How does one define yoga music?

In my humble opinion, ‘one’ does not. Yoga music is any music you want to practice to. At home, you have every option. If you love Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and have even been known to rock it out to Led Zepplin, super duper, crank it up. If it gets you on your mat and helps you harmonize your breath, then it’s most def yoga music.

When sequencing music for a yoga class, it’s a little more important to consider the tastes of many. I’ve threatened to teach a class entirely to a Beastie Boys soundtrack, but as of yet, it’s just a threat. Choose the music you love that’s conducive to movement without being distracting. The music has to arch just as a class does. If you begin your classes with gentle poses and you’re moving slowly, the music needs to reflect this, obvi. When you’re working towards a more dynamic phase, it’s helpful if the music is a bit more upbeat with a faster tempo.

Creating yoga music playlists is an art form enjoyed by many

But that doesn’t mean it’s simple. I always wind up putting a clunker on the first time around and have to tweak and refine it. It takes time and patience and you don’t want to hear the exact same songs in every single class. I’ve long been a gigantic fan of Thievery Corporation, and they’re on almost every single playlist from 2010-17. But it turns out a whole lotta yoga teachers really dig them too. You’ll hear them frequently in Vinyasa flow classes. Keep it fresh so it’s not a distraction. The idea is to add to the class experience.

If you’re looking for some yoga music suggestions, that’s terrific news because I have tons. You just might maybe find your latest favorite song to practice and teach with. Music lends itself so hardcore to finding liberation and creativity on your mat. Find your earbuds and get ready to be moved.

  • Horsetown in Vain by Kid Loco. It’s eerie, sensual, and will inspire you to discovered uncharted territory on your mat. This is yoga music at it’s finest. Put it either at the beginning or end of your playlist if you’re using it for a class.
  • You Better by Grenda. This song wasn’t a punch in the gut. It wasn’t a love tap. It was a wake-up call. The very first note mesmerizes and it doesn’t let go. Depending on the type of flow you want, you can put it almost anywhere on a playlist. Maybe it’s not a savasana song, but it’s a song to rever and it’s very yoga-conducive.
  • Nectar Drop by DJ Drez. Such a cool, chill song. But it won’t put you to sleep chill. It’s definitely a movement song and you’ll have a really good time exploring your practice with this one.
  • Ritual Union by Little Dragon. Damn this song is fun. It’s catchy and so easy to move to. Put it in the middle when you’re really getting into the groove of your practice.
  • Brain by Banks. I love this woman. I love this song. You will feel things, maybe even uncomfortable things. But that’s what yoga music does. It gets us out of our comfort zones sometimes too. It can go at the beginning of a playlist if you plan to start with a bit more intensity. But it might be best placed right before you’re going to start winding things down.
  • Writing Poems by Ludovico Einaudi. To me, this is one of the most perfect savasana songs in the universe. It’s gorgeous, dreamy, and will encourage peaceful feelings. You’ll also probably want to play it on repeat for a while.

Enjoy your exploration into the vast world of yoga music. Please add any suggestions you have in the comments too.