Although I mostly teach yoga without music, it’s undeniable the effect a really good song has on your yoga practice. I’ve relied on plenty of songs to boost my mood over the years, but only some have stuck around for the long haul. These are those.
Whether you’re going through a difficult time or celebrating the best time of your life, these songs adapt. I could have titled this post “11 songs that make you feel infinite” because they’re just that good.
Grab the whole yoga playlist here on Spotify.
1. “I Want You to Be My Love” by Over the Rhine
I was introduced to this band while living in Knoxville, although the musicians and I share Cincinnati as our hometown. Lead singer Karen, and husband Linford on the piano, are incredibly soulful live. It’s such a simple song, really, yet perfectly captures the magic of new beginnings.
2. “Falling Slowly” by The Frames
The plaintive wailing of lead man Glen Hansard turns this song’s lyrics into soul food. I pause when I hear it, close my eyes and know that everything’s going to be OK.
“Falling slowly, eyes that know me / And I can’t go back / And moods that take me and erase me / And I’ll paint it black / Well you have suffered enough / And warred with yourself / It’s time that you won”
3. “Lost in My Mind” by The Head and the Heart
I saw this band’s performance at the Boulder Theatre in 2011 and it blew my mind. This song is a giant crescendo into which I want to dissolve.
4. “Paper Airplane” by Alison Krauss & Union Station
Some people take comfort in things that (seemingly) last forever. Yoga has taught me to take comfort in the knowledge that all things ebb and flow, and to treasure what you’re given when you’ve got it. Best summed up in these lyrics:
“Love is like a paper airplane / Flying in the folded dent / Riding high dipping low / But innocence is fair again / I’m hoping I can hold it in / Our love will die I know”
5. “Everything Will Be Alright” by Matt Wertz
Bad day? Listen to this tune, especially if you have a soft spot for whistling.
“Most my troubles are self-created / They just live in my mind / Why do we try / When it always ends up fine / Everything will be alright”
6. “Absolutely Still” by Better Than Ezra
From the first guitar strum to the catchy chorus, there’s absolutely no bad mood this song can’t cure. Bonus that the lyrics capture perfectly the push and pull of life, and there, in the middle of it – yoga.
“The world is spinning turning day to night / And my thoughts are running at the speed of light / Got an empty feeling that I never wanna fill / Absolutely still”
7. “Good Life” by OneRepublic
This song doesn’t need an explanation for its goodness. Just listen. Fave lyric: “When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over / When everything is out you gotta take it in”
8. “Blame It On Me” by Parachute
So, so catchy. In that clap-your-hands, dance-with-your-dog sort of way. This song reminds me that no situation stays for long, and better is always just around the bend.
“Say what you want but it’s only getting better / It’s alright, oh baby it’s alright”
9. “We’re All in This Together” by Ben Lee
This song single-handedly erases my childhood self doubt about math while reaffirming that the coolest thing on this earth is the fact that we’re all in this together. Oh yeah, and quantum physics.
10. “You Make My Dreams” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
That whole “dance like nobody’s watching” cliché? That’s me when I hear this song. If you’re not keen on the fact that this song is being sung one lover to another, consider it a love song to your own self.
11. “Last Lullaby” by Ollabelle
To the untrained ear, this song is about death. But to the yogic mind, this song is about oneness. It was on repeat as I gained ground on my depression five years ago and still feels like redemption to this day.
Think back to a trying time in your life: Do you remember what song was on repeat? What album you couldn’t live without? Tell! I love discovering new music.
Photo: Tadeu Pereira