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  • Shining Waters

I forgot my cellphone!


In my personal yoga practice, I almost never play music, but when I first started teaching yoga, I realized my students might expect me to play music in the background. So, I downloaded a bunch of "yoga music" I thought was appropriate (and not distracting). Music that didn't make me want to "get up and dance" (as a dancer, I hear music and I want to dance, or even sing along!). I found some meditative music that I liked, and used in most of my classes. Then, when I moved back to the Baltimore area, I realized the teachers here were using more modern music - depending on the teacher - pop music, etc. It was weird for me to adjust and I thought, "Do my students even like my music?" One of the best yoga classes I ever experienced, my teacher used opera music, and she timed her sequences so perfectly that the music enhanced the experience... It was a morning class, and the music fit the class so beautifully! But, I also find that music can sometimes be a distraction. I now use a mix of stuff in my class - Jazz music, protest songs, spirituals, Indian music, pop music (mostly stuff from the 70's and 80's), reggae and Native American music.... But last night, I forgot my cell phone, with all my music....So, I started class by explaining that i forgot my my music, and that we were going to have a "quiet class". I explained that this was actually how I had learned yoga and how I still do my personal practice. We talked about "pratyahara" and going within to feel what the body is actually feeling. To be present in the moment. To hear the breath and feel it move through the body. To actually LISTEN to your own body. I actually think it was one of the best classes I ever taught. To be present...In the stillness....to feel what you are feeling and hear the guidance of the person leading the class can be an experience. I invite you to try it. I'm not against using music in class, and I've gotten quite used to it - I feel it is expected of me at most places. But, I still prefer to do my own practice without it. Namaste.


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