Music during a yoga class is a widely debated topic, personally, I think yoga combined with the right music provides for a beautiful, healing experience. I have both a deep love for music, and a deep love for embodied movement. Often when I practice on my own, I like to integrate the two. Here are a few of my favourite songs to practice to at the moment. Enjoy!
Didn’t Cha Know – Erykah Badu
Being the queen of transcendental soul music, every yogi playlist should feature a bit of Badu. From her 2000 album Mama’s Gun, Didn’t Cha Know perfectly captures the essence of neosoul, a melodic and beautiful blend of soul, jazz and hip hop (with the best bass line you will ever hear). Lyrically, it conveys a message about the beauty of not knowing where you are going, ending with the words: Love is life and life is free/ Take a ride on life with me/Free your mind and find your way/There will be a brighter day…
Body and Soul – Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett
Aside from the title, this song makes for a wonderful yoga accompaniment because of its old school jazz feel. It doesn’t rush you. It just plays along smoothly as you go. Plus jazz legend Tony Bennet and Amy’s voices work so so well together, showing beauty in their improvisations together.
Dreamland – Bunny Wailer
Sung by Bunny Wailer, one of the Wailers from Bob Marley and the Wailers, this song will make you feel sunny even if its grey outside. Its simple, but up-lifting. I like to use it to carry me through the more difficult parts of my practice.
Downtown Train – Tom Waits
A little injection of 80’s bluesy sounds, Tom’s smoky voice is somewhat soothing during a practice. I was first introduced to this song in a contemporary dance class, and it has stuck with me as an accompaniment to embodied movement ever since.
Take my Hand – Iman
No lyrics in this one, and one of my housemates did also describe it as “lift music”. However, it is a beautiful piece of music resonating incredibly chilled vibes. Its definitely something that isn’t distracting, and that you can just zone out to and enjoy.
Beach in Hawaii – Ziggy Marley
Another summery reggae tune, mixed with some Hawaiian sounding chords. It will make you pine for sunshine at the same time as making you feel like you’re surrounded by it. It also mentions Ujjayi breathing (a yogic breathing technique), the perfect reminder to keep breathing through your practice.
Sweet Baby – Macy Gray & Erykah Badu
Another Badu track, this time also featuring vocals by Macy Gray which will take you straight back to the 2000’s. The soft femininity of the song gives a feeling of grounding and serenity.
Nothing Even Matters – Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo
Taken from Lauryn’s album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which Mary J. Blige said was “one of the most incredible albums ever made”, this is a 90’s neosoul classic to remind you that nothing even matters when you’re on your mat.
Purify Me – India Arie
The first line is “easy like sunday morning”, which begins another soft soulful song to guide you through the last part of your flow. India’s voice nourishes the mind, body and soul, and I can’t help but smile when the song is playing, helping me when things get a little too serious on the mat.
Here Comes the Sun – Nine Simone
One for Savasana, the final resting pose. A simple cover of the Beatles classic, recorded in the 70’s. This song reminds me to let a little light into my heart and helps me finish the practice as a happier, brighter version of myself.