Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stream of Consciousness: Music and Yoga, Silence and Sound

I was trained in a style of yoga that requires no music. I loved my training. I honor my teachers. I love yoga. And…

I LOVE MUSIC. So for my classes to be the most full expression of myself –“Let the Drummer Kick” (Citizen Cope)…

It happens like this in my head: I’m writing something, or talking to someone, or just walking down the street, and a song pops in. What I wanted to say right there was “Let there be Music” – which it turns out is also a song (of course) by “Orleans” produced in 1975… but I had never heard that song until I just Googled it. How lucky are we that we have access to so much music at our fingertips? We have the ability to create the soundtrack of our lives.

Afterall, “Everyone Deserves Music” –Michael Franti. Oh how I adore you. When I need to “Shake It” up or feel the “Sound of Sunshine” this is my man.  Feel a sound you ask? Why YES!

And that is one of the things I find so fascinating about music. How it can make you feel… I was teaching a class the other day which I begain with Rara Avis’ “Vibarsonic”: “You are now entering a world of vibration. The sounds you are about to hear will take you deep. Deep inside yourself.” If we believe in quantum physics and want to get all scientific on ourselves, we are all just a bunch of matter - vibrating at different oscillations. If you want to feel different, change your vibration. Listen. Respond. Listen. Move. Listen. Breathe.

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” -Bono

Listen to the silence as well. What I find particularly amazing is the contrast between silence and sound. I do love silence. A lot. Some people like to have loud music playing as often as possible. I cherish my peace and quiet. And I love the sounds of nature and the world around me. I don’t listen to music when I work. I don’t have headphones in every moment I walk down the street. But even without the “real music” playing every moment, there is a constant soundtrack to my life. Right now, for example, it is just the thoughts running through my head and the quite click of the second hand making it’s way around the clock behind me like a metronome measuring my keystrokes.

And then boom, another song enters my dome. “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkle. And I imagine “People talking without speaking” and I’m transported to moments with lovers where conversations are had in a glance. Connections are made without words. Music does that. It transports us and connects us. You know when you’re at a concert and there is someone on stage - they’re singing their song and the whole space is filled with listening. In that deep listening you are connected to everyone else there. You are hearing, feeling, and sharing and experience. You aren’t even the one singing, but you’re sharing in the listening and being and experiencing.

That. That’s what I like to bring to my yoga classes. An experience. Sharing in listening: to the music, to our bodies, to our experience. I find that often times the music can help to transcend physical limitation, or bring more energy when it is lacking, or sometimes it can give thoughts a place to dissolve into.

"One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain." -Bob Marley

I love to use music to encourage rhythm and flow. I see it as a fun and easy way to weave more harmony, love, grace into my yoga classes. I feel so lucky to have access to world class DJ mixes on Yogi Tunes and can’t wait to hear what they come up with next!

~Jenn Perell, Yoga Teacher and Conscious Consultant

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