Yoga is a meditative experience where you turn inward to find peace and healing energy. Finding a playlist you enjoy can help focus your energy and make for a more positive yoga session.
Your yoga playlist can be varied and may include a mix of upbeat music along with peaceful soundscapes, like nature sounds, that improve your well-being. In this article we've compiled some of the best yoga music to improve your yoga routine.
Benefits of Listening to Music while Practicing Yoga
While some believe that yoga and meditation should remain silent, there are benefits to playing music during your yoga routine.
When trying to relax some people find they cope better with some background noise. In fact noise playlists and machines were made for those who struggled to sleep in silent bedrooms.
This same idea can be applied to yoga. Having a soothing melody in the background can help you to focus your thoughts and relax deeper than by sitting in stark silence.
Early yogis believed that chanting and participating in yoga's sounds brings you to a higher state of consciousness by stimulating your chakras and preparing you for this elevated consciousness.
Some studies show that music can improve concentration. Researchers have looked at everything from classical music to nature sounds to your personal favorite music.
Different types of music have been shown to increase brain waves and restore cognitive abilities.
Creating Your Yoga Playlist
Whether you teach a yoga class or are a solo yogi looking to improve your routine, you can create a yoga music playlist that best fits your yoga poses.
The melodic tones of new age music can create a peaceful environment for calm sequences, including a vinyasa, flowing sequence, or savasana final poses.
New Age is a music genre that is mostly instrumental and uses many different instruments to create calming melodies. Wood instruments like flutes are used to compose a lot of these songs, as well as acoustic guitar and piano.
Since New Age music relies heavily on non-western acoustic instruments, many composers today also use electronics and computers to recreate these sounds and incorporate them into their songs.
Even if you aren't an experienced yogi, you may have heard New Age music when getting a massage or other relaxing treatment. Many spas and reiki studios play these soothing melodies to help you relax.
This upbeat music is also used in yoga to create a lively atmosphere to perform your sequences.
Reggae originated in Jamaica and incorporates jazz and blues sounds western culture along with traditional Jamaican folk music. Social and political commentary and current news are generally communicated through Reggae artists.
However, Reggae for yoga has become increasingly popular, and so many Reggae artists now use traditional yoga Sanskrit and other yogi terms in their songs.
A typical Reggae yoga class includes some dance and rhythm with its sequences but does not sing along with the songs like those who practice Krishna das chanting yoga. The soulful sound and heavy drumbeat of Reggae music can help center you as you sequence through your asanas.
Here are some reggae-inspired songs to add to your yoga playlist:
- Everything to Me, by SOJA
- Work it Out, by Iration
- Spiritual Riddim, by Mad Sensi Band
- Feeling Alright, by Rebelution
- Cool Me Down, by The Movement
Of course, if you love Reggae music, you can listen to Bob Marley & the Wailers, who have created melodic, powerful hits that are known globally.
While Celtic music may not be most commonly associated with yoga, there are many Celtic yoga songs that you can incorporate into your yoga practice. Celtic music is a genre of folk music that came from Western Europe.
Celtic music's main instruments are harps, bagpipes, and pipes that form melodic, upbeat, or soothing tunes.
Celtic music is great for restorative yoga and healing music. Wind instruments like the pipes and flutes used in Celtic music are also often used in sound healing therapy because they provide a sense of calm.
Kundalini Yoga Music
Kundalini music blends chants and mantras with classical Indian music and new age world music to create a unique mix that is good for meditation, chanting, and relaxation.
Well-known Kundalini artists to look for include:
- Gurunam Singh – uses English lyrics to create poetic and powerful music
- Nirinjan Kaur – a classical Indian singer
- Aykanna – soulful, R&B-style Kundalini music group
- Benjamin Forrest – combines electronica to create driving beats
- Jai-Jagdeesh – an accomplished classical Indian dancer
New Music in Yoga
Like with many forms of exercise and activity, yoga has evolved over the years. Today's yoga music incorporates more modern beats and urban vibes while still remaining relaxing music that will center you through your yoga practice.
Searching modern yoga music on Spotify gives you a playlist of various artists who incorporate electronic beats with soothing vocals. Whether you're looking for something for a power yoga session or something softer and more flowing, new music has emerged to reach out to a younger generation.
Meditation and breathing techniques are an essential part of your yoga session. Along with the physical yoga sequences, focusing your mind makes for a well-rounded restorative yoga routine.
Deva Premal and Miten are a musical mantra duo and innovators in performing chants and mantras for meditation. You can download their music on Spotify and other streaming services to incorporate their soothing chants with melodic new age and world music backgrounds.
You can use nature sounds and other soundscapes in moments of reflection because there are no vocals, so it is easier to focus inward. You can also find many nature sounds in white noise playlists because they can help you relax.
Popular nature sounds include many of the following:
- Rain or thunderstorms
- Fire crackling
- Water moving like flowing rivers or the ocean
- Rainforest sounds, including birds chirping
- Wind blowing
Yoga Teacher Playlists
As a yoga instructor, it is your responsibility to consider the well-being of your class. On top of teaching useful sequences and asanas, a restorative yoga music playlist can help your students get more from your classes.
Easy to find playlists on Spotify and YouTube ensure that your students can incorporate the music you use into their yoga routine outside of class.
Different genres of music may be better suited for different types of yoga or yoga sequences.
The sun salutation sequence is a cornerstone in establishing a yoga routine. Depending on the type of mood you want to create, you can use any variety of music from mantra to new age to modern.
Yoga Nidra, also referred to as yoga sleep, is a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, so it is crucial to have a very soothing playlist that can promote restfulness during this guided meditation. Look for singing bowls to create a sense of peace.
Singing bowls are a type of bell that produces a deep, rich tone that promotes well-being and healing. These bells, also known as Himalayan bowls or Tibetian bowls, have long been used and associated with having powerful healing properties.
Power yoga is based more on cardio and a fitness routine rather than a restorative sequence. Those looking for strength training, weight loss, and other health benefits may turn to power yoga as their workout routine.
Choose upbeat, motivating music to help move a power yoga class along. Reggae music or mantras can help keep your class active and ready to learn more.
Unlike power yoga, Vinyasa yoga focuses more on breathing and flexibility. While the two are often confused since they both incorporate sequences that flow together, Vinyasa Yoga is less focused on exercise than power yoga.
As such, choose calming melodies of Celtic or new age music to help your yoga class focus their breathing and easily flow through your sequences.
The Final Word on Best Yoga Music
Incorporating music into your asanas and vinyasa can help improve your yoga flow. Creating favorite yoga playlists can help to keep your music organized, depending on your routine.
While new age music is the most common, there are many music genres and various artists to help you discover your best yoga music playlist.