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.



Here come the holidays! Fill your month with tunes of gratitude and celebration!

1. Grateful – The Bangles

2. Gratitude – Earth, Wind & Fire

3. Thank You – Alanis Morissette

4. Thank You – Mozella

5. Be Thankful for What You Got – William DeVaughn

6. Count Your Blessings – Nas & Damian Marley

7. One Day – Matisyahu

8. Lovely Day – Bill Withers

9. By Your Side – Sade

10. Secrets – Mary Lambert



Rock out this month and enjoy these fantastic tunes!

Here’s what’s on our yoga playlist in October…

1. Tragic Kingdom – No Doubt

2. Divinity (feat. Amy Millan) – Porter Robinson

3. People Are Strange – The Doors

4. When We’re Fire – Lo-Fang

5. Wait for a Minute – Tune Yards

6. From Eden – Hozier

7. Figure It Out – Royal Blood

8. Time of the Season – The Zombies

9. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

10. Zombie – Stars – The Cranberries


Your fall is now filled with fantastic tunes thanks to our latest yoga playlist.

You’re welcome.


1. Red Eyes – The War on Drugs

2. Tongues (feat. Kopps) – Joywave – EP

3. Pompeii – Jasmine Thompson

4. Take Me to Church – Hozier

5. Jubel – Klingande

6. Spectrum (Say My Name) [AlunaGeorge Remix] – Florence + The Machine

7. Tell Me Something Good (feat. Chaka Khan) – Rufus

8. Slow Motion – PHOX

9. I’m With You (Sylvan Esso Remix) – Grouplove

10. Latch (feat. Sam Smith) [DJ Premier Remix] – Settle (The Remixes)


august tunes

We’ve got your summer soundtrack! Fill your August with summer fun and great tunes with our latest yoga playlist.


1. Sun Is Shining (Smoke Out Dubstep Mix) – Bob Marley

2. The Sun God (Explicit) – Hi-Tek Ft. Common

3. Summertime Sadness (Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais) – Lana Del Rey

4. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

5. Shoop – Salt-n-Pepa

6. Changes (Shlohmo Remix) – LOL Boys

7. You (Ha Ha Ha) – Charli XCX

8. Call – Francesco Yates

9. Habits (Stay High) [Hippie Sabotage Remix] – Tove Lo

10. Work It Out – Jurassic 5 ft. Dave Matthews

11. Sunrise – Slaptop

12. Stolen Dance – Milky Chance

13. Hey Mami – Sylvan Esso

14. Sunshine – Lupe Fiasco

15. I’m Only Joking – KONGOS

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