Teaching or practicing Yoga to music can be a powerful way of underscoring the transformative potential of the practice. As a Yoga teacher, it is also important to teach what we know, so testing out the effects of the tunes we lay on on our students can help us feel how the beats support or distract from the unfolding that happens in class.
I had a transcendent experience with this playlist last week:
I arrived about an hour early to one of the studios I teach at. I had in mind to make some chamomile tea and have a self-practice. I put on this playlist and rested in reclined baddha konasana. I also placed a rectangular block underneath my back, just below my shoulder blades. With my arms out to the sides and my knees relaxing at the gentle pace of gravity, I felt my heart open over the block and my whole system melt into deep relaxation and embodied mindfulness.
After the third song from this playlist, My whole body begin to tingle. Like my atoms were turning to fizz. I thought about some of the things I have been learning recently about neurology, matter and meditation. I remembered learning about how, even though atoms are said to be just 99% space, the 99% is not just space—it's energy. It's information holding us together. Everything we're made of is less than 1% particle, and 99% energy. This can really change the way a person thinks about the material world.
As my mind focused on this, I started to think of my body as energy. 99% energy and less than 1% matter. What I thought would be just a simple stretching routine turned into a complete trans-personal meditation. By the middle of the playlist, I couldn't tell my arms from the floor that held me. I imagined that my spine was rooting through the mat, through the wood, and that I was flowering from that space.
By the end of the playlist, I was in complete bliss. My body felt whole, my mind felt clear. I took the opportunity to bless every part of myself and to name all that I'm grateful for.
As I write this, I'm not guaranteeing that this playlist will bring you into this transpersonal space, but maybe it will be a helpful tool in connecting with yourself. When you listen to the sounds, draw your attention to the 99% energy, to love, to gratitude, to life, and see what happens.
Image in text: Elena Alger
Cover image: 贝莉儿 NG