If you’re like me – or the plenty of other people you pass on a daily basis – you rarely leave home without your headphones. Whether blasting it out their car windows or gently (or not so gently as the case may be) bopping their heads on the subway, people everywhere are always tuned in. The thing I have always found beautiful about music is its invitation for interpretation, inspiration, and perhaps, above all, community. It doesn’t matter if its African drum beats, Beethoven or Hanson (hey, don’t judge – they play all of their own instruments!), I’ve yet to come across a single person who just doesn’t like music.
1. “I don’t really like pickles on my sandwiches.”
2. “Eh, Scorcese doesn’t do it for me.”
3. “Yea, I don’t know. I’m just not a fan of music.”
Which of the above does not belong? Exactly. (and if you HAVE heard #3 before – please! – I’d love to hear about it!).
Music has a transformative power. It can make a walk home more enjoyable, a movie more emotional, a bad day more bearable. When I lived in Manhattan, I loved nothing more than plugging in and walking the streets of the city. Believe it or not, I would oftentimes find that footsteps, cars passing and the million other NYC sounds that become white noise, commonplace, when one lives in such a populated place, would seemingly make their rhythms and resonances known in my music. The lady in front of me would begin walking in perfect time with the song playing on my headphones. The subway ticket machine would buzz just so in time with a certain track.
At this point, it should come as no surprise that I love when two of my favorite things – yoga and music – are joined together in perfect harmony (pun intended). I find myself enjoying class more when I find music or artists I like or have yet to discover. And why not? Just as yoga invites us to turn inward and flow with our own, unique breathing and movement patterns, music, too, gives us space and time to just let go and be. No matter how many times you repeat a track or hit the mat, music and yoga provide an opportunity in which to discover something new. Sure, some songs in class can be jarring and really take you out of your zone but, if done with careful prep and mindfulness, music proves to be complimentary, a safe space, a calming background to observe without getting too caught up in the mind stuff. Below, I’ve shared some of my favorite yoga tracks. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your song suggestions!
Click on the itunes pic to listen to the tunes! xo Rachel Chibnik
January Rain – David Gray
Hoppipolla – Sigur Ros
My Body is a Cage – Arcade Fire
Porcelain – Moby
The Promise – Bruce Springsteen
Nightwatchmen – Bell X1
Ghosts – Mark Geary
Breathe Me – Sia
Make Me Down – Josh Ritter
Emer’s Dream – Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Rachel has been practicing yoga since her junior year of high school. Beginning with an unused mat and unwatched DVDs around her house, she created a home practice that she always comes back to when her schedule doesn’t allow for studio time. Rachel loves nothing more than sharing her love of yoga with friends through conversation or taking class together. Eager to take this enthusiasm one step further, Rachel completed her first 200-hour training this past year. Having kicked off 2012 with Strala’s New Year’s Eve Yoga, Rachel was instantly drawn to the welcoming, fun and feel-good vibes of the studio making the choice to attend the Intensive for Teachers an easy one. When she isn’t on the mat, Rachel can be found listening to and playing music, concert-going, reading, trying new, yummy recipes and talking about anything elephant-related. It doesn’t matter if you can’t touch your toes – Rachel believes (and knows!) yoga is about not where you are going but where you are now and making way for yourself to explore your beautiful, current state of being.