A Yoga Playlist to Bring in the New Year

To use or not use music during asana has been covered plenty and the biggest thing I’ve taken from the conversation is intentionality – Why use music? What is it adding? What might is be taking from the yoga experience? Just like anything in yoga – think about WHY. Just like how you think – Why am I reaching for my foot in this forward fold? Would I be better served by focusing on a flat back and letting my hands fall where they do? Do I need to reach for the most “advanced” asana I know today? (probably not. maybe. probably not?)

I teach with music about 80% of the time and practice on my own with music about half the time. I’ve always been attracted to music and, more viscerally, the connection between rhythm and movement. As a kid I remember my mom teasing me for shimmying to the sound of the camera rewinding (also, remember cameras? with film?). I spent sleepovers choreographing dances to Ace of Base of Celine Dion (I was SUPER cool, obviously). And yes. I was on dance team. It was awesome.


Seriously Glamorous.

Music during yoga can, at times, create some stability/predicability but, since no practice is every exactly the same, it also adds plenty of opportunity for improvisation. Down dog to M.I.A. is just not the same as down dog to Ani DiFranco. When I practice to this playlist I find my hips roll as I tuck my tailbone in utkatasana. My shoulders drop from my ears on the down beat and I find more spirals and circles in my body and practice than I find without music. I’m never more aware of my breath than when it’s in sync with the beat – I feel connected. And I love that I can take that music-inspired experience with me the next time I practice without music. It’s not that only way to practice, but, for me, it can be profound.

This playlist is edgy, a little sexy, and has a nice ebb and flow. 47 minutes long.


Bring on 2014
“Karmageddon,” M.I.A
“Know It Ain’t Right,” M.I.A.
“Bad Girls,” M.I.A.
“Teardrop,” Massive Attack
“Tennis Court,” Lorde
“I Follow Rivers,” Lykke Li
“Royals,” Lorde
“Sleep Tonight,” Stars
“A Kiss,” The Blow
“Tonight,” Lykke Li
“Tabou (Roots Remix Without Rap),” Les Nubians
“Secret” Missy Higgins
“Makeda,” Les Nabians

Check out more playlists here.

About susan virginia yoga

Grassroots Organizing Director for UltraViolet (www.weareultraviolet.org) by day, yoga guide, dance partier, and red lentil soup connoisseur by night. Well. Evening. By night, I'm usually asleep.
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