How Music in a Yoga class can HELP you
Music plays a huge part of our everyday lives. Music marks memories, creates and stimulates emotions and can change our moods (positive or negative) in a split second…So when it comes to yoga, how does music help or hinder? Many yoga teachers play music during their practice and there are others who just don’t. So what are the pro’s and con’s of music in your yoga space? Research has proven time and time again, that music is a great stimulant to the brain and it is for this reason that it can be a great tool when practising yoga.
Here are some of the benefits of music during a yoga class:
- Having instrumental music without lyrics can help your concentration.
- Music can help set the mood and the emotional and physical tone for your practise, both before you start and during your practice.
- It will help you relax when you come to your mat, and help you to focus on your movement, your body throughout your practise
- This concentration, in turn, will help you improve your balance and listen to your body, a bit better.
- Music can help you take your practice to the next level, it can help you turn up your energy, at those times in your practice when your heat is building and it’s time to push yourself and your body outside of your comfort zone. (You know when you want to stop but if you keep going it’s when the magic happens? You know what I mean, strong upbeat music can help you take it there)
- Music can subconsciously take your body and your mind on a journey. A great play list can relax you down at the beginner, build your movement as the tempo picks up, then slow your body down again for mediation and relaxation and rest.
For some people however, music serves no purpose and they find it a distraction. Sometimes, people find it opposes their purpose, which is to come to yoga to relax the mind so the attention must be inward. This might happen if the music tempo contradicts the movement of your body, or if the music doesn’t flow, if there a big breaks or pauses…..or maybe even if you hear a song of piece of music that triggers a negative emotion (oh no, that song reminds me of my ex-boyfriend!!!!! Ahh!)
As with everything to do with Yoga, it’s important you find your own practise and what is right for you. And it is the same with music. You need to find a studio, and a teacher, whose music preferences match yours. Because we all have different kinds of music preferences. One person may love strong house beats, the other may prefer soft rhythmic chanting. Remember, what may sound pleasant, energetic or relaxing to you, maybe noise to others. And this, is a great reminder to acknowledge our preferences, but to try not to judge others. Easy to say, not always easy to do ☺
Personally, I love music while I practice. As a Yoga Teacher, I take time to create a playlist that matches the movements and the journey I’ll take my students on, in the practice. It also serves as a sneaky reminder for me as to where I am meant to be in the sequence. (Music is slowing down? Time to ground everyone down to the earth with a balance and slow us down on the floor with some deep stretches. But shhhh don’t tell anyone my secret!)
When I practice in a studio, as a student, I love LOUD music, with strong beats to get my energy levels up. And then I love a slow song, with nice words to relax to during stretches and Savasana.
So, in summary, research tell us there are huge benefits to music, and this can be extended to practising yoga. So if you haven’t tried Yoga with Music before, perhaps give it a go – try it out and see if it works for you. But at the end of the day, music or no music, we all know the most important thing is that you get on your mat, move your body and you have fun. With or without music, Yoga is good for your soul and your body will thank you ☺