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One of my favorite things to do at places like Whole Foods or the store in a yoga studio is to put on headphones and listen to some of the music they are selling. One of my main tasks when I am at Kripalu is to plunk myself down and go through dozens of CDs and then only let my self buy my favorite 12%.
Just so you understand part of my leanings, if a CD has a lot of slow-moving and then quick tempo songs I tend to dismiss those, even if I really crave them since I want to have one consistent mood when I am teaching and don’t have to get up and change the tunes, I just find that disruptive. I tend to stay away from loud bells or chimes in the middle of a long tranquil spell since it breaks the vibe. It’s hard to hold tree when all of a sudden you hear a clanging, “GONG”.
Most of the music works well for other things like massage and other spiritual activities and some of them are just easy and sensual and great for just chilling. if you don’t like hearing someone chant Oooooommmmm for a full twenty minutes when you are practicing then you can check these out.
So here is my list, in no particular order.
Deva Premal and Miten. For long-time yogis and yoginis they will come as no surprise. For those new to yoga, they have a soulful and sensual way of chanting ancient mantras. I have played this for lots of non-yogis when I was just lounging at home and they commented on how beautiful and soothing the music is. My favorite song is “There is so Much Magnificence”…..I contemplated playing this at our wedding. There is a deep healing quality to their music and they seem to be quite therapeutic whenever I am going through “stuff”.
The Gift of Love. Deepak Chopra. I worked at the Chopra Center in San Diego for a year and was exposed to some really great stuff. There are actually a few different sets. They’re all groovy. A lot of this music is fairly sensual as well and most of it is in English. Nice, modern beats to it.
Ekova. This usually would not come up in a Yoga class. These beats are faster moving and funkier…they feel african at times since there are some deep rhythmic beats. I wouldn’t recommend this for massage but for a a more vigorous yoga class.
Spa Sonique. Don’t let the froo froo feminine cover turn you. This has some very melodic beats, great for massage or a romantic night as well.
Spiritual Chillout. One or two of the songs I always skip, but the rest of them really bring me to cozy place. Great to chill to. No Sanskrit chanting on this one.
Snataum Kaur. She does traditional Kirtan or chanting, some in English, some in Sanskrit. Her voice is very pure and angelic. One of my Indian pals hates going and hearing westerners chant in sanskrit, she says it hurts her Indian ears to have westerners butcher the sacred, ancient words of Sanskrit.
Jai Uttal. He also does traditional chanting, mostly in Sanskrit so his CDs would be better suited to a yoga student that is more familiar with Sanskrit chanting. Very hypnotic.
Krishna Das. KD, as those in the know would call him, is probably the most well known in the chanting circles and tends to have the biggest draws. I like his CDs but his concerts seem to always tear the house down and not to be missed….