The 15 Best Songs for Any Yoga Playlist
Congratulations! You’ve finally taken the plunge.
You have finally worked up the nerve to get fit. You have finally enrolled yourself at a yoga class near your place after so many months of procrastinating. You’re even getting the hang of the different yoga poses, and you’re starting to feel confident pulling them off without feeling your knees shake, losing your balance or need help from your instructor. You’re even slowly incorporating the principles of yoga into your life.
And it feels great, doesn’t it?
You even told yourself that you should’ve done it a lot sooner, like early in January, because starting just now feels a little bit too late.
Well, not to worry. Because when it comes to fitness, it’s never too late to start. What really matters is that you took the first step towards a healthier, fitter you. Besides, with the all the holiday parties lined in the last quarter of the year, you’ve certainly prepared yourself to look your best. That dazzling strapless mini dress you’ve been dying to wear? You certainly this time now that you’re body is slowly toning up. Stressful months coming because of all the parties you have to plan? Yoga and meditation will help calm your nerves and help you de-stress anytime you want. Plus, all those stretches will help you be more flexible as you climb up ladders to decorate ceilings or windows.
Indeed, you have certainly prepared yourself for what is ahead of you by doing even though you just started in the second to the last quarter of the year. And you can be more ready for anything as you continue to live a healthy lifestyle and apply the various yoga teachings in your life.
Overcoming the Second Hurdle of Yoga
Now that you passed the first hurdle of getting fit, which is to start doing yoga, the next challenge you are most likely to face is to do it consistently.
It’s always a challenge for many first timers to continue what they have already started. There are some people who feel that after doing exercise for five days a week straight for one month they can take a short break. While this is okay, the risk lies in not being able to get back on their feet again right away and may have to start all over again after more than a month of slacking off. Believe us when we say this happens all the time, especially for beginners. So don’t fall in to that trap.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Consistently
Whenever you start to feel like it’s safe to take a short respite for a while because you’ve been doing yoga for a month or two already, stop feeling that way immediately. Never let that feeling take control of your life because you’ve made so much progress already. You just need to push further.
Don’t think about the tiring it is to wake up early in the morning to do sun salutation or to do mountain at a yoga studio, or that you had to miss lots of Friday night drinks with your workmates or ladies’ night Thursday with your BFFs because that is the price you pay for starting to live a healthy life.
Also, if you feel crummy, just get out of bed. You’ll lose that feeling if you’re really not sick. If you are, your body will tell and that’s when you can take a break.
Whenever you feel like pausing, just think of the benefits of doing yoga consistently you’ll miss out on. Yep, there are lots benefits. In fact, here are some of them to remind you:
- Increase weight loss and stabilize weight
- Tone and strengthen muscles
- Increase energy and vitality
- Improve immune system
- Reduce stress
- Improve balance and flexibility
- Fast recovery from injuries and illnesses
- Increase creativity and productivity
- Heighten self-awareness
- Increase personal growth
- Improve mood
- Stabilize emotions
- Make you healthy and strong
- Reduce bodily pains, like back ache, arthritis and headaches
- Improve breathing
- Helps aid digestion
Would you want to miss out on these benefits for practicing yoga inconsistently? Of course, not! You’ll want to reap these rewards and possibly more. So don’t stop. Just keep moving until that feeling of slacking a little bit disappears. The next thing you’ll, doing yoga will become a part of your daily routine that you just don’t want to miss it. Your body will also get used to the workout that you’ll feel crummy if you miss it even for just one day.
One of the ways that can help you be consistent and keep you motivated to practice yoga everyday is by incorporating music into your routine. In a research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information and U.S. National Library of Medicine, it revealed that, “The use of music has been found to yield ergogenic effects in the exercise domain while also promoting psychological (e.g. enhanced effect) and psychophysical (reduced ratings of perceived exertion) benefits.”
In other words, playing music while doing yoga can increase physical performance and improve stamina. Plus, you won’t feel like you are exerting too much effort in doing the crow pose, side plank or the handstand.
Aside from these, you can also reap these benefits when you add music to your yoga routine:
- You’re put “in the zone.” Listening to music can put you in the right mood so you can focus on doing the cobra than flawlessly or than that report you need to submit to your boss next week.
- You maintain rhythm or pace. Music can stimulate your brain’s motor area which can help you keep a steady pace, especially in your breathing.
- You’re distracted from the effort you’re putting in, making you less aware of the exertion.
- Your mood is improved and become more aware of yourself, your goals and your aspirations. Music can help you escape feelings of negativity before, during and after a workout.
- You want to move more. With elevated mood and decreased distraction, you just want to keep on moving. Plus, music will excite the brain, sending signals to the body to move more.
Now that you know the good it can do for you when you incorporate music in your yoga routines, it’s time to create a playlist. You have the freedom to choose which music you like to listen, be it rock, classical or jazz, but you can get more out of your yoga session when you listen to music that’s made specifically for yoga.
A research conducted by Biagini and published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it revealed that there is a significant increase in the “performance during an explosive exercise and an altered mood state when listening to SSM [self-selected music].”
Therefore, it makes so much sense to choose music that will keep you focused, put you in the mood, and create the right environment for meditation and yoga.
So with that being said, we’ve compiled 15 best songs you can add to your playlist. They don’t have to be arranged in chronological order, but you can choose which ones that best suit the type of yoga you’re practicing, whether it’s Bikram, Power, Iyengar or Ashtanga.
Best Yoga Songs Playlist
What you’ll love about this music list is that the artists are yoga practitioners as well, which means their music is composed with the practice in mind. So without any further ado, here are the songs. Enjoy!
1. Bridge to Vallabha
Artist: Tina Malia
If you’re a fan of Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan or Loreena Mckennit, then you’ll love this West Coast singer. Tina Malia possesses the right singing voice – airy and angelic – to float above sweet, relaxing melodies that are infused with sacred changes, folk sounds and dream pop that originated from Sikh, Hindu and Jewish traditions.
One of the popular songs in the album, Om Sarve, is made of sweet, calming melodies similar to what you hear in Kundalani yoga classes.
Tina Malia is definitely one talented artist as she has performed or recorded songs with other popular indie artists, the likes of Bonnie Raitt, India.Arie and Bassnectar.
2. Sufi Kirtan
A big fan of Lhasa De Sela, Lorenna McKennit or Niyaz? You’ll appreciate HuDost. It’s composed of a two artists focused on producing neo-folk world rock music. Their songs in their Sufi Kirtan album is best described as rich and eclectic with a blend of rock, pop and folk music inspired by Bulgarian, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, Croatian, Balkan and Macedonian cultures.
Some of the songs in the album featured mantras for friendship, forgiveness and unity. Bismillah, in particular, is composed of soothing melodies with a spiritual touch. It’s easy to feel relaxed and to calm your breathing with the duo’s chillaxing music.
3. Dreaming in Sanskrit
Artist: Marti Nikko and DJ Drez
If you want something a little upbeat and funky but still possesses that folk-ish charm, then you’ll the funky mantra music by this husband-and-wife duo. Their music is a mixture of Holywood hip-hop fused with Balkan beats and musical mantras from yoga, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Mari Nikko’s soulful, bluesy voice will also pull you into a world where peace and religious rituals reign.
If you look listening to the beats of MC Yogi, EarthRise SoundSystem and Cheb I Sabbah, then the Dreaming in Sanskrit album is something you’ll enjoy playing over and over again while doing Bikram or Power Yoga.
And in case you haven’t noticed, DJ Drez is one of the leading disc jockeys in the underground music scene in Los Angeles.
Artist: Sirgun Kaur
If you have been practicing Kundalini yoga for quite some time, Dayaal is one album that should be added in your yoga playlist. A Kundalini yoga teacher herself, Sirgun Kaur is a chant artist who lends her pure voice to devotional songs that can be found on the album. Her crystalline vocal prowess is further highlighted with mellow, acoustic soundscape and orchestral music.
Sirgun Kaur is an upcoming artist who has performed with other Kirtan artists such as Simrit, C.C. White and Joey Lugassy. If you’re a big fan of Carole King, Mirabai Ceiba or Snatam Kaur, then you’ll like Dayaal, especially one of its songs, Satigur Hoi Dayaal.
5. Underwater love
Artist: Smoke City
Smoke City is the kind of band that uses club jazz and electro hip hop with a blend of Brazilian styles, like samba and bossa nova. Together with their sexy Brazilian lead vocalist Nina Miranda, Smoke City seeks to lure the listeners into the great deep with her catchy voice. Though based in UK, their music had a great influence in South American music in general.
The band had their first big hit, the “Underwater Love,” in 1997. Used in a Levi’s television advertisement, the “Mermaids”, the single became very popular and received recognition from the American listener. The song is unique because it starts slow and scarcely speeds up throughout the song.
The calm wave like flow of drum beats gives the song a trippy, dream-like feeling. The guitar chord in the background that lasts the entirety of the song gives it a Mediterranean feel. Paired with the trance-inducing vocals of Nina Miranda, as she transitions from her exotic English hook to a string of Portuguese, you would sure want to press the play and replay button and submerge into this soothing song as you perform different yoga poses.
Artist: Habib Koite
Among the many extraordinary musicians, Habib Koite, a solo singer, songwriter and guitarist, from Mali, stands out for his unerring melodic intuition and the sense of intimacy in every song he carried. “Anything” upholds the same standard.
Koite has a unique approach to playing the guitar. Paired with his intimate and relaxed, yet prowess and moody, singing vocals, you’ll surely get hooked to his songs. To top it up, his songs have deep meaning behind every lyric, which can help give meaning to every yoga posture you perform.
7. Call Within
Natural sounds combined with a superb play of the bansuri makes one acoustic masterpiece that is perfect for meditative activities. The “Call within” by Manose will hit the spot if you are trying to look for a soothing and soul-searching music. Manose masterfully played the bansuri, coupled with the sound of birds chirping, babbling brooks, ukulele, singing bowls, and hang drum blended together creating this magical scene, making it perfect for outdoor yoga practice.
Coupled with the Om symbol, this soothing music by Manose will surely put you in a trance as you try to draw out your inner self with meditation and yoga.
8. My Heart Bows Down to You
Artist: Brenda McMorrow
An acclaimed devotional chant artist, Brenda McMorrow’s My Heart Bows Down to You will inspire deep realization as you do sun salutation or wide-angle seated forward bend posture.
Artist: Chet Faker
For a modern groove, Gold by Chet Faker, an Australian musician, will help you “get up and go.” Gold is the first single of Chet Faker’s first album, Built on Glass. It talks about a man trying to find somebody who can fill up his heart. “Made of gold” meant something is of real worth or something extraordinary. It doesn’t matter who fills his heart as long as it’s true. With Gold’s strange and beautiful sensuality, it will surely give a plus on your yoga playlist.
10. Moon Magic
Artist: Stevin McNamara
Indian music was originally used for religious and devotional purposes. Over the years, it has developed into what we hear today, a living music with much more than just notes being produced by an instrument. Every pluck of the Shakti guitar creates a living and breathing sound, drawing its connection to the listener’s soul. This music will definitely leave you feeling soothed, healed, uplifted, and at peace with one’s self and the world around you. Namaste.
11. Be Here Now
Artist: Ray LaMontagne
Be here now is a track opener of Ray LaMontagne’s album, Till the Sun turns Black. This song is filled with a fine soul vibe sound. Though Ray LaMontagne’s voice is soulful and rich, this song has a mellower and easier touch. It won’t make you want to get your body up and shake it. Instead, it will soothe your weary soul and let you see that there is immense beauty and blessing amidst all the pain and tribulations. A truly motivating music, indeed!
12. Songs for the Sangha
Artists: Deva Permal and Miten, and Manose
Do you find Enya’s songs soothing? If so, you’ll also come to love Songs for the Sangha. Imbued with swampy reggae beats, piano riffs, soulful and jazzy inflections, the songs in this album will help you move through difficult postures with grace and confidence. And because the songs are woven with ancient mantras, it makes yoga more than just a fitness workout but also a spiritual journey.
13. From the Ancient Storm
Hypnotic, haunting and contemplative, songs in the album From the Ancient Storm will really make you ponder about life and death, true to oneself and devotion. The songs are rich with mantras accompanied by stringed instruments (like cello and mando) and Simrit’s trademark alternative rock star quality vocals.
14. Bhakti Without Borders
Artist: Madi Das
If you find Jack Johnson’s music soothing, then Bhakti Without Borders is a worthy addition to your yoga playlist. Performed by ex-entertainment executive, Madi Das, this music album is filled with songs that are reminiscent of the East Indian bhakti tradition blended with bluegrass, Celtic and folk melodies.
15. The Great Mystery
Artist: Desert Dwellers
If trance-like tribal techno is your thing, then be prepared to be stirred with the sounds of The Great Mystery. It’s the perfect mix for your Bikram or Power yoga as they’re infused with Indian melodies and electronic sounds that will keep you moving until your 90-minute session is up.