Music and Yoga
Yoga practice’s roots are based on a universal idea, but at the same time, it’s a very personal practice. Each individual finds different benefits from movement meditation, since it’s impossible to find two identical minds, as well as two identical approaches to yoga practice. When it comes to talk about music and yoga, we find this topic to be a very personal issue. Some people are pleased to go through some relaxation moments in company with music. We also find and believe that music doesn’t belong to yoga. However yoga history tells us, most of the times, music ends up finding its own way in the yoga practice.
A mantra is, essentially, repeated music that helps us to achieve a certain state of mind.
Actually, the literal meaning of “mantra” would be something similar to “mental instrument”. Everything can be music when the listener has an open mind: a repeated word, a constant sound or a musical instrument playing notes. When George Harrison recorded the famous “Hare Krishna” with the London Radha Krsna Temple, the single reached the 12th position in the British Charts. Maybe, mantra is just music, after all.
Besides from the music specifically composed to reach the deepest part of our minds, each of us has a special song that brings us to that special peaceful state of mind. Might be with “The Doors”, Bach or African traditional music. Here’s when the so called “relaxing music” pops up. Usually, this music is easily recognisable because of its nature sounds and quiet voices. Although the main purpose of this music is to reach our personal mind and ground us, for some people this might just not work.
Music usually has a particular effect on each person. A song, a rhythm, a repeated sound; every Sonic impulse ends up affecting us in one way or another. The same song might bring joy and love for one person, while maybe gets another person to a very deep relaxed state. Some people might find useful a certain kind of music, while others might find in it just a distraction. Anyways, what’s certain is that music and yoga have a lot to say when they’re together, as yoga’s ancestral history shows to us.
Some instructors use music during their entire class while, others choose to just use it during meditation or not at all. It is best to try different teachers with different approaches to how they teach with and without music to find your perfect match.