April 12, 2014

Rockin’ Your Yoga Playlists!


Have you made the leap into using music in your yoga class already, but it didn’t quite work?

You know, the uptempo tracks started too early in the sequence, or that emo singer/songwriter tune you love just seemed to fall flat. Or maybe you realized too late that the order of the songs could have been so much better, if only you had put Shaman’s Dream before Kaya Project and kept that Bon Iver track on ice for the end of class.

Perhaps you’ve felt the burn of multi-tasking with your iPod in hand, trying to rearrange songs while your students wonder what the nonsensical instructions absently coming out of your mouth actually mean!

“Put your left foot under your shoulder and lift your tailbone….I mean One Love by Bob Marley… ummm, hold on a second please…wait, uh child’s pose for 10 breaths..”

Creating playlists that work is an art form, but I don’t want you to imagine that the teachers you admire who seem to always have just the right mix of meditative, tribal and uplifting tunes setting the tone for their sequences were just born that way!

You can get good at this too.

In the video below is the simple secret I have used for the last 20 years that has made the musical component of my classes somewhat legendary amongst my students.

Please click here for more free yoga training tips for new and aspiring teachers!

You know, when I started using music in my classes back in 1994, I didn’t know anyone who was doing it, and I was certainly the only teacher at my studio who brought a boom box with a five CD changer and a carrying case of 100 CDs to class. Remember CDs?! I am so grateful for digital music revolution!

The reason I started doing it was that music that enhanced the experience of yoga, meditation, massage (and of course dance) was such a big part of how I had meaningful experiences on my own journey, and I knew intuitively that if I wove that soundtrack into my classes it would heighten and deepen the experience for my students.

I guess a lot of other teachers felt the same way, because classes without music have become more and more rare over time!

I eventually ended up creating a yoga & dance hybrid class called “Funky Friday” where I get to really play at being a DJ! But my other classes have no Dirty Vegas or dubstep remixes, it’s more like Ben Harper, Kruder & Dorfmesiter, Mickey Hart and Lisbeth Scott!

In any event, please enjoy this short video suggestion on one very effective way  to perfect your playlists so that you and your students have powerful, beautiful experiences together! That’s why we do what we do, right?

All the best,


Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Travis May

Photo Credit: Via Author

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