Although I greatly value my yoga studio, practicing yoga at home is just as rich and rewarding for me. Being in your own space, led by your own intuition, is an entirely different experience than following a guide in a room filled with students.
The one downside to my home practice is that it can get monotonous. Sometimes I don’t even want to finish my sequences because I get bored and uninspired.
For me, good background music is a great way to get out of my rut. The perfect yoga music playlist can influence my movement in a way that I couldn’t on my own. It’s even better when the music can be my meditation–engaging my focus as I move through my asanas.
Whether you’re a slow-flow kind of person or you prefer a dynamic that is bubbly and dynamic, I’ve got the tunes for you.
Here are a few of my favorite albums to use both in my home practice and when I teach. All of them are great added to a mix or played the whole way through.
1. Balkan Beat Box– Nu Med
Balkan Beat Box is a colorful fusion of Jewish, Eastern European and Middle Eastern influence, mixed with subtle electro. If you’re lacking energy to power through a practice, this is the album for you. I can’t help myself from dancing in down dog when practicing to this lively band.
Great for: Vinyasa Flow
2. Osel-Om Mani Padme Hum
This couple is near and dear to my heart. Michael Johnson, on the left, was one of my (favorite) instructors at Yoga Teacher Training. Osel’s music incorporates traditional Hindu Kirtan in a fresh, modern way. My favorite thing about Osel is that they intentionally pace each album to sync up with the listener’s ujjayi breath as they practice.
Great for: Hatha
3. Red Fulka– We Are One
On their ReverbNation page, this band is described as an “ecstatic shamanic disco show”. It has almost as much energy as Nu Med, but not quite. It’s jazzy while remaining earthy and grounded. This combo is a great way for you to get in touch with your natural vigor on the mat.
Great for: Ashtanga
This is another yogic-centered band that meshes ancient concepts with funk, world, rock and more. Their pace is pretty slow, making it suitable for a class of the same structure. Sean has his own yoga/soul school in New Orleans, proving that he doesn’t just talk the talk of spiritual values.
Great for: Yin
Although I listed another vinyasa soundtrack previously, I couldn’t bypass inlcuding Delhi 2 Dublin in my list. They are great for quicker-paced classes and are so very danceable, just like Balkan Beat Box. I love their “East meets West” vibe, which suits modernized Western yoga so well.
Great for: Vinyasa Flow
6. Snatam Kaur– Heart of the Universe
Snatam Kaur is an American peace activist whose passion is present in her music. Her new age music utilizes Kirtan, specifically from a Kundalini background. The lyrics are uplifting and spiritual, yet do not discriminate. It can suit listeners of any ideology.
Great for: Kundalini
Do you have a favorite band or song to practice yoga to?
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Photo: Mary Hood; Timothy Lloyd via Wikimedia Commons, Oselmusic.wordpress.com, Facebook.com/RedFulka, Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band, Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons, J Singh via KuarArt.com