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Music can connect people with their emotions—the unseen and unspoken rhythms words cannot provide. When added to a yoga class, songs add to the mood and may connect students to the theme in a more meaningful and resonant way. 

Vinyasa yoga music can go in many different directions. Owing to the dynamic and vigorous sequencing in vinyasa yoga, teachers can choose the type of music and curate a sequence of songs to accompany the postures and flow of the class. The options are endless: ambient, instrumentals, hip hop, trance, pop, dance, indie, reggae, funk, soul, jungle, drum & bass. Depending on the Bhav (mood) the teachers wishes to create, any type of music is acceptable and will attract the students who enjoy the melody and method. 

When choosing the songs to accompany your vinyasa yoga music playlist, a few considerations will make the listening easy and assist students in their journey on the yoga mat.

5 Suggestions When Creating a Vinyasa Yoga Music Playlist

  1. Choose songs that add to your Bhav/mood.
    The Bhav is the mood of the class. When you curate the theme of your vinyasa yoga class, the music should guide the mood. Music is not the theme and should not drive the class. It is added as a layer to add to the theme and mood. Select a theme first. Choose how you want students to feel, then pick the songs that complement. 
  2. Match the BPM (beats per minute) to the tempo of the class.
    The pace of your music provides direction, consciously or not, to the pace of the class. As the sequence and heat build, so could the BPM of your music to encourage students to move and breathe deep. The BPM is a guide and will prompt the movement and rhythm of the participant’s heartbeat. As the class builds, your music should too!
  3. Select softer, slower tracks for the cooling portion of the class.
    What comes up will also come down. After the peak flow or peak pose, the cooling/lunar portion of the class will have a slower BPM to help students soften and slow down. The shift from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system occurs in this portion of your class. Seated postures and stretches may have slower-paced music or no music at all. 
  4. Decide if you will add music to savasana.
    The final pose of the vinyasa yoga class is the most important. In savasana, aka corpse pose, students absorb the class’s efforts and come to final rest before moving into the rest of the day. You may choose to turn off the music by the final few postures and for savasana to provide total quiet at students’ rest and unwind. 
  5. Balance the sequence cues and modifications with the song’s lyrics.
    It can be very confusing for students to listen to you and the song’s lyrics, especially if you are offering a peak pose or lots of modifications. If you know that you’ve constructed a fancy sequence with lots of cues, it may be wise to opt for instrumentals so students can focus on your words without the distraction of the lyrics. 
Check out the Lila School of Vinyasa Yoga 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training. In this YTT we go into how to select and create a theme, use music to complete the class, and incorporate subtle body practices.  
  • Style: Vinyasa
  • Duration: 70-minutes
  • Level: open-levels
  • Props: 2 blocks, 1 blanket 
  • Focus: core and arm strengthening to prepare you for the peak pose, Tittibhasana
  • Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC
  • Spotify Playlist: Firefly Pose (PWC)