The connection between music and yoga has become so universal that these days there are music festivals around the world offering yoga experiences.
Yoga is by itself an extremely beneficial process to boost both physical and mental wellbeing. But because for some people music is an extra incentive to go into the practice, the purpose of this article is to see how yoga blends with music, how the combination affects the body, mind, and spirit.
It is important to state that most of the traditionalists don’t listen to music with their yoga practice, but, there are ancient yoga practices involving sound in the form of chants or mantras, to stimulate the energy centers of the body and prepare the senses for higher consciousness.
The Benefits of Yoga Music in your practice
Listening to music and practicing yoga are activities that despite their differences and origins have similarities because they both make us feel good and enhance our wellbeing. Music is as old as humanity and just like yoga, studies have shown that it has physiological benefits.
The benefits of yoga music, surely, depend on the individual. For those unaccustomed to complete silence, embracing an intimate focus can be very challenging, so in such cases instrumental music provides a bridge to ease the process of letting go and become present during the practice. While for the few who are used to a deeper practice, nothing is required.
The main benefits of yoga music are:
- Yoga music sparks connection with the environment.
- Playing proper music during your yoga time helps you to get into a meditative state.
- Specific tunes team up with particular poses to take the energy system to a better alignment.
- Music is an additional incentive for the practice, making the sessions more enjoyable.
- Different songs can be used by the teacher to set the proper rhythm during the stages of the classes.
- Music makes us feel inspired to surpass our limits.
- Music heightens concentration and can be the entry point into the present.
Why traditional yoga music from India is the best?
Quantum physics has now proven what ancient masters knew, that form and sound are intimately connected. The whole existence is just energy and what it seems to be objects are actually different frequency patterns of the same energy, what it is in consonance with the philosophy of Nada Yoga, which translates from Sanskrit as “union through sound vibration”.
Vibration has form, and form has a vibration. If sound can move salt, sand, powder particles or water molecules into particular shapes, it has the power to do the same with our cells, that is why Nada Yoga can be considered to be an essential component of all yoga disciplines. Ailments are disharmonies in our bodies that can be brought to balance through sound.
There are four types of Nada Yoga: Vaikhari, which means the audible sound that can be heard by the human ear. Madhyama is mental sound and is more subtle than Vaikhari. Pashyanti is subconscious sound or what is known as a visual sound, and Paranada is transcendent sound that is beyond the senses and the mind and can also be heard in other dimensions.
So music in India is not just a mode of entertainment; it has a deep spiritual inclination as well. In India the true potential of the songs is in their ability to impress in us an element of the eternal silence that touches the core of the human being, transporting those who listen into subtler states of being, which is the basis for inner exploration.
Recommendations to play yoga music during classes
Whether you are a teacher or a yoga practitioner, if you're interested in imparting/getting the maximum benefit, we recommend following the next guidelines:
- Play yoga music that does not contain words, or else it might become difficult to focus on yoga practice.
- If music has lyrics then it would be better in a language not understood by the audience. Traditional Indian music has lyrics in Sanskrit or Hindi.
- Keep the volume low. Music makes the environment conducive, but hearing the teacher is more important.
- Loud music is naturally stressful. Remember, it is a yoga class and not zumba or a crossfit activity.
- Turn the music off during the relaxation stage of the class. It is at that moment wherein one has to use the energy originated during the asanas to focus and go deeper into knowing self.
Where to find great yoga music
Just keep in mind that what may sound pleasant or relaxing to some, might be a source of irritation to others.
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What do I do?
I admit I am a kind of traditionalist here, ten years in India affects you!!. But I have observed how important it is to meditate for a few minutes before the practice starts and music helps me very much and come into the present. This process is essential to get the most out of yoga time. I am considerably much more focused and my balance and capacity have increased and aligned exponentially. I also enjoy yoga music after the class gets over to keep that inner connection going longer.