‘Which is best – silence or music for yoga? This is a question I am often asked by my students.
Relaxing tunes or nothing at all?
In my experience, just as you’ll have your favourite time of day to practice,or preferred set of poses to work through, music – or the lack of it – during yoga is a purely personal choice.
For some, complete silence is their ideal ‘background noise’ as it helps them completely relax and avoid what can sometimes be the distractions of a piece of music. For many others, having something soothing yet inspiring pouring from your speakers is the perfect accompaniment to a fulfilling yoga session.
Here we take a look at the pros and cons of playing music while you’re on the mat, and the different types of music you popular with yoga practice.
Silence or Music For Yoga – the pros for each
Studies have shown that music can act as a wonderful brain stimulant – for example, just think about the songs that, when you hear them, transport you back to another time or place in your mind as they evoke warm memories of something that happened in the past. With a song playing as you exercise, the tune or lyrics can offer comfort or a boost to your efforts meaning you put more into your session (and obviously get more out of it!).
A melodic track can often drown out any of your negative thoughts or inner doubts, or those mundane things that can pop into your head while you’re trying to pose. We’ve all been there, mid-pose, when you suddenly beginning fretting about a work email you haven’t replied to or that you’ve forgotten certain ingredients for the dinner you’re preparing that night.
Playing music can help you focus and forget, and be a very useful tool in your yoga armoury. It can aid you as you ‘look inwards’ and put away all thoughts of the outside world and its troubles. And, don’t forget, it can often lead to a great workout as you time your poses to certain sections of a track, shifting as the music shifts, and driving your yoga session forwards to a satisfying conclusion in time with whatever you are listening to.
Silence or Music For Yoga – the cons for each
Many yoga practitioners believe that any form of sound – music, traffic, even your family arguing in an adjacent room – can be detrimental to a good workout. They insist that absolute silence is necessary in order to turn inwards and listen to your inner self, and melodic tracks or any form of lyrics can make you lose focus and hinder the flow of your session.
If you want to focus on your breathing or whatever thoughts you are having, music can be a disruptive influence to your session. Furthermore, if you are taking part in a lesson where music is being played, it might prove difficult to hear your teacher over any melodies or lyrics which means you could miss instructions and make mistakes.
Popular Types of Music for Yoga
Choosing the wrong music for yoga can increase stress levels and becoming irritating – which is the opposite of what you want!
To feel energised there are countless songs and tracks, from ambient dance music to uplifting soul anthems that you can incorporate into your sessions, while there is also a huge selection of slightly more relaxed (and relaxing!) choices ranging from classical music to power ballads.
To incorporate relaxing music into your sessions though, the favourite choices of music for yoga practice are:
- Sound therapy recordings (such as Tibetan singing bowls which vibrate and produce a rich, deep tone when played and are said to promote relaxation and offer powerful healing properties)
- Gregorian chants(which is described as a spiritual discipline believed to improve listening skills, heightened energy and more sensitivity toward others)
- Whale noises and recordings of nature (the sea, morning birdsong and so on) that will not impact on your time on the yoga mat.
- Mantras, such as some classis Sanskrit mantras recorded onto CD, can be a great way of providing a pace and rhythm for you to match with your poses.
Spotify and other music streaming apps are becoming increasingly popular and can be a great way of discovering new music from playlists that have already been created by other yoga practitioners, with numerous collections of songs and tracks and downloads available to listen to or use as inspiration for your own playlist.
There’s such a variety of music for yoga out there to choose from and so many different ways to access and listen to it, one thing you can be sure of is that if you prefer music for your yoga sessions, you will be spoilt for choice!
Learn Yoga In Somerset with Emma
Emma teaches yoga classes, pregnancy yoga, mum and baby yoga and even teaches yoga to students wishing to become instructors themselves, in and around the Somerset, Bath, Radstock and Midsomer Norton area.
Emma focuses on mindful yoga, ensuring every student who joins her class will feel relaxed yet energised throughout the class and in between classes too.
Emma’s classes are suitable for all levels, so no previous experience is necessary. If you are advanced at yoga you can be confident Emma will provide a tailored class experience to match your skills.
If you want to join in, get in touch!
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