This week was my first class teaching yoga at the local YMCA. I am so thankful that I am able to teach yoga specifically. I've danced all my life, and I've taught a lot of dance classes. However, there is something very special about teaching yoga. When you announce a beginning adult ballet class, people get a little freaked out. Mention a yoga class, and people are a lot more comfortable stepping into the room. It is much more "pedestrian" friendly, and it allows me to teach freedom in movement to more people.
Setting up a yoga class is pretty simple, but finding the right music can be tough. There are so many choices out there. It is easy to get lost on Spotify while searching through what is available. Sometimes it's better to step away for a while instead of trying to make your playlist all at once. I've been given tid-bits of advice here and there through my yoga journey on compiling these lists. Hopefully this might help you, too.
First of all, especially if you are giving a Vinyasa class, play with making a wave with your music. Start a little more mellow and crescendo into something a bit more vibrant, then slow it down for the end of class into shavasana.
Second, mix up the music. Try some stuff that you aren't used to. I love the idea of using music with lyrics in class to challenge students in different ways. Words can bring emotions up, or it can help train the mind to find stillness in the middle of noise.
Third, pay attention to tempo. Make an intentional choice for the music to be upbeat when chair pose comes around-- or not. There is something to be appreciated doing your hardest flow to some slow music too. I urge you to make that intentional choice.
Fourth, keep your ears open. Bring your intentionality on the road with you and keep your ears open. When you are out to dinner, shopping, dancing there are millions of possibilities. Something I sometimes do is write a facebook status to see if anyone has any favorite new music. Spotify is another great way to find music, especially on your desktop when you can specifically listen to whatever song you want.
Fifth, find local musicians. It is so fun to find musicians that might want to experiment with playing for a class. Get to know them as a friend and as an artist. It's a great way to invest in your community and cultivate culture. Maybe even try an outdoor open event to get people moving. The possibilities are endless!
And for the extra treat, here is my latest playlist for my yoga class.
1. Dream-----Priscilla Ahn
2. Heartbeats-----José González
3. Somebody That I Used to Know-----Gotye
5. Skanky Panky------Kid Koala
6. You've Got the Love-----Florence + The Machine
7. Default-----Django Django
9. Give Love-----MC Yogi
10. California Sunrise-----Dirty Gold
11. Orange Sky-----Alexi Murdoch
12. Hoppipolla-----Sigur Rós
13. Falling Slowly-----Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
14. I Have Made Mistakes-----The Oh Hello's