Music and yoga: the perfect combination

I love music. During my own yoga practice I’ll always have my iPod on in the background shuffling between Led Zeppelin songs with 10 minute guitar solos, early 90s gangster rap and pop tunes that I’m too utterly embarrassed to name. Even though not all this music would be what you traditionally define as ‘relaxing,’ I find incorporating music into yoga, regardless of the genre or style is rewarding on different levels. Upbeat music makes me feel motivated and enthusiastic. The slower, chilled tunes have a wonderful calming effect. Whether music is slow or fast, soft or loud the songs can have effects on deeper levels. Some songs remind us of certain memories while others evoke emotions within you.

But not everyone would agree with me on the use of music in yoga. If you go to a yoga class, you may find that if any music is played at all, it is usually new age and zen, traditional chants or sounds of the ocean or rain forests (Not that there’s anything wrong with this. This music is chosen as it is obviously deeply relaxing. Many songs on my play lists would also fall under these styles and genres.)

So, when I first heard about the Future Sound of Yoga I was intrigued. The Future Sound of Yoga is a yoga class with a twist. Classes combine traditional asanas and sequences with free form dance. What sets the Future Sound of Yoga apart from other classes is that it is an experience. The yoga class features a live DJ and offers you the chance to explore movement and music in an entirely different way.

So last Saturday night instead of hitting the town, I headed off to Yoga Synergy at Newtown. The Future Sound of Yoga classes are led by instructor, Angel and DJ, Matt. Angel guides you throughout postures while Matt provides the soundtrack with music as diverse as Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Danger Mouse and electronic dance mixes.

The class doesn’t so much focus on strict instructions, but allows you a chance to experiment with asanas and movement according to your own body and needs. You are encouraged to go as slow or as fast as you like to allow you to connect with the mind and body and simply let go. So for instance when going into a forward bend – you’re encouraged to play around. Go into the posture in time with the music and allow your arms to float and move to the music as you do so. The Future Sound of Yoga allows you to  express yourself through movement with yoga and music, making it a relaxing and truly sensory experience.

The classes run for two hours and each climaxes with 15 minutes of free form dance. I have to admit at first I found this very strange. But when you’re dancing in the dark you release all inhibitions. If you’ve had a hard day at work, had a fight with your partner or are just plain excited about something, here’s your chance to express it and let go in a way like never before. The free form session intensified with an electro-dance mix and in the dark, everyone danced manically, pranced around the room, waved glow sticks and even rolled on the floor. It was a yoga rave.

We then wound down with the help of Clair de Lune by Debussy (possibly the most relaxing and beautiful piece of music ever) and then prepared for relaxation with a choral version of Radiohead’s, Creep.

I left the class feeling a tad bit sticky and sweaty from the intense dance session, but floating light on my feet, more in tuned with my body and mind and looking forward to booking my next yoga/rave session.

Do you listen to music while you practice yoga or exercise? What are your favourite songs to work out to?

Veronica Joseph

Veronica Joseph

Veronica Joseph is an accredited yoga teacher who loves to share her yogic journey from travels in India, cleansing techniques, her favourite poses and their benefits and tips to remember when practising.

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