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Music + Yoga: Yay or Nay?

January 10, 2011
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Do you listen to music when you practice yoga? How do you feel about it in class?

In a recent post in Stretch, a monthly yoga column in the New York Times, writer Lizette Alvarez ponders music’s place in the yoga studio:

Musical taste is overwhelmingly subjective (a Boy George oldie during pigeon pose is not easily forgiven) and pacing is critical (a hip-hop warm-up is too fast, too soon). And there is nothing inherently wrong with silence — the music of choice for many traditionalists. It helps focus the breath and settle the mind, and some slower-moving forms of yoga, like Iyengar, demand it.

But in these particularly morose times, I can appreciate the yoga that stretches beyond discipline into playfulness. There is nothing like Bob Marley or Nina Simone to usher a sense of joy and awe into a class. Good music only deepens my connection to the practice in a way that unending cycles of Kirtan chants, predictable New Age music and conventional Indian tunes do not.

In the article, Alvarez checks in with various yoga instructors who take their music + yoga pairings very seriously; a sidebar published with the story even lists song selections from the playlists of NYC-based yoga instructors. We found it particularly interesting to read the comments posted with the story online; readers seem split on whether or not music should be part of a proper practice.

What do you think?


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