How music connects to exercise and yoga?

Exercise has always had an intimate connection to music, from the jogger running to the sound of her downloaded setlist, to the songs used at the start of sports events, songs are often used to “pump up” athletes and have them ready for action.

It may be the case that if I am looking to battle the exhaustion while on the gym running machine I would want to listen to “Eye of the Tiger,” but if meditating or practicing yoga, “Motorhead” just might not be appropriate! Music, after all, affects our mood and music therapy has been known to positively help encounter depression and anxiety. Music helps the mind relax and can boost performance. However, although music can impact in a positive way, it really does matter what music is chosen. For mind boosting positivity, classical and meditation music has been shown to have the greatest help, heavy metal, industrial and loud techno or hip-hop can even be detrimental. Ultimately, there is a time and a place for everything and entering yoga is to take the mind to a state of relaxation and growth.

Although there are many traditional practitioners of yoga who don’t listen to music alongside it, many are open to the advantages of doing so; and it is worth finding out if combining the two positively impacts your peace and well being. Although, in the west, many will slip into an asana to the gentle sounds of the Indian flute; in the East this is not the way it is done, they prefer the inner voice, not outside sounds. However, many leaders in the field – Shiva Rea or Steve Ross, for example, all look toward combining yoga and meditation with music, showing the benefits.

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