The ultimate mental, emotional and physical activity is yoga—you can’t deny the extraordinary benefits that it brings you.
It’s a core part of almost every culture in the world at this point, in some form or another, because it works wonders at organizing your head and healing parts of your life while keeping physically fit in the process.
Yoga meditation music gives you every opportunity to clear your head and let your anxiety sit by the door.
It’s like setting the atmosphere before you begin the actual exercises and meditation practices. If you’re not currently using yoga meditation music, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to enhance your experience.
We’ve outlined some of the key questions surrounding yoga music, and determined how to have a better session with the right atmospheric tunes.
What is the Best Music for Yoga?
Music that calms you down, and lets you explore your headspace.
That may sound subjective, but let’s categorize some of those sounds that help you out. There’s a reason that people come back to the same natural sounds against and again.
- Waves: The beach just doing its thing. It’s the constant ebb and flow of nature, and it works wonderfully to just make you forget about your troubles for the duration of your yoga session.
- Birdsong: Nature just doing its thing. Birds communicate through their song, and it echoes through the trees and nature to create a relaxing melody that anyone can zone out to.
- Rainfall: Rain is perhaps the most favorite sound ever created by nature. It’s universally beloved and gives you the ability to focus on its consistency while pacing your breath during yoga.
- Tibetan Singing Bowl Music: This one takes a minute to get used to because at first, you associate it with other sounds in your daily life. Then you listen and hear the calming effect that it has on your senses, and you become entranced by it.
That’s not all. Whatever is going to help you calm down and explore your mind while you perform the physical actions of yoga is considered good yoga music.
That being said, you can’t know what that perfect music is unless you explore all the alternative options.
If you’re currently using a different type of music other than natural sounds, that’s okay too. The best yoga music will have softer tones and low sounds, with no lyrics.
There’s a reason that people have weight lifting playlists and running playlists of rock, alternative and harder sounding songs: it amps you up to push yourself, which is what it’s supposed to do.
We both know that yoga isn’t that type of activity.
What Type of Music is Yoga Music?
There’s a big debate on this, and while preference is something you need to factor in, it’s not the only thing.
We tend to stick with music and songs that bring nostalgia (hence why people joke about listening to the same things for twenty or more years).
That’s not going to help us relax; we’re supposed to be clearing our minds, not cluttering it up with memories.
So what defines good yoga music? What type? These are some of the most defining attributes of calming, yoga-ready music:
Lyrics in yoga music don’t really belong. Music is just a collection of sounds that our brain responds to in different ways.
Different octaves, tones, and beats that affect our brain activity. Lyrics give a direct message, which can sometimes be negative, but instrumental music is up to your interpretation.
Certain instruments, such as snare drums, electric guitars and electric keyboards aren’t associated with a calming vibe.
You can make calming music with just about anything, but it’s best to stick to ambient non-disruptive sounds.
Piano, violin, cello, chimes, acoustic guitar and harp all come to mind as calming instruments.
Wherever you’re from, you know the usual instruments (and language) in music that surrounds you.
If you take a trip around the globe with a new kind of music, even if it has vocals (but in a language that you don’t understand), this can be a great way to take you out of your own head and put you into a constructive thinking space.
Ultimately, yoga music is whatever you can calmly meditate with. Without meditation and clearing your mind, yoga is only so effective at being a central alignment for your life.
The music you enjoy and music that you meditate to aren’t always mutually exclusive, just don’t get too hyped up from whatever you listen to.
Can You Use Natural Sounds for Yoga Practice?
Yes, you absolutely can.
One key pillar of yoga is mental clarity, which means you need to find a way to clear your head and focus on your breathing, on your actions and the motions of your exercise.
Yoga finds the perfect way to mix athletic activity and fitness with a calming mentality, but it’s still an adjustment to be sweating with your heart racing while also trying to stay calm.
That’s where music comes into play. Some yoga studios, as we’ll discuss in a minute, don’t even use music. It’s a powerful tool that you can benefit from if it’s used the right way.
What natural sounds do is target a part of your brain that responds best to audio, and when that audio is strictly calming (like the natural sounds of our world that we inherently know), it does something wonderful.
There’s a misconception that you need a certain BPM to upkeep the activity portion of yoga. That couldn’t be farther from the truth—it just has to be calming.
There’s no minimum threshold, but there is a maximum.
You don’t want something that’s too rapid or quickly paced, or else you’re going to start feeling your thoughts race. There are a time and a place for faster music.
Natural sounds are also extremely good to play during personal yoga practice, but if you ever plan on hosting a yoga class where users are paying money to have you teach them, then this next section (and why natural sounds are important) is going to be a shocker.
What Music is Prevalent in Yoga Studios and Group Exercises?
To understand what music is prevalent, first, we need to understand why certain types are not playing studios.
When you go to a yoga studio and pay money to an instructor, you’re a customer, and they’re providing you a service.
Under those guidelines, any music that they put on for a class is considered a public performance, and the license holder has the right to sue the studio.
Pretty crazy, right?
Well, that’s where natural sounds come into play.
Generally speaking, most natural sound recordings or albums don’t have exclusive licensing rights, and if they do they’re usually lenient about how you use the album.
So long as you aren’t reproducing the music in your own works or using it illicitly for a capital gain, there’s no problem in simply playing it during a yoga session.
It’s why you might hear instrumental covers of popular songs during yoga classes, but not the actual song lyrics or original recording.
The music might sound slightly different than you remember, and that’s because it’s likely a cover from YouTube that is protected under fair use laws.
Yoga studios have a fairly strict chokehold on what they can and cannot do.
It not only makes them more likely to use natural sounds, but it also gives students the opportunity to see what natural sounds can do for them.
There are different types of yoga.
Some are fast-paced and don’t really follow the mental clarity aspect of the activity, but then there are some that focus on intensity over everything else.
Yoga is a multifaceted exercise and requires precision and calmness to execute properly, but not every studio uses music as they should be to achieve this effect.
In your own home yoga sessions, what music are you currently listening to?
Do you just let your Spotify station play whatever it wants to, or are you hand-picking the right music to get the job done?
Consider listening to more calming sounds and lighter music to help you concentrate during each yoga session, and reap the benefits that you’re after.
Your Yoga Sounds, Your Way
Yoga meditation music is subjective.
You might not like what your partner likes or the studio you used to go to might have a different take on what works, but it’s all about what works for you.
Generally, yoga music needs to be calming and bring a sense of peace over you, so you won’t be listening to rock or pop music.
You don’t want something that excites; you want something that relaxes and gives you the unique ability to explore your mind without all the static in the way.