Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just A Spark

“It only takes a spark to get a fire going?” That’s yoga. That’s yoga music too. One of my all time favorite teachers, Shiva Rea, once said that music is the “third language in the room,” whendescribing how yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation combine with the creative energy of music to create a holistic practice.

As a teacher, you bring people in from the outside world and help them decompress from the day. You use breath awareness and centering, but in a class that only lasts an hour and a half, there is limited time. The right musical language can facilitate a feeling of “timelessness” and “spacelessness” in a mere 90 minutes. Utilizing a mellow melody can bring the student to that experience just a little faster. Don’t just believe me – try it now. Click on one of YogiTunes playlists titled “Opening” and just experience it right now in your desk chair. Go ahead, I’ll wait...

What did you feel? How are you different? Did it work for you?

Music is such a powerful presence in our asana practice. I’ve had experiences where I thought “I’ll never be able to pretzel myself that way!” But then a special song comes on and all of a sudden my leg is up in the air and I’m balanced on my arms like magic. Sure body and focus got me there physically, but somehow the magic of the music gives more momentum.

Yoga is about clarifying thought and for some students, music is a tool to get there. This is especially true for beginning yogis. A yoga class can be an intimidating new experience – it’s a challenge just to get to class. For those people that are just beginning to awaken, a good playlist can shape and build confidence. We talk about holistic healing and the vibration of “Om,” sound is a powerful part of the whole. Let it resonate.

Try building your own playlist from the YogiTunes suggestions for opening, building, peaking, and closing. Give your practice a little newness and refreshed momentum through sound and let us know how it affected your practice or teaching.

-Check out my 'Overcoming Obstacles' playlist on YogiTunes!

-Written by Kirsten Hedden, who teaches at Namaste Wellness Studio in Peoria, IL

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