focus is essential, so nothing too complicated or distracting.
• Keep it fresh: Fresh and current playlists help in keeping your classes dynamic, fun and ever evolving. It’s always nice to tailor your music to the change of the seasons, times of day, special occasions, class level/style, etc.
• Have an intention: Just like your class plan, there should be a thought process behind the songs you choose and the order in which you play them. I always start and end my class playlist with songs that have no or very little lyrics. Generally, my classes (and playlist) build up and then come back down.
• Have fun with it! Don’t stress about building the perfect playlist. If something doesn’t work, you can always change it up!
Enjoy some of my favorite playlists:
fresh, chill, summer: