While soothing, ambient sounds like Tibetan singing bowls and chimes, and the serene tones of nature tend to comprise the traditional yoga soundtrack, some 21st-century practitioners have begun to think outside the box.
Today, pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and reggae are also being used to inspire yoga practices. For some, yoga is no longer just about mastering asanas (postures), but taking the opportunity to get creative and expressive with the right beats to match.
“There is a growing interest globally on the impact certain music has on performance,” says Dr Amanda Krause, a psychologist and Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Australia, who specialises in the social and applied psychology of music.
“We refer to it in the industry as ‘musical fit,’ where the type of music you feel ‘fits’ an activity creates an impact on the way you physically react.”
“A person’s judgement of musical fit relates to their listening preferences, environment, and goal for certain practices,” Krause continues. “For example, with yoga, the variety of music is chosen with regard to how it helps timing, focus, and motivation, which in turn enhances your overall performance.”
Evidence can be found in the 11-per-cent increase in yoga playlist streams since last year, with year-over-year, with practitioners turning to one of Spotify’s 2.4 million user-generated, yoga-inspired playlists to stream while in downward dog.
“While music has always been a huge part of our lives, the advent of streaming has made it even more so, to the point that nowadays we even shape our yoga practice around it,” says Julie Stevanja, chief executive officer of Stylerunner.
“This evolution of using music as the base of our practice has almost become a yoga style of its own. It's all about tapping into our subconscious, which music allows us to do more freely. Upbeat songs make poses stronger and more dynamic, while relaxing tunes can help us feel more grounded in our resting poses.”
In Thailand, the top played songs on yoga playlists are;
Wah! - Ganesha
Deva Premal - Gayatri Mantra
Craig Pruess & Ananda - Devi Prayer
Reiki - Healing Massage Music
Michael Silverman - Clair De Lune
Xavier Rudd - Follow The Sun
Michael Silverman - Scarborough Fair
Deep Sleep Relaxation – Healing
Nature Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation - Ocean Waves (South Carolina)
Nature Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation - Mountain Lake Lullaby