Updated: Aug 20, 2021
If one thing is universally loved, it's music. But we don't all agree on what style of music is best and that's also true in the yoga world as much as anywhere else. For some, music during yoga can provide an escape that they need to delve deeper into their practice. That said, many yoga lineages don't use music such as Bikram and Ashtanga.
And the lineages that do allow music often nod exclusively to certain types—harmonium tunes with soft chanting, for example. Pop music, heavy metal and classic rock? Not a single long-standing yoga lineage encourages what we often hear in Western yoga classes, though some newer yoga styles consider it elemental.
Indeed, the debate over whether to use music at all during yoga is ongoing. What I’ve noticed, is that you can roughly divide the yogis into two groups: Some love to practice with music. Some say that music has nothing to do with yoga. I enjoy both music and no music it depends on the style of yoga i'm participating in or teaching.
For example a Vinyasa flow or Rocket Yoga which is energising and a powerful practice i love some background music to keep my energy levels up perhaps. Also for a gentle restorative yin yoga class i love listening to classical or relaxing music.Ashtanga i prefer not to listen to music but if i do for my home practice it's traditional Indian style yoga music.
Often i find music helps me focus and switch off. You stop thinking about what you need to do in your life such as what to make for dinner, i need to clean the house or what to wear tomorrow.
As a musician i understand how music can impact on you emotionally and physically so I have spent time exploring music genres and cultivating playlists for my yoga classes both in a studio and online. My playlists are created to fit the flow of the class. Online student's have the option to play my playlists i send them or use their own music if any at all. In a studio i will use music for the majority of my classes. However with the exception where i know a studio will not have any background noise externally i will allow silence because most people day to day do not have time's of silence and i know from personal experience i love a bit of silence!
So Music and Yoga - everyone has their own personal experience of this and preference but why not try both and see what works for you.