Yoga and the Modern Playlist

Posted by Alice in Wanderlust on 3/12/10 in Uncategorized

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We've all heard it in class before: yoga means union.  To yoke.  Union of mind and body.  Sun and moon.  Our inner landscape and external world.  A yoking of us as practitioners to our community, our breath, and the huge landscape of the globe.

Here at Wanderlust we believe the union of yoga and music is a little slice of heaven.  Asana and rhythm. Drums and meditation.  Getting down and blissing out.  Like yoga, music hits our bodies, minds, senses and spirits.  It brings us together as a community to celebrate, connect inwards and let go. Music brings us all the way from inner peace to a feeling of connection with the community we're dancing with into the wee hours.

Yoga and music have been weaving together in the States for years now.  It's not uncommon to land in a class where you'll hear a playlist mixing Nina Simone with kirtan music and Moby.  In reality this winning combination of yoga and sound is not a new one.

Nada yoga, or “union through sound,” is one of the many ways ancient yogic philosophy offers practitioners an access point to higher consciousness.  Practicing Nada Yoga begins by becoming fully absorbed in vibration of the right external sounds.  When we are lost in these sounds our inner music is amplified: the heart beating, blood pumping, breath dancing.  An awareness of this inner symphony is what drops us into the space of bliss.  While traditionally Nada Yoga directs practitioners to focus on sacred sound vibrations, as yoga has been adapted in the States, so has the practice as a whole.  For many practitioners, this means Nada has been reinterpreted too.  For some of us the music we flow best to is kirtan.  For others, maybe sun saluting to Pretty Lights or The Beatles is what leads to letting go.

Yoga first met modern music in the States in 1969 at Woodstock, when Swami Satchidananda talked to festival goers about the power of musical vibration.  Before leading the crowd in chanting he told them, “let all our actions, and all our arts, express yoga… Through that sacred art of music, let us find peace."  This year's Wanderlust will embrace this mantra, uniting music and yoga across sound and asana styles.  From kirtan to Moby, vinyasa to acro yoga, we know you'll find that winning combo that takes you a few steps closer to bliss.  And if you need a little quiet to go inwards, did we mention the beauty that is Squaw Valley as a backdrop for quieting your mind?  I don't know about you but I'm officially counting down to July.

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