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The Elements of a Killer Yoga Playlist


Music enhances EVERYTHING. How to make a killer yoga playlist?

Think of your favorite movie. I bet you can remember at least one song from the soundtrack. Or your favorite scary movie. The music amplifies the tension in each scene. 

Your yoga playlist can totally set the mood for your class. It enhances your student’s experience and gives them a chance to vibe out. 

Music can drown out any distracting sounds if your class is in a loud city, or if there are conversations happening in the lobby. It can give busy minds something to attach to during times in class where the teacher is silent. 

So what makes a killer yoga playlist? And what should you avoid to keep the vibes high?


Do

Don’t

Pay attention to where you’re placing songs. Start with slower paced, more tranquil music. Build up to faster paced, upbeat music as the class gets warmed up. Slow it down as you get into the cool down section of class.Shuffle your songs randomly. 
If you want to use music with lyrics, keep the lyrics clean and positive. Some students find lyrics distracting, but you be the judge! Opt for music in other languages sometimes to keep those students focused.Use songs with negative, violent, degrading, or harsh language. Remember that yoga is a sacred practice.
Look outside of mainstream music for songs. Many songs have emotional meaning to people. Finding songs your students haven’t heard playing on the radio allows them to build new emotional connections to music – while also keeping them in the moment, not remembering a past moment.Keep in mind that some songs are triggers for people. And while you can’t predict every trigger or be responsible for triggering someone who came willingly to your class, it helps to be sensitive. By finding music that isn’t mainstream, you limit the amount of potential triggers for your students. 
Consider the mood and environment of the studio. Make a playlist that is authentic to you, while also complementary to the energy of the studio. Make a playlist without considering your audience. A playlist you used at a popular studio with mostly young clientele may be received very differently at your chair yoga for seniors class. 
Tailor your playlist to the class style and length of class you’ll be teaching. Use peaceful music for slow paced, gentle styles. Be sure to time out your playlist so that your Savasana song starts at the appropriate time. Don’t forget to listen to the playlist all the way through before using it in class. Check for any awkward transitions and make sure your timing feels good. 
Find the perfect Savasana song. Your song should be long enough to cover the whole Savasana (unless you’re incorporating silence afterwards). A beautiful, peaceful Savasana song can lull even the busiest minds into a state of deep relaxation and meditation.Don’t underestimate the importance of your Savasana song. You want something peaceful, meditative, and soothing to help your students relax fully. 
Explore incorporating time for silence. Maybe you begin your class with a silent meditation, then start your playlist as you begin moving. Or maybe begin Savasana with a beautiful song, then allow a moment of silence at the end of Savasana. Silence can be just as powerful as music when appropriately placed. Don’t feel like you need to fill the space with sound the entire time. Allow silent spaces between your words so that students can take in what you’ve said and feel present in their own bodies. Consider also making space for silence in your playlist. 

 

Learn more on how to create a perfect playlist for your classes here.

Ultimate guide to your next yoga music playlist here.

Adriana Lee
Adriana Lee
Adriana's yoga journey began at a young age and continues to inspire her every day by healing mind, body and spirit through the breath. She received her 200 Hour RYT through Frog Lotus Yoga's center, Suryalila, in Adalusia, Spain. She also trained an additional 50 hours with Heba Saab at Body Heat Hot Yoga in Las Vegas, NV. She continued training with Heba by assisting and acting as a mentor to her 200 Hour trainees. She trained with Cameron Shayne in Miami and received a 50 Hour certification in the Budokon Yoga system. She is also a certified Pilates instructor and a Reiki Level 2 practitioner. Her yoga practice has brought sweetness and authenticity into her life and her intention is to share that sweetness and help her students strive to be their own authentic selves.