What’s Your Favorite Yoga Sound? Yoga Playlists For Chill and Sweat

painting by: Autumn Skye

painting by: Autumn Skye

I don’t think Pattabhi Jois was bumpin’ DJ Drez or MC Yogi while he taught a yoga class….. I’m not saying playing music in yoga class is wrong! I’m expressing quite the opposite and I’m saying times are changing. We are mixing the ancient art of yoga with old school hip-hop and new school dub-step.

What kind of music pumps you up? What kind of music puts you in a feel-good mood? What kind of music do you like to practice yoga to? Or do you prefer silence when you practice yoga? Every person will have a different answer and none of them are wrong. Different strokes for different folks.

Recorded music played in a yoga class is a somewhat new trend.
Nowadays, you can walk into a hundred different yoga studios and hear a hundred different genres of music blasting from the speakers or coming from live instruments. Certain types of music, or non-music, attract a certain type of student. In a yoga studio, it is now common to hear trance, dance, dub-step, rock, folk, you name it.

Traditionally, yoga was only accompanied by the breath and the instructional voice of the teacher. At times, the sound of live Indian instruments such as a sitar or harmonium would be thrown into the mix for a beautiful yoga experience. Silence in a yoga class assists in turning off all worldly images and helps to tune the mind into meditative peacefulness, while bringing the physical body into the picture as well. Quiet in mind and body, as you yoke (connect) the mind and body.

Traditional yoga music is usually made up of chanting, or mantras being sung, which is called kirtan music. All of these “approved” yoga sounds were the norm for many decades. These carefully selected sounds served the principles of focus and concentration. Kirtan music is made up of repeated mantras, usually in Sanskrit. Even if we do not understand the language, it is a fully charged mantra, full of intention and the listener will understand the meaning without fully knowing really what it means. Furthermore, it will affect the listener positively, just as the practice of yoga affects the practitioner positively.

In our modern, fast-paced society our brains are constantly being bombarded with noise. Traffic, jingles, sounds effects, conversations, ideas, words, words, words, and music, music, music everywhere. It’s sometimes a blessing when I attend a yoga class with no music. It allows me to give my brain a rest and fully focus on the teacher’s instruction and storytelling. At the same time, when I attend classes accompanied by music, I do appreciate carefully selected music to assist in the storytelling. Sometimes the music is a part of the story and it drives the practice.

Unless the teacher follows a specific method such as Bikram or Kundalini Yoga (these methods have strict guidelines), designing a yoga class is entirely up to the teacher. The sky is the limit in terms of creativity and how theatrical the class will be. At One Down Dog, our teachers craft well-thought out playlists for our classes. Each class type on our schedule has a certain vibe of music to go along with it. For example, the CHILL classes are accompanied by a soothing, mellow playlist (check out my CHILL playlist below). The SWEAT classes are extremely varied in musical flavors, but you can always expect a fun and upbeat, usually dance-y type of playlist (Check out my SWEAT playlist below).

Whatever type of music you enjoy, try it out for your personal home practice. See how it makes you feel. Does it work for yoga? Yoga is all about experimenting and trying new things, playing new music, and even turning the music off every once in awhile.

My CHILL playlist

  • Eastern Sun by Earth Essence
  • Across The Universe by Modern Meditations
  • Horizonte by OCNO
  • Enchanting City by DJ Drez
  • Tiger Striped Sky by Roo Panes
  • Morning by Beck
  • Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone
  • She by Laura Mvula
  • Heart Is A Drum by Beck
  • Oh That I Had by Mt. Eden
  • Golden Age by Jamestown Revival
  • Breathe In Air by Phaeleh ft. Soundmouse
  • Bloodstream by Stateless
  • Embrace by Blackmill
  • Lotus Garden Spaces by Desert Dwellers
  • Grounded by Sacred Earth

My SWEAT Playlist

  • Should Be True by Phaeleh
  • Sonnentanz by Klangkarussell
  • Call It What You Want by Foster The People
  • Lost In Me by Emily Underhill
  • Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) by Flight Facilities
  • Fantasy (Nicita Remix) by MS MR
  • 4AM (Adam K. and Soha Mix) by Kaskade
  • No Rest For The Wicked (Robin Schulz remix) by Lykke Li
  • Liberate (Lane 8 remix) by Eric Prydz
  • Xenogenesis by TheFatRat
  • Run You Down by Phetsta, Reija Lee
  • The Spice by Random Rab
  • Contours & Cloudforms by Alpha Wave Movement

Article written by Brittany Kovler, Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Coach
Check out her class schedule here.

Interview: Nourish Your Soul with Rachelle Tratt of The Neshama Project

Nourish Your Soul with Neshama Project and Philosophie Foods | One Down Dog Silverlake Yoga Studio Workshop

In addition to kick-ass, fun and playful yoga classes, we love bringing in members of our community to teach workshops that will further our practice and enrich our lives. We’re so excited about our upcoming Nourish Your Soul Workshop at our studio in Silverlake on April 19th! A master sweaty and soulful detox class led by Rachelle Tratt of The Neshama Project, followed by discussion on how to create and dive deeper into a soulful, purposeful and meaningful life. Then an introduction to nourishing your body with a healthy, balanced and superfood enriched diet led by nutritionist Sophie Jaffe of Philosophie.

Last week, we interviewed Sophie. This week, we got some insight into Rachelle’s mission with The Neshama Project plus a special bonus recipe for Fast & Easy Soulful Superfood Hummus.

Sign up for the workshop here and read on to learn more!

Continue reading

Interview: Nourish Your Soul with Sophie Jaffe of Philosophie Superfoods

Nourish Your Soul with Neshama Project and Philosophie Foods | One Down Dog Silverlake Yoga Studio Workshop In addition to kick-ass, fun and playful yoga classes, we love bringing in members of our community to teach workshops that will further our practice and enrich our lives. We’re so excited about our upcoming Nourish Your Soul Workshop at our studio in Silverlakeon April 19th! A master sweaty and soulful detox class led by Rachelle Tratt of The Neshama Project, followed by discussion on how to create and dive deeper into a soulful, purposeful and meaningful life. Then an introduction to nourishing your body with a healthy, balanced and superfood enriched diet led by nutritionist Sophie Jaffe of Philosophie. We had the pleasure of interviewing Sophie about her company and how she got started. Sign up for the workshop here and read on to learn more! Continue reading

VIDEO: Eagle Rock Yoga Studio Grand Opening Party!

Eagle Rock Yoga Studio Grand Opening Party

We had so much fun at the grand opening party for our new Eagle Rock yoga studio! Awesome flows, glow sticks, kombucha from Health-Ade and good friends. Can’t get better than this! And the fun continues as our schedule keeps on growing. Check out the new early morning classes we add recently at 7am on Mondays and Wednesdays. Drop us a line and let us know what other times you would like to see!

How Your Favorite Yoga Instructors Blossomed Into the Zenyonces You Love and Adore

alexis novak

We all have our favorite yoga instructors we bow in humility to, those ones who seem to have just the right things to say at the right time when we need it. They appear to live their lives so free and full, and they hold a special space for us (students) to roll out our mats and decompress our ever changing, busy, and at times overwhelming life.

Before I enrolled in yoga teacher training, I always idolized the instructors who would flawlessly roam around the room during class. They would keep me motivated to push further to the edge just by giving a sweet encouraging smile as I would catch their eye in downward facing dog. Although I had considered many times, almost daily, about enrolling in teacher training; I always rationalized why I let the next training deadline roll away by reminding myself that “they” were a specific type of celebrity. They possessed an “awe” factor I never thought I could achieve. I didn’t meditate, I used curse words, and I stayed up until 2 in the morning. I was not what you would call “zen market material”.

One day, after taking my favorite yoga sculpt class at a studio in Denver, I overheard one of my super strong, collected, and beautiful yoga queen guides on the phone with a significant other, arguing.  She was hollering, spouting profanities, and I could hear the emotion and passionate pain in her voice. A wave of human reality shattered this perfect statue picture I had painted of her in my mind, and I felt connected to her in a way that I hadn’t before. It was so grounding that my stomach jumped like it does when on a roller coaster drop. I thought to myself, “I know what it’s like to take a frustrating phone call in the parking lot at work too! She’s a human!”  Besides wanting to run around the corner, and scoop her up in a hug, and scream, “YOU’RE SO COOL, AND YOU JUST CHANGED MY DAY! AND I LOVE YOU!” – which I didn’t, I also knew immediately that I could no longer hide behind the excuse that I used foul words and lost my temper sometimes as a reason to not take the challenge my soul had been yearning for to enroll in teacher training.

During my training, I was expecting an “ah-ha” moment to happen, I figured one morning I would wake up and automatically feel collected and glide around with a centered essence, the way I watched all my instructors gracefully display. It never happened.  I felt the same.  19 years old, confused, broke, and uninspired and to top it off when I would attempt to guide practice classes I felt like I was bombing every time. (YES, BOMBING! You know that thing that bad stand-up comedians do when they have a terrible joke and an unwatchable performance? It was THAT cringe-worthy) I found myself very overwhelmed and almost wanted to quit!

I was told by everyone in my life that mattered to me that I could not make it financially as a yoga instructor and in my heart of hearts I didn’t even FEEL like a yoga instructor anyways.  I had a sincere sit-down with one of my mentors, the SAME instructor who had taken the phone call outside many moons before, who still to this day does not know I was creeping around the corner and overheard her call her boyfriend “an asshole!”

She gave me some really great advice.

She said, “You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching everyone else ride theirs. You have to get on the bike over and over and over and ride it. You have to fall, and pick up speed, and learn to slow down, and see what it sounds like to put a pop-can on the back of it and feel the wind in your hair when you go too fast. Watch out for others around you, and be cautious of where you lead yourself on your bike and take care of it by bringing it inside at night. Yoga is like a bike. Once you learn to ride your bike, you are able to guide people to ride theirs because you have FELT what it is like to LEARN to ride it not simply because you know the idea of it.”

SO GOOD right!? In that moment it occurred to me that I was coming to class, but I wasn’t fully being a student! I knew the poses, and where to put my foot and hands, but I wasn’t FEELING how my body got there, I wasn’t observing the transitions and how the weight seemed to shift mentally and physically for me throughout class. To keep brevity in this post, I will tell you I kept at it diligently, for years. I made mistakes and received feedback, sometimes drove home in tears because I didn’t feel the class was very good and I fumbled through the entire thing. But, just like my yoga mat never gave up on me, and as the students always continued to show up I got more comfortable in my teaching shoes – er barefeet.

I can now tell you, 6 years down the line, I am still a student. I still fumble, I still make HUMAN mistakes, but NOW what is different for me is that I observe my mistakes and allow myself to experience them to the fullest. I wallow in them so deeply, down to very last sometimes embarrassingly painful detail so I don’t miss any of its fibers. Because then once I have settled into the lesson the mistake manifested for me, I can bring it back to the mat, and help guide someone else through with a map, with a better sense of cautionary eyes, with a compassionate heart, an empathetic mind and a supportive touch.

THAT is how my teachers gave me the words I needed, THAT is how they always seemed calm and in control, they had been where I was on the mat. They had learned to ride the bike, and they had fallen off.  They knew what it was like to scream and cry and stay up late, and their job was to smile their sweet smile and to help me through it, because if they thrived passed the tough stuff, they knew I could too!  As an instructor now, I continue to learn just as much from my student’s persistence and love as I hope to bring them in anatomy and posture knowledge.

I am a forever student of my practice, other instructors, and this beautifully complicated life.  If you have an instructor who you adore, continue to adore them but be mindful that you connect with them so much because you are the same. That thought should make you feel pretty damn cool! For this reason, we end our practice with Namaste: The Divine in me recognizes and honors, the Divine in you. The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you. I greet that place where you and I are one. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place within you, and I am in that place within me, we are one.

Do what you do my friends, and do it well. BIG LOVE, BIG HAIR, BIG FEELINGS. Alexis out.

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