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Music has many functions and proven benefits, including increasing sleep hygiene and quality. Depending on the type of music you listen to, it can...
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Music is often used during personal yoga practice, instructor-led classes, and digital yoga teachings. But there’s really no “one type” of music for yoga.
Music is often used during personal yoga practice, instructor-led classes, and digital yoga teachings. But there’s really no “one type” of music for yoga. Instead, it's common for yoga instructors to choose songs and tracks that are generally soothing, relaxing, and calming.
This type of music is similar to spa music or something you might hear at a peaceful retreat center. It’s meant for relaxing yoga and may include water sounds and other nature noises.
Have you ever had the experience of music completely changing your attitude?
Whether you feel it or not, music and sound have deep impacts on your psyche. Studies show that music can alter your mental state1 and change the way you perceive the world2.
Music can make you more giving3. It can help you socialize and cooperate better with others4. Recent research has even proven that listening to multicultural music gives you a more positive attitude5 toward different cultures.
For yoga, the use of soothing music can help you relax, improve your focus, and enhance your practice. Listening to nature tracks, Zen music, or other soothing sounds is like a big “relax sign” for your brain.
Have you ever been in a bad mood? But when you flipped on a favorite song, you suddenly felt better? Like a weight had been lifted off your shoulders?
Or perhaps you’ve been in a good mood … until a jackhammer started going right outside your window.
Music and sounds of all kinds impact our emotions from minute to minute each day.
Yoga sounds and music are no different. Alone, yoga calms the body and mind. Combined with music, the effects can go even deeper.
Here are some great places to find relaxing music for yoga?
YogiTunes is a music service with playlists and tracks that are specifically for yoga and meditation practices.
Though anyone can sign up, most people who subscribe to YogiTunes are yoga instructors and studio owners.
This is because there are copyright issues associated with playing any type of music in a class setting. YogiTunes ensures that instructors and studios do not infringe upon copyrights. It allows them to officially purchase tracks and/or pay to stream music that is licensed for public performance.
If you just want YogiTunes for your personal use, however, there are also additional benefits. Use YogiTunes to create your own unique playlists, find new artists with the radio feature, organize your music according to mood and BPM (beats per minute), and much more.
YouTube is an excellent place to find popular yoga music because you can search by “view count” and other filters to find just what you’re looking for.
Of course, the yoga music YouTube offers is also free! Artists will often put one or two of their yoga songs on YouTube as samplers. If you like their stuff, you can then go on to find their full discographies and curated tracklists elsewhere.
If you’re not interested in signing up for a streaming service that’s only for yoga and meditation music, consider another one of the top streaming services, like Spotify or Pandora. Most of them have a decent library of sleep music, peaceful sounds, and other good music for yoga.
Like YogiTunes, Spotify allows you to create your own playlists. Organize your playlists according to your current mood, your desired mood, the time of day, what type of yoga you’re practicing, or any other criteria.
Old school to be sure! But, believe it or not, they do still sell CDs, vinyl records, and cassette tapes with calming music for yoga.
The reason this option might be appealing?
With the onslaught of digital media, technologies, and advertisements that are so prevalent today, sometimes removing oneself from the fray can be therapeutic.
What CDs, vinyl records, and yes, even cassette tapes, can offer is a completely “offline” way to listen to music.
You don’t have to worry about hearing an email come through in the middle of the song you’re listening to on your phone. There won’t be any advertisements throwing you off between tracks.
There’s even something that rings warm, natural, and much more real about the needle chatter coming off a turntable or the whirring of a cassette tape film.
Although it comes in many forms, all music that’s made for yoga has the goal of calming, relaxing, and soothing.
It may be made up of nature sounds, like running water from a stream, ocean waves, the wind through the trees, or bird or whale sounds. Or, it may be just one or a few instruments, playing soft, gentle melodies at a slow and peaceful pace.
There are different types of music for yoga. Some instructors will play nature sounds for all or part of their yoga classes, for example. Of course, there’s also melodic, calming music that was specifically written with yoga in mind. Finally, some tracks contain both instruments and melodies and nature sounds.
Nada yoga, a specific type of yoga and a philosophical system that originated in ancient India, holds that the universe is made up of vibrations. These vibrations form all of the energy on earth. In this belief system, sounds and music, then, are both extremely powerful tools.
While relaxing yoga music isn’t required for your practice, it can certainly be helpful.
Everyone knows that what’s really relaxing about a spa experience is the massages, the hot towels, the facials, etc. But the atmosphere contributes as well. After all, if the goal is to relax a spa atmosphere is what you want: Aromatic scents, peaceful spa music, simple colors, and soft voices.
The same goes for yoga.
While silence during your practice is perfectly fine, many people who are just starting out with yoga calm themselves in the beginning with some simple stress relief music.
There are many wonderful ways to engage children with music. Yoga is no exception.
As is the case with many children’s activities, adding music increases focus and can keep kids from losing interest. Music that’s made specifically for children’s yoga can be found on YouTube, or you can simply use the music that you use for your own practice.
A few artists who make yoga tunes for children are: Kira Willey and Bari Koral.
Music for meditation can help you focus, calm any residual stress, and increase your ability for mindfulness. The best meditation music is something that does all of these things but isn’t distracting.
In addition to melodic music, many meditators like nature sound like trickling water in a stream, beach waves, wind, or rain. You might also try binaural beats or delta waves, which are especially good for sleep.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
― The Bhagavad Gita