have all experienced the profound effect that music can have on a situation;
being brought back unexpectedly from the edge of total relaxation during asana
practice by the change in pace of a cd. Each of us has so many memories associated
with music: that song that always reminds us of summer, or of a heart wrenching
relationship, and what would horror movies be without the music? There is no
doubt that music is an important part of our cultures. Imagine a hockey game
with no rock anthems to pump the crowd up. Imagine camping by the ocean without
the melody of crashing waves lulling you to sleep. Imagine life without music!!
In the first of a series of articles designed to help you explore yoga further, we have asked 4 yoga teachers to share with us the impact of music on their yoga practice. Fiona Stang, Julian Deck, Wade Imre Morissette and James Nicholson have all taken the time to share with me their thoughts on music and yoga.
Music during practice? Compliment or Distraction?
While all 4 teachers use music in their yoga practice the amount of music varies. James uses quiet music during all his classes, while Fiona and Julien use music only during the early stages of their morning Mysore classes until the ujjayi breathing of the students creates a similar energy to the music, then they turn the music off. Wade uses a combination of music, silence and japa or bhakti yoga (where Sanskrit songs are sung over and over again to create energy and focus attention).
power yoga instructor, james nicholson
"Yoga is like music- the rhythm of the body, the melody of
the mind, and harmony of
the soul, create the
symphony of life."
All four teachers
agree that music can be very influential in setting the tone for a class and
choose their selections carefully. They all agree that using both vocal and
instrumental pieces keeps things interesting. James suggests that it is easy
to have music become just one more distraction; in our own practice we have
to decide what is going to help us focus and energize our atmosphere without
taking over our mental space. Some good suggestions are listed below.