Music Playlists For Yoga Classes

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Should you play music in your yoga class, or not? This is a highly debated topic (I know, right?!) but is worthy of discussion. It is my opinion that music in a yoga class has its time and place. When the teacher selects a specific track to play when we are in half pigeon, music can transform half pigeon from a chore to a catharsis. Similarly the rhythm of the music playing can make sun salutations a mellow, mindful series of movements, or it can uplift them into a cardio workout flow.

Every so often, the studio where I practiced in Austin, TX (Breath and Body Yoga) would bring in a live DJ and we'd have a detox class with jamming tunes (see photo above). It was a ton of fun, but was very different than the daily yoga practice I had there. It was a party atmosphere and it brought in a lot of new yogis to the studio.

I prefer strategically placed music in class, and definitely music without words. I find non-instrumental tracks distracting when I'm trying to hear the verbal cues the teacher is giving in class. I also find it hard to teach over a song with words. I have to be louder than the lyrics in the song. Sometimes fun, mostly not so much fun. I thoroughly enjoy a yoga studio filled with yogis breathing ujjayi breath, moving together, and me being able to hear that they are breathing instead of holding their breath.

There's also the problem of copyright. When you play music in a yoga studio, that constitutes a 'public performance' and technically royalties should be paid based on the number of yogis in the class. While it may be unlikely that your studio would be served with a "pay up" letter from the ASCAP, it could happen. Music also presents a problem even when it is in the background of a yoga studio class recording. The owner of the copyright has the legal right to monetize the video you've uploaded as a result of the YouTube audio algorithm detecting use of copyrighted music.

IF you want to use music in your classes, and want to use instrumental music but don't know where to turn for upbeat, instrumental tracks - I'm going to share what I've created so far. If you want to follow me on Spotify, you can be kept up to date on any new play lists I make going forward.

I've made quite a few playlists for my yoga classes. Originally the songs were chosen for their tempo and length because each one was selected to go along with Sun As, Sun Bs or balancing poses. Once I'd figured out class pacing, I relied less on the length of the song but more in hitting the right time in the playlist for the class to be in a hip opener pose like half pigeon (it seems to be right around the 43 minute mark in most of my classes). Recently I sent out a Survey Monkey questionnaire to the yogis who have taken my classes as of late (which have primarily been with no music) and the feedback that I received is that people wanted more music. I'm glad to indulge, so I put together a few more playlists with instrumental tracks leading up to hip openers and then closing with something moody and mellow for savasana. I'll provide links to the different playlists I have online, in case you wanted to use them when you teach a 60 or 75 minute class.

I hope this is helpful!

8tracks



Change Is In The Air - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

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Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie.


Change Is in the Air

Just as the world around us changes and evolves, so do the circumstances and situations in our lives. We live in a universe that is alive, vibrant, and constantly evolving. Change is the way nature, the universe, and the Divine move us through each period of our lives and into destiny. We are led to our next lesson, our next adventure. There’s no need to deny change, to fear it or fight against it. Change is inevitable. Just as the earth is constant motion and transformation, so are we.
Take your place in the universal dance, the universal rhythm. Allow change to happen. Work with it as your life unfolds. Sometimes change comes in one smashing moment like a volcanic eruption. Other times it happens more slowly, the way the winds and rain sculpt bridges out of canyons.
Learn to trust your body—its signs, signals, warnings, and excited proclamations. We let the gathering clouds warn us of impending storms, and we learn to study and predict tremors in the earth. In much the same way, our body can function as a barometer for our soul and its place in the constantly changing and evolving universe.
You are open now, more sensitive than you’ve been before. Change is coming. It’s here. You can feel it in the air. You can feel it in yourself.
Thank your body for helping you.

Thank the universe for what it is about
to do. Then thank God because change
will bring you closer to love.”

Mixcloud

Bandcamp

or YouTube

Sharing Yoga Teaching Audio Recordings As Podcasts

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Recording the classes that I teach allows me to share the recording with others as well as be a student in my own class and see how the practice lands with me when I'm on my mat. I use a Sanyo Xacti ICR-XPS01M but there are many new digital voice recorders on the market now. 

I use Audacity to edit the audio files. It is a free app and they have a version for Windows and Mac computers. To edit the ID3 MP3 tags on the mp3 files, I use a Mac app called tagr, Windows users could use mp3nity. After I've adjusted the levels and trimmed the beginning and end of the audio files in Audacity, I export my mp3 audio into a constant bit rate format at 96kb and save the files to mono not stereo (to keep the file size of the audio tracks smaller). 


A friend who runs a podcast recommend that I setup an account with libsyn.com. I chose the $15/month option because each one hour mp3 I have is about 45MB. If the classes that I teach go well, I'll be uploading at least four classes a month, so I chose the 250MB/month plan. I found a discount code on a podcasting website to get the first month free with this code: sopfree.

The podcast show art was created in Photoshop, but there are several free online image editing tools that could be used. Pixlr  is one I've heard of people using. Libsyn lists the requirements for show art file sizes here.

Once I'd created my show art and tagged my mp3s, I uploaded my files and filled out the show notes for each audio recording.

Getting the podcast published into the iTunes directory was a matter of following the steps on Apple's podcast sitetesting my RSS feed with iTunes (each hosting provider will have a way for you to find the RSS URL of where your files will be found by iTunes or Google Play. As a Libsyn user, I had to take my RSS URL (http://jentechyoga.libsyn.com/rss) and Open iTunes, choose File > Subscribe to Podcast, type your RSS feed URL in the text box, then click OK
If you see your podcast content in itunes, you know the RSS feed is working properly.
The next step was to validate the podcast through Apple's Podcasts Connect. This was a little trickier because the steps listed in Apple's how-to document online didn't work. I found the link to Podcasts Connect after doing some googling. 

Now the audio classes I've uploaded are viewable in iTunes and Google Play. You can subscribe and download the mp3s for your home practice or if you'd like to take a class from your hotel room when you're traveling for work (like I sometimes do).

Putting my recordings into iTunes and Google Play took a little more time (and money) than setting up profiles on Bandcamp and Mixcloud did, but I've seen way more activity with the podcasts than in Bandcamp/Mixcloud. I hope you enjoy some of the classes I've published. If you do, please let me know!

Stop Struggling - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

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Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Thirty by Emily Maroutian.

The section was titled #56 Advice Stop trying. Stop struggling. Stop forcing. Who you are doesn’t take energy or effort. It is the easiest thing to be. If it’s not easy, it’s not really you. It’s a dream of someone you want to be because you think it’s better than who you really are. Most likely, you picked it up from watching others being that naturally. What you're seeking isn’t the thing in the other person that you’re mimicking; it’s the ease in which that person behaves, the confidence in which they flow, the naturalness of their being., the comfort in who they are. What you really want is to feel good about who you are. That’s all. You don’t want to be them—you want to feel good about being you.

Mixcloud

Bandcamp

or YouTube




Remember The Sun - 60 minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

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Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Daily OM by Madison Taylor.


Remember the Sun - Madison Taylor from DailyOM

If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away.
There are times when gloom or darkness causes us to momentarily lose sight of the light. Although it is at these times when the thought of the sun can help us. Its warm, glowing rays brighten even our thoughts, and it's good to remember that despite appearances the sun is shining right now. We may not be able to see it at this very moment, but if clouds block our view, they are only filtering the sun's light temporarily. If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away, and it's only a matter of time before it will shine on us again.

When we remember that the sun is still shining, we know that things are still in motion in the universe. Even if life feels like it is at a standstill, sometimes all we need to do is have faith and wait for the time when everything is in its perfect place. Or we can we can choose to follow the cues of the sun and continue doing our work and shining our light, even when we can't yet see results. In doing so we exercise our patience, making sure we are prepared when opportunity knocks and all other elements are in their right and perfect places.

The sun also reminds us that our own shining truth is never extinguished. Our light shines within us at all times, no matter what else occurs around us. Though the sun gives us daily proof of its existence, sometimes our belief in our own light requires more time. If we think back, however, we can find moments when it showed itself and trust that we will see it again. Like the sun, our light is the energy that connects us to the movements of the universe and the cycles of life and is present at all times, whether we feel its glow or not.



Mixcloud


or Youtube: 

Get Back In Your Body​​​ - 60 minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

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Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie.


Get Back in Your Body 
Whenever you find yourself drifting away, losing touch with yourself, jumping from the present moment to some far-off point in the future, get back in your body. Instinctively, when we become afraid or find ourselves in a painful situation, we may leave our bodies temporarily. We may shut down, move our consciousness out, abandon or ignore ourselves. Sometimes, it’s natural to go numb, to just go through the motions until things calm down. It’s easier than feeling. But shutting down our bodies and emotions—disappearing—as a way of life won’t get us where we’re going—to the heart. Living with an open heart means we stay present for ourselves and feel as much as we can, as much as we need to. We feel the feelings that come our way. You are safe now. You know how to own your power. You know how to lovingly care for and nurture yourself. You know how to trust God and the universe to help you. You know you can trust yourself. You are safe now, safe enough to feel. Deliberately, consciously, get back in your body. Feel your feet, head, arms, legs. Feel your heart; listen to it beat. Rub your shoulders. Massage your feet. You’re powerful now, and powerfully connected to
yourself. Get back in your body. Come back to life.

Mixcloud

Bandcamp

Youtube:


Finding the Joy You Have - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Slow Flow Audio Video Recording

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Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Daily OM by Madison Taylor.


The Grass Is Always Greener: Finding The Joy You Have - The Daily OM by Madisyn Taylor Not one life goes by in which there is not the search for joy and happiness. It is unfortunate, however, that people so often believe that the search will be entirely fulfilled by finding the perfect job, acquiring some new gadget, losing weight, or maintaining an image. The problem inherent in looking outward for sources of happiness is that focusing on what you don't have or what you aren't inevitably leads to unhappiness. It is easy to get caught up in your desires and to ignore the sources of joy and growth already present in your life. It is said that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. When you have stopped comparing yourself and your assets to others, you'll be able to recognize that to others, you are on the "green side." Learning to live in the moment and to enjoy your personal lot can be a source of profound contentment. Start by recognizing what you have. Make a list of one hundred reasons you have to be thankful, even if they seem like small things. Our emotions are based on our perspectives. Try to envision a circumstance wherein your reasons to be thankful feel important. Then apply that perspective. Joy and satisfaction must come from the inside. Many people feel very sincerely that a different circumstance, financial situation, or wardrobe would bring them happiness, only to find out when they have achieved their goal that they feel the same as they did before. Accepting your current circumstances and embracing them, rather than expending energy on negative thinking, will help you overcome obstacles and enact changes naturally. The happier you are, the more you will be able to make the positive changes that really matter. Unhappiness inspired by what you don't have is easy to overcome when you open your eyes to the wonderful things already present in your life. Remember that joy is a state of mind and it is pointless to sacrifice the happiness of today for a set of possibilities that may or may not come to be.


Mixcloud


or Youtube: 

Prisoner of Other People's Opinions - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

10:45 AM 0 Comments A+ a-


Here is an audio & video recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Thirty by Emily Maroutian.

The section was titled #172 Advice: There’s freedom in the willingness to look stupid or fail regardless of what other people think of you. You can accomplish more when you are not a prisoner of other people’s opinions. If you place too much emphasis on how others see you, you’ll never become your full self because you will always be bending and changing to please others. Let go of the need to look a certain way; it is a prison most people never leave.

Mixcloud


or Youtube: 

Ways We Numb Ourselves - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

11:31 AM 0 Comments A+ a-


Here is an audio recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at 
Jai Dee Yoga in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose for the class was from the book Daily OM by Madisyn Taylor. The section was titled "Ways We Numb Ourselves"

Mixcloud


or Youtube:

Ways We Numb Ourselves
Emerging from the Grey by Madisyn Taylor
Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace.
We are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions. Many of us, however, are uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We may shy away from delight and despair and deny life’s colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It’s easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them, so we may momentarily turn to pleasures such as alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it’s normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but there can also be no joy or healing.
The activities that numb you may seem harmless or pleasurable, but using them to numb yourself diminishes the quality of your life. Numbing yourself so that you don’t have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life’s rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask yourself why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.
With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you’ll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You’ll discover a deeper you—a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace.