Yoga in ‘tune’

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

June 21 being International Yoga Day and World Music Day, we tried to explore how those practising yoga are also incorporating music to make it more interesting and peaceful

One of the most common things in yoga and music is the fact that both soothe your mind and soul. Whether you are doing breathing exercises or asanas, listening to music that aligns with your chakras will help you attain your physical goals as well as improve your meditation. 

Music has always had a strong effect on human emotions, mental state and memory. Of late, a lot of yoga experts and instructors have started incorporating it while doing yoga and the number of people doing it is increasing with each passing day.

Manish Pol, co-founder, Total Yoga, recently conducted a 70-minute master class focussing on chakras where he combined the asanas and meditations with live music. The music was created based on the frequencies of the chakras by Anant Menon, who has been a blues guitar player for two decades. When asked about the response to the masterclass and awareness about yoga to music, Pol says, “The response was great. About 120 people participated in it and they seemed to have connected themselves. Yoga and music have been there for quite sometime now. However, the reason why music with yoga works is firstly, music makes your workout interesting, soothes your senses, activates your chakaras and helps you meditate with more concentration.”

Talking about the kind of music to be used, Pol says that while doing yoga, it is always advisable that a soothing music is played live and the musician has a good knowledge of yoga and the kind of muisc which goes with it. “However, if you do not have a live musician, some soft classical Indian or Western instrumental music can be played,” he adds.

City-based yoga instructor Neha Kothari, who often conducts yoga-on-music sessions, strongly recommends the combo. She feels yoga is the best way to connect with yourself, your mind, body and soul, and to make it even more perfect, yoga to music will help you the best. “There are many benefits of yoga done to music, provided you play the right music,” she adds. 

Music helps you get out of the worst of the problems. It has the capacity to take a person from one emotional state to the next. “While doing yoga, ensure that music is always soft, nice and soothing. Do not go for genres like rock and roll or something which is too loud as it can distract you. Music helps you forget everything and brings you nearer to yourself. It builds up your confidence level, gets more positivity in you and makes you feel happy! Yoga is not all about silence or shedding those extra kilos by getting fatigued; it’s about making you feel good, positive and happy and trust me, music takes you to the topmost level of your happiness, positivity and confidence; which further helps you connect your body, mind and soul,” says Kothari.

“Always begin with meditation for the basic warm up. Put some soft instrumental music which you like (it can also be some of the Bollywood instrumentals of your choice). Once the music starts, start chanting Om (aum) and then you can continue with all breathing exercises such as Anulom-Vilom, Kapaalbhati, Bhastrika followed by Suryanamaskar which is the solution to all problems — the 12 steps will make you sweat  and feel better along with the soulful music.

After this, you can continue with your regular yoga along with music, but always remember that music should be soft — something that makes you feel good and elevates your mood. Music with lyrics is strictly prohibited in yoga — lyrics which evoke emotions can distract you and you may end up singing or humming the song which will shift your focus to music.”
— Neha Kothari

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