Music and Yoga

Ever wondered why we play music sometimes in a Yoga class. Want to know why Yoga and music go so well together and get some ideas for great play lists? This article is fascinating and gives some insight into why we respond differently to different types of music. It’s all about vibrations. Yoga enhances and heightens our senses so we become more tuned in to sound and vibration. Combining the two can really deepen our experience and practice.

Students are always asking about the music I use in my Flow classes so I thought I’d put together this piece as well as a few playlists for you. You can find  more playlists on under yoginic

Since I went to my first Vinyasa Flow class and experienced uplifting Yoga with an equally uplifting soundtrack I have always associated Vinyasa style with music in my classes and my own practice.

We are made up of 70 % water and water is an amazing conductor of energy and vibration. The body loves to move. Through movement we lubricate and nourish the body. Without movement we stagnate,we dehydrate and the body becomes weak and stiff. Music is vibration. When we practice Yoga we turn up our vibration, our resonance. When we bring the right music and a fluid practice together we can often find a clearer focus and even enjoy what can be a challenging or difficult practice.

Choosing the right music for a Flow class or practice is important. Uplifting at the beginning into a more mellow, meditative style as you start to wind down. Music and Yoga are two of my biggest loves. To be able to bring them together is wonderful and I really enjoy finding music to flow to.I’ve included some playlists at the end of this post which I hope will get you started. I’d love to hear what you think.

I’ve always been interested in why we love or hate certain types of music so I’ve been doing a bit of research and was excited to discover that it all relates to vibrations in the skull..Once again we are back to resonance. Brilliant. Read on and discover why…

“What’s the difference between a metalhead and a raver? Why do you pick the wub wub of dubstep over the twang of a guitar? Musical preference seems to be as unique as your fingerprints—you love one song and hate another, when to the ear of another listener they sound basically the same. Sure, there’s a heaping dose of social construction going on—you listen to music that you grew up with, the music that gets you in with your self-selected social group, the music that you think is cool. But there might be some biology behind your musical preference, too. The natural resonance of your skull—the unique frequency at which the bones in your noggin tend to vibrate—affects how you hear sound, and could help explain why you really rock out to Pantera but hate Metallica.

Deep inside your inner ear, within a little nautilus-shaped bone called the cochlea, tiny little hairs vibrate to transform sound into brain signals. Sound waves flowing around in the cochlea don’t just hit the hairs and go away, but rather they bounce around within your head—interacting with your skull bones. Nearly every object in the world prefers to vibrate at what is known as its “natural frequency,” your skull included, and these vibrations affect the sound waves that the hairs in your cochlea pick up.

The natural frequency of your head is a result of your skull’s size, density and shape, say scientists in a recent presentation at the meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, meaning that the vibrations of your skull are ever-so-slightly different than the person next to you. Measuring the natural vibrational frequency, the researchers found that people’s heads like to vibrate anywhere from 35 to 65 times per second, with women’s heads tending to vibrate faster than men’s.

The scientists then tested whether different people’s vibrating skulls affected which music they prefer. While the team says vibrational frequency of people’s heads didn’t seem to predict which music they liked, “skull resonance was found to moderately predict the musical keys that people disliked.”

The skull creates a kind of resonant chamber around the cochlea. Simple, integer-based ratios between the frequency of the skull, and the prominent frequencies used in a piece of music, will tend to make that music sound somewhat louder and richer to a listener. While there was little influence of resonance on the preferences, musical keys with more complex, non-integer mathematical ratios to the fundamental frequencies of the skull will tend to be sound somewhat thinner, resonate less, and possibly even induce minor acoustic distortions.

As a result, our research on this topic suggests that non-resonance between the skull and a musical key may induce a dislike of some music. While there is much research needed to fully explore this relationship more, skull resonance seems to have a subtle influence on musical preferences and selections particularly for the music we do not like”

Read more:

Fascinating isn’t it?Here are some playlists.. Of course music is a very personal choice.  Explore and Enjoy.

Electro Yoga- Uptempo and Moody

Title Artist
Everywhen Massive Attack
Fiction The XX
Lonesome Tonight. New Order
Retrograde. James Blake
Teardrop. Massive Attack
Your Silent Face. New Order
Oxygen. Willy Mason
Gone. Lianne la Havas
Lazy Calm. Cocteau Twins
Persephone. Biomusique
Caeli et Terra. Biomusique
Ananda. Biomusique

Lyrical 80s and 90s

Dolphin- Gabrielle Roth from album Sundari
If I had a heart- Fever Ray from Fever Ray
Protection- Everything But The Girl from the best of everything but the girl
Keep the streets empty for me-Fever Ray
Bless the weather-John Martyn
Better Things-everything but the girl
Hypnotised-Ani Di Franco from album Reprieve
A little Respect- Kate Walsh
Khumjung-Ben leinbach from The Spirit of Yoga
Om Mani Padme Hum-Craig Pruess from Shavasana: White Swan

Folky Flow

Holocene- Bon Iver from Bon Iver
He loves Me- Jill Scott
Quelqu’un m’adit- Carla Bruni from Quelqu’un m’adit
Won’t go back-Will Nott from Communion: New Faces
Acts of Man-Midlake from the courage of others
Angels- The XX from Angels
24-25-Kings of Convenience from Declaration of Independance
Just for Me but I thought of You-Nathaniel Rateliff from Communion: New Faces
Everybody’s gotta learn sometimes-Beck from Eternal Sunshine
Lets forget all the things- Julia Stone from Communion : New Faces
Bronte- Goyte from Communion
If the Creek don’t rise-Dylan Le Blanc from Paupers Field
Heron-Love of the Brave from Love of the Brave

Gorgeous Music to Flow too

Nights Introlude-Nightmares on Wax from Smokers Delight
Prayer to the Buddha Maitreya- Jai Uttal from Loveland
Chained- The XX from Coexist
Kisses-Phantom from Scars EP
Scars- Phantom from Scars EP
Love and Evil- Jean Jaques Smoothie Acoustic Compilation 2
Radiance:Prayer to the goddess- Jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach from Loveland
Teardrop – Newton Faulkner from Hand built by robots
Varoeldur- Sigurd Ros from Valtari
Gopala Lullaby-Jai Uttal from Loveland
Shri Guru Charanam- by Krishna Das from live on Earth
Heart Sutra – Wah from Savasana 2


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