Think of a time when you were driving, stuck in traffic, and running behind for your next yoga class. You were running late, stressed, and low on your typical yoga high.
But, then your favorite song came on the radio and all of sudden your entire mood shifted. The traffic started to flow, you started to sing out loud with the song, and you even had a smile on your face—amidst the sea of red lights.
Music can have that kind of effect on your mood, which is why choosing the right yoga songs to create your yoga playlist is important when setting the tone for your class and creating your playlist.
Before getting overwhelmed by the process and wondering where the heck you even begin, this yoga music guide is here to help.
Music isn’t for everyone in a yoga class, but it sure is a staple in mine. I like to use music as an enhancement to the feeling, rhythm, and energy flow I’m striving to create.
Where can you find the right music? You can start with beYogi’s Spotify channel or iTunes. While Spotify does offer a free account option, it’s worth it to pay for the premium account—no one in your yoga class wants to hear voiceover ads in the middle of their sun salutations.
Think of your playlist in the shape of a pyramid. There’s a base start that elevates, until reaching a peak point, then begins to scale back down reaching a level ground again.
The base level includes pre-class, introduction, and breath-work.
Offer your students the space to begin emptying their mind. Try to play calming, light tonal, or instrumental music without words.
Most of us rush into our practice looking for a way to disconnect from a busy, noisy world. Creating that environment right off the bat with some chill tunes will already set good intentions and a zen-like vibe for the class.
The incline includes both warm-up and standing postures.
Let the yoga begin! Shift into the energy space and kick up the tempo with some higher intensity tunes.
Let the music blend—like temperature rising from cool to neutral, neutral to warm, warm to warmer, building the heat in the practice.
Like a musical cheerleader, the accompanying songs give your students an energetic boost for the final standing posture, right at the moment they may start to mentally disconnect.
Where can you find inspiration for your own incline portion of your class playlist? You can start with The Incline playlist on beYogi’s Spotify.
The peak includes inversions and back-bending.
Provide the energy when it’s needed the most. Your peak posture can include an inversion, back-bends, or can be any of the postures you include right before you begin to cool down.
Like a cheerleader who’s had way too much caffeine before a pep rally, this song selection is the final peak to the musical pyramid.
The decline includes cool-down postures and floor work.
Like a sunset at the end of a hot summer day, these tunes take from a heated high back to a mellow warm—like beginning with longer holds, to transitioning to floor work, or cool-down postures you incorporate before Savasana. The musical selection for the decline lets your students know the end of the class is nearing with less of a beat, softer vibes, and quieter words.
Some of my favorite music to use during the decline is piano or guitar chords. These offer a mellow mix and chill out space for the mind and body.
This music brings it back to grounding, relaxation, and restore mode with a soft tune, low pace, and calm vibration.
My favorite choices for Savasana include music with little to no words or words softly sung in Sanskrit, and if possible, the sounds of the hum of a sound bowl.
Choose Savasana songs that are long enough to last the entire Savasana to prevent the jarring break of music—when students may juuuuuuust be getting in to their meditative zone. For inspiration, check out beYogi’s Savasana playlist on Spotify.
Looking for an example of the entire yoga music pyramid put into action? Below is a 75-minute yoga class playlist from Sara Quiriconi, an inspirational yoga teacher and ambassador for beYogi, Manduka, KiraGrace, and more.
For more yoga music playlists from Sara, check her out on Spotify at @livefreewarrior.