In a yoga class setting up a vibe with lights, music and space is such a key part of the experience.
It really takes you to a sacred place and I tend to get all bejiggety is my sound system is not working. Whenever I am teaching at a new place or subbing I make sure to spend awhile understanding how their music system works (I’m not technically inclined and tend to panic when the music won’t start) I tend to play the same 30 CDs all the time but I love picking up new ones all the time ( a few years from now this list will be very different) Even if you don’t practice yoga, these CDs will work well if you want a sacred vibe for meditation or a special ceremony. A few of them will work well for cocktail parties too.
Shamanic Dream – When I play this in my classes, I almost always get a student come up and ask me what the CD is. It is hypnotic, ambient and a bit tribal all at the same time but with a fairly even tone. I teach a lot of couples yoga classes and I usually play this at the end so peple can drop into a very deep space when the lights are very low. This will transport you.
Sound Sleep for Infants -Another CD you won’t usually find on your top ten yoga music CDs. I don’t know if I would play this during the entire class but it works stunningly during Shivasna. It is some ambient music with a heartbeat in the background. This doesn’t work well if there is background noise like an AC in background though. I also play this CD for 40 minutes at night when I have insomnia. This CD makes me feel like I am in the womb.
Snatam Kaur – I discovered her when I was at Omega a few years ago. She was part of the Ecstatic Chant weekend. Don’t let her turban scare you. She does a few songs in English as well. She has a voice like an angel and you can feel her soul pouring into all of her chants. This is one of the CDs that my yoga students ask me about the most in my yoga class.
Rain – Another CD you won’t usually find on your top ten yoga music CDs. This is acoustic guitar and piano and I remember playing this when I driving around in the mountains of Vermont during the changing of the leaves. I still see the leaves whenever I listen to this. The music just matched the mood so well – melancholically beautiful.
Desert Dwellers – One of my students suggested this to me a few months ago. I tend to have a lot of CDs that are not just Sankrit chants and Ooommming. I like the chill, funky vibe but the tone is even enough to play in a class. A good one to play at cocktail hour as well.
Wah! – The ! is not a typo. I discovered Wah! when I was working at the Chopra Center in San Diego a few years ago. We used to play her CDs in the store to give it a Chopra Center vibe. I’ve seen her play a few times and it always shocks me that she is is not in bigger venues ( she usually leads a Kirtan at a yoga studio) If Natalie Merchant and a chanting Indian guru had a baby then this is who they would produce.
Le Spa Sonique – Don’t let the purple flowers scare you. This had a euro chill kind of vibe to it, sweet, sultry and sexy. I think I discovered this at Kripalu a few years ago.The beat can be a bit funky and might not work that well during shivasana. This is a great CD to play for a cocktail hour as well.
Deva Premal & Mitten I don’t think you can call yourself a yoga teacher unless you have at least 2 of their DVDs. Deva’s voice is like an angel and their tunes are soulful, sensual and penetrating. I get plenty of students that come up to me after class asking what the music is. I remember the first time I went to one of their concerts. They think of their concerts more like a group of people getting together and singing…very interactive and the way that they lead some of the mantras you’ll feel incredibly connected to the ether of the universe. My favorite song is in English though, “There is so Much Magnificence”.
Krishna Das What Bruce Springsteen is to Modern Rock, Krishna Das is to the kirtan (group chant) scene. I saw him perform at Omega a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. His songs are in Sankrit which could turn off some of your students ( or could turn the other ones on…everybody’s different). His CDs are good to play in class but attend one of his live shows and watch yogis jump and twirl around in delirium to his music.
What are your favorite CDs or music to play during yoga or meditation? Post your thoughts on our Facebook page.
When I play this in my classes, I almost always get a student come up and ask me what the CD is. It is hypnotic, ambient and a bit tribal all at the same time but with a fairly even tone. I teach a lot of couples yoga classes and I usually play this at the end so peple can drop into a very deep space when the lights are very low. This will transport you.