Non-New Agey: Top Five Songs for Yoga Class Right Now.

Via Tanya Lee Markul
on Apr 29, 2012
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To play music or to not play music?

To answer this question, I think it’s up to the teacher, what the teacher is offering their students and how the students are responding. I don’t usually play music while practicing on my own, but lately I’ve been dabbling here and there with a bit of music while I’m teaching. So far, the response from my students has been quite positive! And, it’s fun to experiment, why not?!

Music can invoke strong emotions, taking us to places we resist. It can shiver our skin, bring us to our knees and lift us high up to the sky. It’s magical, it’s powerful, it tells a story, shares a history, a joy, a pain and in so many ways, it speaks to the infinite mystery that resides within all of us. It many ways it can guide us to an inner place called home.

Here are my current top five:

 1. Porcelain by Moby.

Great for warming up with Sun Salutations. Teach the students Sun A, then play the music and allow them to go at their own pace for the duration of the song. It’s fun!

2. Teardrop by Massive Attack.

Explore the flow, twists and turns to this mellow beat.

3. Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros.

Soft and just so Sigur Ros. If you’re anything like me, their songs always squeeze my heart and make my eyes water.

4. Across the Universe by Rufus Wainwright.

Jai Guru Deva Om. I love this song. Great for cooling down, preparing for final resting pose, savasana.

5. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.

So beautiful. Perfect for preparing for final resting pose.

What’s your favourite?

What tells your story? What moves your students, your soul, your spirit?


About Tanya Lee Markul

Luring the magic of what is natural back into our daily lives, Tanya Markul is a freer of creativity, of inner beauty + power, and an enthusiastic igniter of the wild spirit! She re-writing the wild flower sutras, and offers a refreshing & badass view on spirituality, wellness & authentic living. Sensitivity is her tree trunk, flower stem, and nucleus. It is her belly, and her heart. Tanya is an artist of life, a faery of trees, a wanderer of the dark, a writer of heart, a misfit yogini, and an Urban Priestess apprentice. She believes in the power of your personal weird, quirky, magic, and that only path toward inner freedom & light, is through the dark — eyes closed, heart open. Tanya is the creator of The Urban Howl, Yoga Write Now & Waking Wild. Join her free forum for monthly yoga & writing practices here. Join her free forum for 30 days of exercise for 30 days here. Join her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & get her free weekly & quirky newsletter here.


18 Responses to “Non-New Agey: Top Five Songs for Yoga Class Right Now.”

  1. @petrastella says:

    The Low Spark of High Heel Boys – Traffic
    anything by Sigur Ros
    Sacrifice – Lisa Gerrard
    Ramble On – Led Zeppelin (this song is about the Hobbit and Plant lives 2 blocks from me right now, so I'm fixated)
    Guyatri Mantra – Rara Avis
    The Sexual Politics of Meat – Consolidated
    China Doll – Grateful Dead

    that's just what's on my mind today, but I play the tunes, every class, to a point – great post!

  2. Wow, two blocks? I've loved Robert Plant for over thirty years. I can imagine having a better neighbor. 🙂 Personally, I like the LZ's Rain Song for savasana.

  3. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Awwwwesome! What's your fave Robert Plant?

  4. […] Non-New Agey: Top Five Songs for Yoga Class Right Now … […]

  5. Debbie says:

    Thank you for Sigur Ros. I had never heard of them…..Who are they and where are they from? Really beautiful.

  6. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Hey Debbie, oh you have to youtube them! They are from Iceland. Very poetic. They pull my heart strings. Check them out for sure if you can! xoxo

  7. Blissful Girl says:

    My current fav's for class:
    Ripple, Grateful Dead
    Honestly OK, Dido
    Daffodil Lament, The Cranberries
    I can't make you love me, Bonnie Raitt
    Locks N' Herbs, Dessert Dwellers
    I'll take you there, the Staple Singers
    Flume, Blindsided, Bon Iver

  8. EeeBee says:

    Love Massive Attack! I also like to throw in some Reggae like Richie Spice.
    Also any of the following:
    Damon Albarn
    and even some David Bowie

  9. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Thank you!! I've just been introduced to Bon Iver. I'll check out that song! 🙂 Thanks for the list!!

  10. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Sweeeeeet list! I was thinking of some Bowie as well. I usually listen to him while I'm cleaning the house, but why not yoga class?! Thank you!!

  11. yogijulian says:


  12. LizzyB. says:

    Great music!

    A fellow yoga instructor suggested really great piano music by an artist named Matthew C. Shuman. She has had great responses from her students about the music. So I downloaded some of his piano pieces from iTunes and tried them in my classes. Everyone loved it! Great stuff! Hope this helps.

  13. Katherine says:

    Beats Antique, Beats Antique, an oh yes, BEATS fucking ANTIQUE.
    Because Beats loves you, and wants you to be happy.

  14. Katherine says:

    oh and Random Rab

  15. Jules says:

    el-HADRA, the Mystik Dance

  16. Pea says:

    Take a Minute, Wavin' Flag – K'NAAN
    Lebanese Blonde, Gentle Dissolve – Thievery Corporation
    Sunrise – Norah Jones
    Fight Outta You – Ben Harper
    Life is Wonderful – Jason Mraz
    Sunshine – Matt Costa
    Crush – Metaform
    Oh, there are so many more…! And loving all the other suggestions, I'll have to add to my playlist.

  17. Thomas says:

    Blackmill – It's mostly instrumental. It's mostly relaxing with some energizing parts that show up like the water rushing and jumping over rocks in a creek.

    I had a yoga teacher, who did 4 am classes with marching music!

    I have an acquaintance who does yoga to industrial. The first time, I walked in on him practicing in the studio, I kept looking at the ceiling, I thought that they did heavy construction on the floor above. Then, I realized that it was the music that he was playing. After half hour, I started to get into it. It's perhaps an acquired taste. Though, the deep humming of machines sort of does resonate internally.

  18. Thomas says:

    Little fluffy clouds from The Orb is a rather nurturing yoga sound track as well.