If you have developed the habit of doing yoga as a young adult, then it is quite great because you will be taking this habit till your old age and that is when you need it the most. As a young person, your body is filled with so much energy but your brain is not always that energetic. There are so many questions in your mind. What am I here for? Am I where I need to be in life right now? Am I doing everything right? Everyone wants to know that what they are doing is right and that they are serving their purpose in the world. This is why we set resolutions and goals. We need something to look forward to and we all want to have something that we can work for.With yoga, you can connect to your inner self. Yoga provides you a calm environment in which you can get in touch with yourself and learn your purpose. It gives you the ability to connect with the parts of you that you never knew existed. You will be able to look at thoughts and memories much differently. Yoga slows your life down and allows you to pick up any part of it and contemplate. This is why yogis are so content and have a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.Doing Yoga to Relaxing Music
The whole aim of yoga is to slow down and relax. When your mind relaxes, it does not only bring contentment but a lot of mental health and wellness too. Studies have shown you important yoga is to bring down the severity of different mental diseases. What better way to amplify the effect of yoga than to add calming music in the background? You will come across many playlists. Some will resonate with your style and liking while others will not. Worry not as you will find your song or playlist. You just have to keep looking and experimenting with different genres of music.
Here is a yoga playlist that I have made for you. These songs have been hand-picked carefully by me and everything from the lyrics to the tune of these songs is absolutely apt for yogis who want to let go of themselves and focus on their movement. You can play it while doing yoga solo or you can join me in one of my classes and we might do yoga to one or all of these songs.
Song for You-Alexi MurdochTowards the Sun-Alexi MurdochFake Empire-The NationalDance Dance Dance-Lykke LiSay Amen-Skye
Being a yoga instructor, I have discovered many benefits of yoga over the years. I have learned that yoga is not merely some movements but it is the route through which I can connect with myself and with the world around me. The beautiful part of yoga is that it does not belong to one place or one nation. It is universal and everyone can understand the process even if they do not understand the language or the history behind this ancient practice.
What makes yoga so interesting is the fact that it is so beneficial that it actually has an impact on your physical wellness. It is understandable that exercise would make you flexible but the beauty of yoga lies in the fact that it helps in improving heart health and the working of other organs too.
Basically, when we are doing yoga, we are focusing on our bodies. For example, when we meditate, we focus on one point and let go of everything else. Yoga helps you let go of all the negative and focus on one thing, whether it is a song or hymn. Sometimes, it might even be just one word or a phrase and we call in mantra. Nowadays, music is a necessity in everyone’s lives. You keep your earphones plugged in even if you go out for grocery shopping. Why not use music in yoga too?
November Playlist for Yoga
I have made this playlist for yogis who will be doing yoga in November. This is the most of contemplation. We are coming to the end of the year and now, we look back at everything we have done during this year. Have we gotten better? Do we need to make any improvements for next year? What have we lost and what have we found? What are our plans and resolutions for the next year? All of these thoughts come into our minds as we come to the close of a year and beginning of another.
I have tried to make this playlist very inclusive. It has songs like Tarana from Ustad Sultan Khan that will soothe you on the inside and others like The Night by 14KT that will have you mesmerized by the lyrics. You might not understand every word of every song but I assure you that you will be able to sync your movements to every beat. If you are a beginner, I invite you to do yoga online with me. Together, we can sway and move to all these songs.
Yoga Playlist 123
Makes Me Wanna Die-Tricky Om Shantih Shantih Shantih (Mangala Mantra) Tarana -Ustad Sultan Khan Chez Roger Boite Funk-Troublemakers The Thing- Urbs & Cutex After Hours- Various Artists from Bedouin Cafe Grid Lok’d-Various Artists from Tandava Roostman Dub -U-Roy & François K. The Night-14KT Track 02-Vlad Tonglen Shiva Invocation-Various Artists from Nataraja: Compiled By Shiva Rea
While yoga might just be a routine activity for some people, there are others who use yoga as a way to connect with their inner selves and to free their minds of the problems that they are facing. According to Patanjali, who was one of the founding fathers of this practice, Yoga is the name of ‘stilling the mind’. In yoga, you still your mind and mental stillness takes you away from any kind of distraction or judgment that you face in your daily life.
Music for Mental Stillness in Yoga
Some people might associate mental stillness with silence but this does not always have to be the case. Your mind can be still and focused when without any silence. You just have to listen to the right kind of music as it will put you in a trance that will allow you to enjoy yoga and connect with your spirit. If you are just starting out, you mind find it confusing to sit silently doing yoga exercises without anything to synchronize them to. With music, this awkwardness is removed as you can connect with your mind and body. This physical and mental flow definitely helps you do much better.
Of course, this differs from person to person. Some people might like to have music playing in the background while others might be distracted by the same music. If you feel that the music you are playing is bringing back memories that you do not want to think about, then you can simply mute. However, for most people, music provides a rhythm that they can move to, while doing yoga. It also depends on the kind of yoga you are doing. For example, for Hatha, you would need a static kind of music playlist as it foes with the yoga poses.
Getting into the Flow
Science has been working on finding out how music affects our body and mind. According to most studies, music plays a role in improving your mood and enhancing physical performance. If there are so many benefits, then why not have a playlist playing in the background when you are doing yoga or teaching your students. Having some music in the background can make yoga much more fun especially if you are doing it with a group of people. Curating a yoga playlist is not like curating one for a road trip or a party. You have to play the right songs that will take you out of your fatigue and bring you to a world when you can flow with the words. This playlist will surely help you get into this world. The softer tones in these songs will help you get into a rhythm and go with the flow.
Different religions have different beliefs and teachings. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world and its basis is laid on different Gods and their stories. One of the strongest Hindu Gods is Shiva. Shiva is the God of Divine Energy, Time, Destruction, Devas, Destroyer of Evil and God of Dance. he is the Lord of all Gods or Devas. Other names of Shiva are Bholenath, Shankara and Mahesha. There are many mentions of Shiva in the Holy Scriptures. It is said that Shiva has three eyes. He used the third eye to burn Desire to ashes. Shiva also has a crescent moon on his head.
In most iconography, Shiva is shown covered in ashes. This shows that every material existence in the world will come to an end and turn to ashes. It is important that, during your life, your search for spiritual liberation as life is going to end one day for everyone. Shiva is often seen in a yoga pose. Since most of his iconography shows him meditating, Shiva is also called the God of Yoga. This is why yoga is often associated with Lord Shiva.
Shiva and Yoga
There is definitely a strong association between Lord Shiva and yoga. God is often seen in a meditating pose which is why many people say that the Lord is closely linked to yoga. In many yoga classes, Hindu songs are played as they help in keeping the yoga-doers in sync. If you want to relax and have attained mental wellness, you can do so by doing yoga. Not only does it help in keeping you mentally healthy but it also plays a role in ensuring that your mind is at peace.
This playlist is called Shiva Playlist because it has songs that are associated with the God. There are songs like Third Eye and Jaia Ganesha that will help you do your yoga poses much better. There is an aim song in the list too i.e. Cold Water Music. I have curated this playlist by keeping the Hindu God in mind. It is not only good for people from the Hindu faith but will also be amazing background music, during yoga, for everyone. You might not be able to understand the language in some songs such as Hawa Dolo by Ali Farka but the music is so captivating that it will keep you in your tracks. All the tracks in this playlist are great for group or individual yoga practice. So, the next time you pull out your yoga mat to relax your mind, you can play this playlist on Spotify.
Hinduism is a very spiritual religion where the tales of gods and goddesses govern people’s beliefs in things like good, evil, love and strength. Even out of Hinduism, there are people who follow some values and traditions of this religion, such as the Gayatri Mantra. It is also called Savitri Mantra as it is dedicated to Savitri who is the goddess of five elements.
Significance of Gayatri Mantra
According to the Gayatri mantra, meditation is the way of purifying yourself and increasing your Divine insight. It is the way for inspiring intellect. Your aim is life is to choose the right path for yourself and to see the sun that is inside you. There are different words in the mantra that mean different things such as Bhoor, which means existence. Your existence is what keeps you here but you need to figure out the meaning of this existence and what you need to spend your life doing. Secondly, the mantra talks about Prana, which means life.
Other than that, there is tat, which means praising Him, the great Lord. What this mantra says is that you should strive for everything without expecting anything in return. You should strive for finding divinity and praise God, without expecting personal benefits. Savitur shows that God exists as a fountain, from which everyone gets nourishment. All life springs from this fountain. Bhargo means purifying your intellect and keeping it pure so that it can be used for good only. We need to purify our thoughts and words, while destroying the sins that we commit.
Gaytri Mantra in Yoga
Most yoga teachers love doing yoga, in class, to Gayatri mantra as this mantra lets you connect with the inner spirit and your God in the best way. In this mantra, you ask God to enlighten you to see things that you can otherwise not see. This mantra lets you get in touch with His light and use that light to look inside you. Bhur is the physical plane while Savithur is the Sun. With the Gayatri mantra, you get in touch with all these planes. Even when you are doing yoga at home, you can play the Gayatri manta and do your yoga exercise. The beauty of this mantra is that even if you do not understand the language, you still feel it in your bones.
The Gayatri Mantra is one of my favourite mantras EVER.
Chanting with my class or in my own practice, I feel the benefits instantly…….
Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvah, Tat Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Deemahi Dhiya Yo Nah Prochodayat.
Om: primordial sound. Bhur: earth or physical plane. Bhuvah: water or mental/astral plane. Suvah: fire or celestial plane. Tat: that. Savithur: the Sun. Varenyam:adorable. Bhargo: luster. Devasya:lord. Deemahi: meditate upon. Dhiyo: intellect. Yo: this light. Nah: our. Prochodayat: enlighten.
Meaning of Gayatri Mantra: O Lord, we meditate upon you, please enlighten us with your light that is omnipresent in earth plane, astral plane and celestial plane.
Even though you might enjoy a different music genre when it comes to jamming with your friends, the kind of music that you play in the background during yoga should be different. There are different music genres for exercising or doing yoga and Reggae is one of the most popular genres for yoga. Reggae originated in the late 1960s. Coming from Jamaica, this music spread all around the world. The genre was named Reggae because this word was used in the song ‘Do the Reggay’ sung by Toots and the Maytals. Most of the time, people refer to Reggae as the music that is played in Jamaican dance. However, it is a genre that has been influenced by blues, jazz and New Orleans R&B. The thing about Reggae is that it relates news and political view.
The subgenres of this genre are roots reggae, lovers rock and reggae en Espanol. It also has various derivative forms such as drum and bass, jungle, dub and hip hop. There are many musical characteristics used in this musical genre, such as bass, guitars, horns, drums, keyboards and vocals.
Reggae and Yoga Music
Yoga is a beneficial practice that you can do every single day to stay healthy and live longer. It is not only yoga teachers that talk about the effectiveness of this practice. Science also proves the wonder of different yoga techniques through research and multiple studies. Yoga has been in practice for centuries. There was a time when people were just doing it without giving it a proper name. It has been a part of different cultures and traditions since the start of time. Nowadays, people go to yoga classes or do yoga at home to reap its benefits.
If you are doing yoga at home, you can play my reggae playlist in the background and let it captivate you while you try different techniques and yoga poses. These songs have been specifically hand-picked to sync with every movement of yours. Even as a yoga instructor or teacher, you can use this playlist while teaching your students or giving a yoga class. This playlist has Reggae songs from some of the best artists such as Dreadzone, Erykah Badu and Patrice. You might have never heard of these bands and artists before as they are not so mainstream but they are quite popular among people who are fond of Reggae. Play this playlist on Spotify when you are going to hold a yoga class or do yoga alone, the next time.
Reggae Yoga Playlist
1. Rebel Rouser-Bedouin Soundclash
2. Me-Erykah Badu
3. Ernie-Fat Freddie’s Drop
4. It’s Great When We’re Together-Finley Quaye
6. What More Can I Really Do-Half Pint
7. Hot Fun in the Summertime-Sly & the Family Stone
8. Linda Cancao-Barrio Jazz Gang
9. Until the Morning (rewound by Thievery Corp.)-Thievery Corporation
REIKO: We have read your book The Message from Water, and we introduced it on our website in our August issue. It has been our most popular article, with its readership increasing every week, and has raised many questions.
You mentioned in your book how you would type out words on a piece of paper and paste these written words onto a bottle, and see how the water reacted to the words — what kind of crystals were formed from the words. From your research, are you able to discern whether the reaction of the water came from the vibration of the actual words that were pasted onto the bottles, or whether the intention of the person who was pasting the words onto the bottle influenced the experiment in any way?
DR. EMOTO: This is one of the more difficult areas to clarify. However, from continuing these experiments we have come to the conclusion that the water is reacting to the actual words. For example, for our trip to Europe we tried using the words “thank you” and “you fool” in German. The people on our team who took the actual photographs of the water crystals did not understand the German for “you fool”, and yet we were able to obtain exactly the same kind of results in the different crystal formations based on the words used.
REIKO: Have you found that distance made any difference when people were praying over water? For example, if people in Japan were to pray over water in Russia, would this be different from people praying over water that is right in front of them?
DR. EMOTO: We have only experimented once with that in the book. But from that experiment, distance did not seem to matter. The intention and prayers of the person still influenced the water. We have not yet tried further experiments from a long distance. However, my feeling is that distance would not make much of a difference. What would make a difference is the purity of intent of the person doing the praying. The higher the purity of intent, the less of a difference the distance itself would make.
REIKO: Have you seen any difference between one person praying over water versus a whole group of people praying over water?
DR. EMOTO: Since the water reflects the composite energy of what is being sent to it, the crystalline structure reflects the composite vibrations of the group. So one person praying reflects the energy or intention of that one person. In terms of how powerful the effect can be, if you have one person praying with a deep sense of clarity and purity, the crystalline structure will be clear and pure. And even though you may have a large group of people, if their intention as a group is not cohesive, you end up with an incohesive structure in the water. However, if everyone is united together, you will find a clear, beautiful crystal, like one created by the prayer of a single person of deep purity.
In one of our experiments, we had some water on a table, and 17 participants all stood in a circle around a table holding hands. Then each of the participants spoke a beautiful word of their choice to the water. Words like unity, love, and friendship. We took before-and-after shots and were able to obtain some beautiful crystalline structures as a result of this. I have some slides that I will be showing of these crystals in my upcoming European tour.
REIKO: Is the water influenced immediately, or is there a time lag?
DR. EMOTO: In these cases we would freeze the water right away, so we could say that the water is changed instantaneously.
REIKO: Have you ever tested other human body fluids, such as saliva, blood, urine etc?
DR. EMOTO: Yes, we certainly have. However, fluids with other elements in them, like seawater, blood and urine, do not form crystals. However, we can dilute them with distilled water to something like 10 to the power of -12 or -20 or so. This dilutes the component of other elements in the fluid to the point where we can freeze the sample and obtain crystals.
REIKO: Could you then see the effect that energetic healing or prayer has on a person by looking at the crystals formed by their blood or urine?
DR. EMOTO: As far as experiments related to the human body are concerned, there are a lot of subtle influences that also need to be taken into consideration. So although we are looking at this, we have not publicized any information yet. However, you can look forward to hearing about our findings on this in the future.
REIKO: If we could imbue water with the energy of various words, for example, with the word, “health”, could we then use the water that has that vibration in it and use it to do things like grow food, water plants, etc?
DR. EMOTO: We have not tried this, but some people who have read the book are experimenting with bottling tap water and taping words like “love” and “appreciation” on the bottle and using that water to water their plants, or to put cut flowers in. They are finding that their cut flowers are lasting much longer, and that the plants in the garden are much more radiant.
REIKO: Once a certain vibration is introduced to the water, how long does the water “remember” that crystalline structure?
DR. EMOTO: This will be different depending on the original structure of the water itself. Tap water will lose its memory quickly. We refer to the crystalline structure of water as “clusters.” The smaller the clusters, the longer the water will retain its memory. If there is too much space between the clusters, other information could easily infiltrate this space, making it hard for the clusters to hold the integrity of the information. Other micro-organisms could also enter this space. A tight bonding structure is best for maintaining the integrity of information.
REIKO: What kind of words would create smaller clusters and what kind of words would create larger clusters?
DR. EMOTO: Slang words like “you fool” destroy clusters. You would not see any crystals in these cases. Negative phrases and words create large clusters or will not form clusters, and positive, beautiful words and phrases create small, tight clusters.
REIKO: You say that some negatives do not form clusters, but we see from your photos that they do still form characteristic patterns. How would you classify these patterns?
DR. EMOTO: Think of it in terms of vibration. It’s easy to understand that language — the spoken word — has a vibration. Well, written words also have a vibration. Anything in existence has a vibration. If I were to draw a circle, the vibration of a circle would be created. Drawing a cross would create the vibration of a cross. So if I write the letters L O V E, then these letters put out the vibration of love. Water can be imprinted with these vibrations. Beautiful words have beautiful, clear vibrations. But negative words put out ugly, incoherent vibrations which do not form clusters. Language is not something artificial, but rather is something that exists naturally. I believe that language is created by nature.
REIKO: Does that mean that every word has its own signature vibration or cluster that is unique to itself?
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DR. EMOTO: Yes. During our evolution, we learned what sounds were dangerous, what sounds were soothing and safe, and what sounds were pleasurable, and so on. We slowly learned about various vibrations of the laws of nature. We learned this through instinct and through experience. We accumulated this information over time. We started out with some simple sounds like “a” or “u” or “e,” which evolved into more complex sounds like “love.” And these positive words create “natural” crystalline structures — which are all based on the hexagon.
In fact, the structure of all evolution in nature, from an informational perspective, is based on the hexagon. The reason hexagons are formed has to do with the chemical reaction of the benzene ring. I believe that anything that lacks this basic hexagonal structure is out of accord with the laws of nature and holds a destructive vibration. So when we look at things that do not exist naturally — things that have been created artificially — many of them lack this hexagonal structure and so they have, I believe, a destructive vibration.
This principle is what I think makes swearing and slang words destructive. These words are not in accordance with the laws of nature. So, for example, I think you would probably find higher rates of violent crime in areas where a lot of negative language is being used. Just as the Bible says, first there was the Word, and God created all of Creation from the Word.
So words actually convert the vibrations of nature into sound. And each language is different. Japanese has its own set of vibrations that differs from American. Nature in America is different from nature in Japan. An American cedar is different from a Japanese cedar, so the vibrations coming from these words are different. In this way, nothing else holds the same vibrations as the word arigato. In Japanese, arigato means “thank you.” But even when there is this mutual underlying meaning, arigato and thank you create different crystalline structures. Every word in every language is unique and exists only in that language.
REIKO: Have you come across a particular word or phrase in your research that you have found to be most helpful in cleaning up the natural waters of the world?
DR. EMOTO: Yes. There is a special combination that seems to be perfect for this, which is love plus the combination of thanks and appreciation reflected in the English word gratitude. Just one of these is not enough. Love needs to be based in gratitude, and gratitude needs to be based in love. These two words together create the most important vibration. And it is even more important that we understand the value of these words. For example, we know that water is described as H2O. If we were to look at love and gratitude as a pair, gratitude is the H and love is the O. Water is the basis that not only supports but also allows the existence of life. In my understanding of the concept of yin and yang, in the same way that there is one O and two Hs, we also need one part yang/love to two parts yin/gratitude, in order to come to a place of balance in the equation.
Love is an active word and gratitude is passive. When you think of gratitude — a combination of appreciation and thankfulness — there is an apologetic quality. The Japanese word for gratitude is kan-sha, consisting of two Chinese characters: kan, which means feeling, and sha, apology. It’s coming from a reverential space, taking a step or two back. I believe that love coming from this space is optimal love, and may even lead to an end to the wars and conflicts in the world. Kan-sha is inherent in the substance H2O — an essential element for life.
REIKO: So if we were to develop a car that could run on water instead of gasoline, and return the water to the atmosphere and subsequently back into space in this way, would that be one way of fulfilling our task?
DR. EMOTO: I think that would be a wonderful thing, and for the sake of preserving Mother Nature it is the direction that we need to go. However, since water is the mirror reflecting our level of consciousness, a large percentage of the people on the planet, at least 10 percent of the people, need to have the love and the kan-sha awareness. When they do, then the time will come when water can be used to replace gasoline. And the reason I say 10 percent is that this ratio is mirrored in nature. When we look at the world of bacteria, for example, there are 10 percent good bacteria, 10 percent bad, and a majority of 80 percent opportunistic bacteria that could go either way. In looking at the various environmental issues we are faced with, and the tasks that we need to fulfill for the planet, if we could get more than 10 percent of the people consciously aware, than I believe we could pull the 80 percent in that direction, too.
And so I believe that the people who are following a spiritual path are promoting peace for the planet and for other people. If we could only unite on this level of consciousness, then we will be there.
I feel that my book The Message From Water has given birth to a convincing message through a common language for the whole world. Not because I wrote it, but because I know it was birthed through kan-sha toward mankind. I think this is why so many people from other countries want to interview me about the book. I am being invited to give talks at six different European locations. Things have been coming in non-stop from abroad.
REIKO: Do you believe that water itself is conscious and is reacting to the words?
DR. EMOTO: I understand that many of your readers are people interested in spiritual matters, and I would like to answer this question from that perspective. I believe that prior to Adam and Eve water itself held the consciousness of God — that God’s intention was put into the medium of water, and that this was used in the creation of Earth and Nature. In other words, all of the information needed for God’s Creation was reflected in the water.
And then we — Adam and Eve — were placed on Earth to be the caretakers for this Creation of God. I believe that water held the consciousness of God until then, but that after the caretakers were placed on Earth, water became an empty vessel to mirror and reflect what was in the heart. It became a container to carry energy and information. Therefore, since this time, I think water has taken on the quality of simply reflecting the energies and thoughts that it is exposed to; that it no longer has its own consciousness. Water reflects the consciousness of the human race.
REIKO: Would you tell us your philosophical thoughts about what you believe these water crystals really are?
DR. EMOTO: After the book was published, I was wondering about this, and I came to the realization that these crystals are spirits. There are many parallels. When ice melts, the crystalline structure becomes an illusion. It’s there — and yet it’s not there, because you can no longer see it.
Similarly, when a person dies their body loses several grams of weight — what some people think of this as the weight of the soul. But then we can often visually see them. I think that the soul has mass, and that it returns to water molecules. And because it has mass, it is affected by the gravitational pull of the earth. And so sometimes the soul cannot transition over to the other side.
In Buddhism, we talk about attaining sattori, or reaching enlightenment. People who attain sattori do not become ghosts. They are able to achieve a certain stage of development at the soul level and return to God for a while before they move on to their next assignment.
We traveled here to Earth on the water crystals of spheres of ice [Editor’s Note: You will hear more about this amazing phenomenon in an upcoming issue of the Spirit of Ma’at on the subject of water.] Earth is not our native home. There was nothing here. So these souls can return to their native homes for awhile. That is sattori, or enlightenment. However, most people on the planet are not able to attain enlightenment. To reach enlightenment means to be able to completely let go of the ego and our worldly attachments.
In the past 100 years the world’s population has increased from 1 billion to 6 billion. During these 100 years, war and capitalism has dominated the planet. Rather than being able to detach from our desires, the opposite has been true. Our desires have grown and grown. Very few people have been able to attain enlightenment in this environment. Few souls have been able to go “home” and I believe they have remained on Earth in the form of water. This connects into the concept of reincarnation, where these spirits keep falling back to Earth and need to redo their lives here.
REIKO: So when a person dies, if they are unable to attain sattori at that time, their soul remains on this planet as water?
DR. EMOTO: That is what I believe, yes. The Japanese character for spirit is a combination of the words “rain” and “soul.” People who have seen ghosts report seeing them in water or in places where there is a lot of humidity. It’s as if the imprint of the soul, which is in the form of water, suddenly takes form when surrounded by water or moisture — much like a mirage.
And so, looking at the pictures of the water crystals and the impact they are having, I came to the realization that these themselves are ghosts. Up until now, I had thought of ghosts as something to be frightened of, something that we could do nothing about. But watching these crystals, I realized that by simply projecting beautiful music and words onto them, the crystals or ghosts become beautiful. If that’s the case, there’s nothing to be frightened of. We need to let everybody know about this, and all use beautiful words and offer beautiful music, and create beauty in the environment.
By receiving beautiful thoughts and feelings and words and music, our ancestral spirits get lighter and are now able to make the transition “home.” When we consider this, we can see the importance of traditions like Obon [a Japanese summer tradition where ancestral spirits are invited back to spend time with the family, and the ancestors are taken care of and respected].
When we are alive, the human body is at approximately 36 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature of the fluids in the body. When we die, this goes to zero degrees Celsius. When we die and go to the other side, crossing the river, we are no longer able to move our bodies. But the crystalline structure of our soul emerges. It’s like water. When water turns to ice, the crystalline structure becomes visible, but it also becomes immobile. So “crystal” equals “spirit.”
This is an article I wrote for the Lululemon Blog on how to make a yoga playlist…
Music is the soundtrack of our lives. What we listen to affects how we interpret our experience. That’s why a really good Dj is important. Whether you’re Djing in a club, at your house, or in a yoga class, you have the power to create any kind of mood you like.
My love affair with music started in the womb. My parents played gregorian chants on headphones for my listening pleasure as I floated in my mum’s tummy. Music was always playing in our house growing up. My father was known for his mix tapes in the community. He’s made over 200 mixes in his day.
When I took my first class at Jivamukti Yoga, I fell in love. I could tell the teacher had thought out how her playlist set the tone for the class. Two things made vinyasa my yoga style of choice: breathe based movement and that music is an integral part of the practice. A good playlist is one that takes you on a journey.
I thought I’d share my creative process on how I make yoga playlists. It usually starts because either I hear a song that inspires me to move, there’s a theme I would like to work with, or there’s a bhav (mood) I’d like to create. From there I go through my music files and find other songs in the same genre or that have the same bhav (mood). You can also find like minded songs through ‘Genius’ on iTunes. Depending upon the BPMs of the song, it goes into one of four categories of the playlist. From there, you create the rest.
The opening is usually one to two slower songs to set the stage while you’re doing your surya namaskars. The next three songs start upping the energy. The third part is the peak/meat of the playlist. These songs will have the highest energy of the playlist, 30-50 minutes. Peak pose is usually around the 55 min mark of a 90 min class. After the peak pose, we move to the floor series: backbends, hip openers, twists and forward folds. During the floor series I begin I bring down the energy by slowing the tempo. The first two songs of the fourth part are bit slower than the peak and by the end of this part, they are super mellow readying for the shavasana song. What’s great about doing it this way is I rarely need to look at a clock while I teach as I can tell what time it is by where I am in the playlist. My playlists are usually 75 min long as I factor in 5 min for intro at the beginning and 5-8 min at the end for meditation and closing prayer. I also have a shavasana playlist just in case I need a bit more music at the end and my current playlist is over.
The Break Down
0-10 Min (Sun As)
Slow music to ease into the flow, usually accoustic, one person singing if any. Folk and classical pieces work great here. (Bon Iver, Arvo Part, Susheela Raman, Iron & Wine, Jamie Woon, Krishna Das, Bill Withers)
10-30 Min (Sun Bs, standing series)
Down tempo, lounge music, R&B (Thievery Corp., Erykah Badu, radiohead, Bonobo, Bill Withers, Shaman’s Dream, Dj Shadow, Underworld)
30-55 Min (Standing series, moving towards peak pose)
A bit more upbeat or stay with lounge depending upon what your peak pose is. I usually have a house song as my peak song if the peak is a very energizing pose, inversions/arm balances. (Junior Boys, Amma, Antibalas, Beat Pharmacy, Girish, Gazal, Cheb I Sabbah, Gotan Project, Spy from Cairo)
55-65 Min (Backbends, floor series)
Back to down tempo, lounge, instrumental (Finley Quaye, Fat Freddy Drop, Portishead, Cat Power, Nightmares on Wax, Alif Tree, Tony Allen, Massod Ali Kahn)
65-75 Min (Shavasana)
Chillest song of the playlist. Jai Uttal, Sade, Brian Eno, Amrita, Ben Leinbach, Shanti Shivani, silence is also great)
Here’s some examples of playlists:
Rain Holocene 5:41 Bon Iver Bon Iver That Home 1:53 The Cinematic Orchestra First two songs above are mellow. To Be Alone With You 2:48 Sufjan Stevens Close to Me 5:16 Elk City Brothers On A Hotel Bed 4:31 Death Cab for Cutie The Dress Looks Nice On You 2:32 Sufjan Stevens See-Line Woman 2:38 Nina Simone Gabriel 4:19 Lamb For Emma 3:41 Bon Iver His Master’s Voice 4:50 Monsters Of Folk Time And Space 8:31 The Cinematic Orchestra ‘Round Midnight 5:23 Thelonious Monk Oh, Lonesome Me (Ft. Lucinda Williams) 6:06 M. Ward Don’t Explain 4:22 Nina Simone A Thousand Tiny Pieces 3:46 The Be Good Tanyas I created it during the winter here in Vancouver, when we were in a particularly long spell of rain. The gift the rain gives us the opportunity to go deep inside. This playlist was to do exactly that. The peak song was Nina Simone’s, ‘See-Line Woman’. Besides that song, all the others are slower, setting a more earthy practice.
House Something About Us 3:51 Daft Punk manvantara 9:28 bliss The Messenger 3:48 New Funky Generation This Is The Time 4:48 Dubtribe Sound System Free (Deep house remix) 6:21 Jill Scott After Hours 4:00 Various Artists Bedouin Cafe 2 Please U (Losoul Surreal Visits Dub) 2:59 Freaks Someday 5:23 Beard On My Own 6:00 Amma The Rhythm In Your Mind 7:28 Dubtribe Sound System DJ Kicks 6:19 DJ Kicks DJ Kicks bangla soul 4:24 baul dimension Silent Stations Pt 1 7:27 Project JPO I like to play this one when I’m working on inversions and arm balances as it’s very high energy.
Yuppers Let Your Be Known Remix 7:10 Steve Gold Ganapati 6:44 Susheela Raman By Your Side (Neptunes remix) 4:00 Sade Sometimes 4:07 Raphael Saadiq Diferente 5:22 Gotan Project Stay For Awhile (feat. Angie Stone) 4:02 Anthony Hamilton 100 Yard Dash 2:19 Raphael Saadiq Until The Morning (Rewound By Thievery Corporation) 3:39 Thievery Corporation Ernie 7:17 Fat Freddy’s Drop Fire And Rain 3:26 James Taylor Sea of Love 2:18 Cat Power/Myra Lee Into Dust 5:37 Mazzy Star ‘Yuppers’ was inspired by the first song on the list by Steve Gold. I heard it in Seattle when he gave it to my teacher, Shiva Rea. It brings back such beautiful memories for me and I find it so powerful. I play this one when it’s a heart opening/backbending themed class. Every song on this playlist is a homage to one of my teachers. This is only a 55 min playlist. I usually stop it for a bit after the final backbends so students can really sit in their experience of the heart openers. I put it back on when we get into hip openers.
Many people ask me where I get my music. I am blessed to have a couple friends back in NYC and San Fran that share what they’re excited about every so often. They’ve also come to know my tastes and send me things randomly when they think I’d dig it. Compilations are a great way to find out about new music (ie buddha bar, asian travels, Punjabi lounge, Shiva Rea’s compilations are great). Genius in the iTunes store is also good. I’m from the electronic era so I love world beats mixed with electronica. Too many words in a song can make you feel like you’re competing while teaching. There are times when I love hip hop and other genres with a lot of lyrics if I’m teaching an intermediate/advanced class as I don’t have to talk as much. However in open level classes, I prefer playlists with less lyrics in the peak part of the class as I’m usually cueing a lot. The most important thing to remember when making a playlist is that it should be music that inspires you! If you’re inspired by the music, it will come across in your teaching. There’s nothing worst than being in a class with elevator music (that’s what i call music playing softly in the background). Either play music and have it enhance the class, or don’t play it all. Music has the ability to take us deeper into our experience and it has the ability to take us out. So be conscious of how the music is shaping the experience.
Intellect and love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, ‘Beware too much ecstasy,’ whereas love says ‘Oh, never mind! Take the plunge! Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortless reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasure. –Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love
What is your relationship to the intellect?
What are you willing to risk to deepen your practice?