I recently saw this meme on Instagram that said something along the lines of: “I am only a yoga teacher so I can make people listen to the music I like”.
Well, there are many reasons why I chose to teach yoga, and why I love my work so much, and even though I can’t say that making playlists is the main reason that I teach, it is something that is high in my list of priorities when creating a yoga class or offering, whether for myself or for the people that come to practice with me.
There are many traditional yoga songs, mantras, and music that are often used to practice, but we want to invite you to consider that there are modern songs for yoga that can elevate your experience on the mat.
Needless to say, utilizing songs and music when you practice yoga is not a requirement by any means, but for those who like it, it can add an extra layer of goodness to your practice.
In this article, aside from sharing with you some of my favorite songs to practice yoga to, we will dive into:
The Symbiosis of Sound and Movement
As a former professional figure skater, to me, the symbiosis of sound and movement is not only apparent but almost necessary.
In the context of yoga though, it refers to the harmonious relationship between music or sound and the physical postures (asanas) and movements performed during a yoga practice.
This connection can have several positive effects on the overall yoga experience, enhancing both the physical and mental aspects of the practice.
Here are some ways in which the symbiosis of sound and movement can be great for a yoga practice:
- Music has the power to evoke emotions and enhance the mind-body connection. When synchronized with movements, it can create a more profound awareness of the body in space, promoting a deeper connection between breath, movement, and consciousness.
- The rhythmic qualities of music can help establish a steady and flowing pace during the practice. This synchronization with the breath can encourage practitioners to move more mindfully, coordinating breath with each movement and fostering a sense of rhythmic flow.
- Different genres of music can set various moods and atmospheres. Calming melodies or uplifting tunes can influence the overall energy of the practice space, creating an environment that complements the intentions of the session, whether it’s focused on relaxation, strength-building, or flexibility.
- Upbeat and motivational music can inspire practitioners, providing the extra push needed to tackle challenging poses or sequences. The right soundtrack can contribute to a positive mindset, encouraging you to stay present.
- Music can act as a guide for transitions between poses, helping practitioners smoothly flow from one posture to another. This fluidity can enhance the overall coherence of the practice, creating a seamless and connected sequence of movements.
- The presence of soothing or meditative sounds can promote a sense of mindfulness and presence on the mat. By immersing oneself in the auditory experience, practitioners may find it easier to let go of external distractions and focus more fully on the present moment.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of sound in yoga is highly individual.While some practitioners find great benefits in incorporating music into their practice, others may prefer silence or rather enjoy the sounds of nature.
4 modern songs for yoga without lyrics
Immerse yourself in your practice with some of these modern songs for yoga that have no lyrics, although some of them contain accompanying vocals.
1# I Am I Am by East Forest
East Forest, led by Trevor Oswalt, creates ambient and experimental music, often combining electronic elements with natural sounds, field recordings, and meditative tones.
East Forest’s music is often characterized by its atmospheric and introspective qualities, making it suitable for activities such as meditation, yoga, and relaxation.
2# Song for Berta (Instrumental) by Damien Rice featuring Sandrayati Fay & JFDR
You can find this song both with lyrics and without, and they can both be used in yoga class, just keep in mind that you could use them for different styles, moods, or themes.
3# Surrender with a Hint of Trust (Cello Meditation) by The Wong Janice
For a cello session to indulge your senses and let go of stress, check out The Wong Janice, who creates incredible tracks designed specifically for meditative practices.
You could also use this song for long relaxing Savasana!
4# Singing Bowl Meditation in F by Gerard Moorman
Singing bowls are one of the most used instruments in yoga and meditation practices.
In this particular track, Gerard Moorman invites you to relax and surrender while listening to the vibrations of Tibetan bowls designed to help you connect with the energy of the Heart Chakra.
10 modern songs for yoga with lyrics
If you’re someone who gets easily distracted, perhaps consider sticking to songs without lyrics, but if you like to practice with music that has a meaningful message, here are some inspiring modern songs for yoga with beautiful words to flow to:
1# A Reminder (Remix) by Trevor Hall featuring East Forest
If you’ve never experienced the poetry and music of Trevor Hall, this is a wonderful song to introduce you to his magic.
2# Depth by Rising Appalachia
For those yoga practitioners into folky tunes, meet Rising Appalachia, formed by Leah Song and Chloe Smith.
This almost ten-minute song is a beautiful combination of vocals and a wide array of instruments like the guitar and fiddle as well as drums.
It is a great song to incorporate toward the beginning of your sequence in order to invite movement and breath alignment and bring you to the present moment.
3# So Free by Alex Serra
This tune by Catalan singer and songwriter Alex Serra is a lovely chant to freedom and letting ourselves shine.
Most of Alex Serra’s songs are great modern songs for yoga practice, so make sure to check him out!
Here are some of the lyrics:
Someday some of you will shine
You’re blowing up my mind
Someday some of you will shine
You make me feel alive…
4# Om Ganesha by Mose, Sam Garrett and Mollie Mendoza
If you’d like to invoke the power of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, you may want to introduce this tune into your repertoire.
With a modern electronic vibe and harnessing the vibration of the mantra Om Ganesha, this song builds up, creating a beautiful rhythm to flow to and breathe to.
5# Remember Jah by Satsang
Satsang’s music is known for blending elements of folk, reggae, and hip-hop, creating a unique and soulful sound.
This song also incorporates one of the most popular Sanskrit mantras into the lyrics, Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, also invoking Lord Ganesha.
6# I am Light by India.Arie
India.Arie is an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for her soulful and empowering music.
One of her notable songs is “I Am Light,” which was released in 2013 as part of her fifth studio album, “SongVersation.”
“I Am Light” is a spiritually uplifting and affirming song that explores themes of self-empowerment, inner strength, and the recognition of one’s own worth.
The lyrics emphasize the idea that we are more than our physical bodies and encourage self-love and acceptance.
Enjoy this live performance of the song:
Tips for creating your playlist
If you’re wanting to create a playlist with modern songs for yoga, here are some tips for getting started:
- Make your playlist a similar length to the length of the sequence or time you intend to practice
- Set the order of the songs in the same way that you would set the postures in your sequence; consider layering from simple to complex
- Think of your playlist as the arc of the class, perhaps even having a peak song
- Keep in mind the lyrics, and if there is any profanity, especially if you are teaching others, know your crowd!
A playlist with modern songs for yoga
And just as you hoped, here is a curated Spotify playlist for you with the modern songs for yoga that we’ve shared in this article, as well as some others.
This musical compilation is set in a way that follows the arch of a 90-minute sequence.
Use these songs to practice a variety of yoga styles including hatha and vinyasa yoga, as well as other flow-style sequences.
We hope that you enjoy it!
The choice between practicing with or without music depends on your personal preference and the reasons why you’re choosing to practice.
If these modern songs for yoga have inspired you, and you’d like to check out some themes to accompany your sequence and playlist, read this next: