What Music Is Best for Yoga Classes?

What Music Is Best for Yoga Classes?

what music is best for yoga classes

"What music is best for yoga classes?" is a question I'm often asked, and there isn't really a definitive answer to this question.  Music is so personal and the best yoga playlists can vary considerably depending on the setting, the students and the teacher.  Its really a matter of personal preference.   There is not one specific genre that works best for yoga classes, and in fact, some people prefer listening to no music at all while practicing yoga.  

Should You Play Music During Yoga?

It is common to play music while practicing yoga, and its also pretty typical for yoga teachers to play music while teaching a yoga class.  However, it isn't necessary and a lot of people would prefer to practice in silence.

Traditionally, yoga was a very spiritual practice and for many people it still is.  Lots of people practice the entire 8-limb path of Patanjali, and not just asana (or yoga postures).  Many people like to chant while practicing yoga, and music can interfere with mantra practice.  If music interferes with your ability to be present in the moment, you probably shouldn't play music while you practice.  Music can actually help a lot of people find come into a state of mindfulness.

How Can Music Help You Practice Yoga?

I've talked to lots of students who say that listening to music while they practice yoga can actually help them to become absorbed in the flow.  They believe that music helps to foster this sense of absorption and present moment awareness.  Music can also help people feel connected to the world that surrounds them, and yoga is all about connection.  After all, yoga means union and when we think of union, we think of connection.  It's important to feel grounded while you practice yoga, and music can help people become centered into the moment and come into their bodies.

When you think about ways that you can feel rooted and mindful, you may think of breathwork, being in nature or listening to music that is moving for you.  For a lot of people, spiritual music can be helpful to ground, and this can also help people to move through challenging postures within the yoga practice with a sense of ease and grace.  This really shouldn't come as a surprise to us, because we've known about the powerful effects of music for some time.

Science backs up the idea that music can determine how we feel.  Music has strong effects on our moods, and the music that you choose to listen to can change your state of mind completely.  Some songs may help you to relax and pull your energy level down.  Other songs may energize you and make you want to move.  When you are practicing yoga, you want to find the types of songs that help you find that state of flow, a moving meditation.

Sakyong Mipham, a Tibetan lama and head of the Shambhala lineage once said, "the body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness."  This is exactly what we want to achieve with the music we choose while we practice yoga.  We want to choose songs for our yoga playlists that helps us move and flow in our bodies but help our minds come to a quiet, still place.  

Best Yoga Music and Yoga Playlists

In our community of yoga teachers and yoga teacher trainees, we ask students to send in their favorite yoga playlists and then we email them out to everyone weekly.  One thing that we've learned from this is that everyone has different preferences.  Some people prefer yoga music without lyrics and stick to instrumental yoga music on their yoga playlists.  Other people like upbeat yoga music that makes them want to sing and dance. 

Personally, I can be a little bit all over the place.  Sometimes I listen to Dj Taz Rashid with songs like Gold Flow or Trust the Process.  Gold Flow is one of my go to songs for practicing sun salutations.  If I want more upbeat yoga music, I might play Beyonce or listen to reggae music.  Sometimes I like to play artists like Bob Marley to really help me find my flow.  Native American flute music can be really soothing for evening yoga practices or more relaxing yoga practices.  Jhene Aiko has beautiful singing bowl tracks on her Chilombo album.  I enjoy her Trigger Protection Mantra.

These are just my personal preferences, and I've learned from my students that everyone doesn't share my preferences.  We've had students who like to practice yoga to Tom Petty and others who really like country music yoga playlists.  One of our students taught a hip-hop yoga class and the yoga playlist every week was a hip-hop yoga playlist.  In fact, we had a yoga student from Dallas who taught "trap yoga" which was yoga with a trap music playlist.  

Best Yoga Playlists

Based on the feedback we have gotten from our community, these are the best yoga playlists for anyone who is wondering what music is best for yoga classes:

Apple Music Yoga Playlists

"This is Yoga

  • Now or Never by Halsey
  • Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey
  • Someone New by BANKS
  • Don't Kill My Vibe by Signd
  • Location by Khalid
  • Alaska by Maggie Rogers
  • High by Little Dragon
  • Goodnight by Shoffy
  • Crowded Places by BANKS
  • Grow by Chymes
  • Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd
  • Pleasure by Feist
  • Trust by Justin Bieber
  • Breathe Me by Sia
  • Let it Go by James Bay
  • Green Mountain State by Trevor Hall
  • Give Love by MC Yogi

"Dj Taz Rashid Playlist"

  • Be Still Now by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Waking Up My Soul by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Gold Flow by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Love Me by DJ Taz Rashid
  • God's Plan (Instrumental) by Metrixx
  • Shortline by Thomas Jack & RY X
  • Never Let You Go by Kygo
  • Fallen for You by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Run Run Run by Junge Junge
  • Hazey by Glass Animals
  • Kali Lounge by Lea Longo and by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Rainbows by Dyrigent
  • Road Wisdom by by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Siren's Lullaby by DJ Taz Rashid
  • The Scientist by Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Heaven Is Here by by DJ Taz Rashid
  • Elysian Fields by DJ Taz Rashid and Ingmarlo

"Trigger Protection Mantra Playlist"

  • Trigger Protection Mantra by Jhene Aiko
  • Pretty Girl Magic by Moonlight Scorpio
  • $money Mantra$ by Moonlight Scorpio
  • Mental Health by Moonlight Scorpio
  • Return 2 Sender by Moonlight Scorpio & Maijah

Spotify Yoga Playlists

"Bhakti Without Borders" by Madi Das

  • Shri Radhe by Madi Das
  • Jai Gurudev by Madi Das
  • Maha Mantra by Madi Das
  • Jamuna Puline by Madi Das
  • Namoh Maha by Madi Das
  • Jagannath by Madi Das
  • Radhe Jai by Madi Das
  • Narasinghadev by Madi Das
  • Sita Ram by Madi Das
  • Bhaja Govindam by Madi Das

"Upbeat Yoga Class Playlist"

  • Breateh by Telepopmusik
  • Infinite Universe by Beautiful Chorus
  • My Energy is Infinite by Geminielle
  • Soft to Be Strong by Marina
  • Warrior by Aurora
  • Mirror by Sigrid
  • Electricity by Silk City
  • Supernatural by Kesha
  • Stronger by Britney Spears
  • Hunter by Dido
  • Army of me by Bjork
  • Who Says by Selena Gomez
  • Breathe It In by Beautiful Chorus
  • Forget It by Breaking Benjamin
  • Amber by 311
  • A Gentle Dissolve by Thievery Corporation
  • Where Is My Mind by Maxence Cyrin

"Yoga Reggae Playlist"

  • Intention by EarthRise SoundSystem, Marley
  • Makyen Ghrir Allah by EarthRise SoundSystem
  • Be the Change Omstrumental by MC Yogi
  • Sun Is Shining by Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Waah Yantee by Benjahmin Steele
  • Believe Yourself by Tsunami Wazahari
  • Asatoma by Yogareggae
  • Krishna's Dub by DJ Drez, Marti Nikko
  • Krisnas Peacocks by Chinmaya Dunster
  • Mangalam by Prem Joshua
  • Bom bom Shankara by Mari Nikko
  • Ganesha Sharanam by Manu Om
  • Om Mani Padme Hum by Marti Nikko
  • Stoned on Shiva by Steve Gold
  • Ganapati by Marti Nikko
  • Making Space by Marti Nikko
  • Lokah Samastah Sukhino by Marti Nikko
  • Test Pilot by Chilly Gonzales
  • Sofa Rockers by Sofa Surfers
  • My Primitive Heart by MC Yogi
  • You Wish by Nightmares on Wax
  • Dakini by Prem Joshua
  • I Came Running by Ancient Astronauts
  • Shanti by MC Yogi
  • Nectar Drop by Dj Drez
  • Mangalam by Prem Joshua
  • Wandering Sadhu by Desert Dwellers
  • Stoned on Shiva by Steve Gold
  • Baba Hanuman by Krishna Das
  • Ganesha by Wah!
  • Bodhi Mandala by Desert Dwellers
  • Native Spirit by Dj Taz Rashid
  • Lakshimi by Marti Nikko
  • Jai Sita Ram by MC Yogi
  • Maha Yogi by Marti Nikko
  • Hanuman Bolo by Janet Stone
  • Lila by Benjy Wertheimer
  • Jaya Shiva Shankara by Janet Stone
  • Aapn Sahaee Hoa by Desert Dwellers
  • Maha Devi by Marti Nikko
  • Namaste by Maneesh de Moor
  • Goddess Invocation by Go Ray and Duke
  • Ra Ma Da Sa by Sirgun Kaur
  • Nataraja by Marti Nikko
  • Glorious Sun by MC Yogi
  • The Maha Mantra by CC White
  • Jaya Shiva Shankara by Marti Nikko