Yoga Music: The Role of Music in Yoga

Yoga, which is an Indian originated meditation or therapy technique, is based on the purpose of ensuring the physical and spiritual integrity of the individual. Yoga is one of the most beautiful things you can do to relax, rest, and make yourself, your body, and your soul happy. While yoga provides benefits to our body such as flexibility, stronger muscle structure, cartilage, and joint health, bone health, faster blood flow, heart health, and lowering blood sugar, it also provides happiness, peace, calmness, balance, and motivation to the soul. Good and beautiful yoga music that you can listen to while doing yoga can make your session more efficient.

As yoga involves body movement, it inspires listening to music and moving the body while doing yoga. If soothing music is preferred, this selection makes it easier to relieve the tension of a tiring day and helps to practice relaxing yoga. In addition, it is worth adding that different styles of music other than traditional yoga music can also inspire yoga poses. Special music is used in yoga, which requires patience and time to learn from breathing to movement. Yoga music, which is mostly found under the title of relaxation therapy, is one of the foremost among the therapy or meditation music.

At the same time, the main purpose of yoga and meditation music, which is accepted as the classical music of Indian origin, is to calm the individual. Yoga music does not only have psychological effects but also causes the individual to feel physically rested, empties the mind, and provides mental relaxation. Through yoga music, it plays an important role for the individual to achieve mental, physical, and spiritual integrity and therefore full spiritual and physical health.

Benefits of Yoga Music: What to Listen in Yoga?

There is always a common saying that we hear very often; “Music is the food of the soul.” Perhaps none of us could imagine a life without music. Because sound is the basis of expressing our being. Music, on the other hand, is one of the best ways to express this artistically and to translate our feelings. Music affects thought and logic as well as emotions. It is an art that enables the development of human logic and its thought to reach higher dimensions. That’s why the connection of music with people is not only emotional but also logically beneficial.

Music is also mathematical. The formation of each note, the combination of the notes, and the whole of the melody that consists of this combination is a mathematical formation. Each note appeals to a different sound, and each note has a value in duration and beat. When these series of values ​​are combined, those melodies that are pleasing to our ears come into being. Also, perhaps the most amazing aspect of music is that it is universal. Music has been the universal way to express our feelings, regardless of which language, religion, or culture we live in. No matter how boundaries exist in our lives and our world, music is the most beautiful form of expression that ensures limitlessness, integrity, and friendship among people. If you pay a little attention, nature also has music. Nature is the foundation and essence of every science. Man, who discovered the mathematics of life in nature, found the rhythm and music of life in nature.

People benefit from the power of sound and music in every sense. Treatment methods such as voice therapy started hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and have been treatment methods that date back to the times when mystical instruments were used for therapeutic purposes. Sound consists of vibrations and vibrating atoms constitute the center point of life. According to the instrument, the cell level is affected by the emitted vibrations. Throughout history, many psychological and physical illnesses have been treated in this way, taking advantage of the light of the effect of music on living things.

Music, which has both physical and spiritual effects on human beings, takes place with a supportive side in practices that involve many spiritual developments such as yoga. Nobody will deny the spiritual effect of music, which has such a powerful meaning and effect in our lives. For this purpose, music that provides focus, relaxation and mental simplicity has been performed and has been involved in yoga practices as well as in many other fields. Nevertheless, the benefits of yoga music vary depending on the individual. Traditionalists do not listen to music while practicing yoga. However, many people are susceptible to improving the link between sound and movement. They want to discover how the combination affects the body, mind, and soul.

Analysis of the Benefits of Yoga Music

For anyone who has been exposed to the strains of an Indian flute in an asana, it may be surprising to learn that classical yoga is not done with music. Traditional yogis still feel this way. Yoga is a path to greater enlightenment. As a result, they believe that one should listen to his inner voice, not external factors. As practice improves, many people are not used to completing silence. They had trouble letting them go and embracing such a sincere focus. Soft, instrumental music served as a bridge introducing yoga to the Western world. However, there are other ancient applications that involve sound. For example, Shakti Yoga, a practice believed to be centuries old, uses hymns to stimulate the chakras and prepare the senses for higher consciousness and includes elements of Tantra Yoga. The general benefits of yoga music are:

  • It allows developing the ability to fully relax.
  • Improves balance and concentration.
  • It provides a foundation that will help thought clear the mind.
  • It allows you to use certain tones or waves (such as alpha or delta) to reach a certain state of mind.
  • Rejuvenate the listener and help it move from one state to another.
  • Remember that music that may be pleasant or comforting to some will sound to others and think of it as noise. Therefore, sound research and effects are still ongoing.

There are many studies and practices investigating the benefits of yoga music, hymns, and other relaxing sounds. Let’s share a few of them with you:

  • Gunther Hildebrandt studied the biological rhythms associated with music and how this affects our healing process.
  • Mia Olson has integrated yoga principles with her music practices to help her students perform better.
  • Alfred Tomatis developed The Listening Program, a method that uses auditory stimulation to block unwanted impulses, alleviate symptoms, and promote relaxation.

For a yoga teacher, the music accompanying a routine becomes a personal extension of his yoga philosophy.

  • Shiva Rea

Shiva Rea is deeply involved in her routines and selection of yoga music in her field. Also, Rea shares on its website that CDs are offers from their hearts. One of the yoga specialties is yoga trance dance and music is an integral part of this routine. On the disc, Rea selects dynamic music from artists Ben Leinbach, Geoffrey Gordon, and Jai Uttal, among other artists.

  • Steve Ross

Yoga instructor, musician, and ex-monk Steve Ross is challenging yoga music stereotypes. If you take a class at Los Angeles studio Maha Yoga or watch the “Breath” program in the Oxygen network, you will not hear a lot of sitars or windchimes. You could probably be doing a Sun Salute with Tupac Shakur or The Beatles. Their desire is to present yoga in a fun and celebratory way. The music he chooses emphasizes this approach. It has many devotees. Ross released a traditional hymn CD named after the play Grace. You can listen to this hymn CD called hymns for modern yogis.

  • Russill Paul

Musician and educator Russill Paul is an expert in sonic mysticism. His most famous work is The Yoga of Sound: Entering the Hidden Power of the Chants. It is a lesson on the effects of music and other sounds on our consciousness. Check out Paul’s book and listen to a number of other published CDs, including Shabda Yoga, a combination of Vedic hymns and music designed for healing, which also works well for meditation.

Yoga: With or Without Music?

Music is indispensable for me in yoga classes. Sometimes meditations performed with “Surya namaskara” (greeting to the sun) flows accompanied by “mantras” (sacred syllables which are sung to liberate the mind) sometimes with “omm” sounds, sometimes “yin” (feminine energy) yoga classes accompanied by classical music. I am so used to doing yoga with music that I forgot how to do yoga without music. Until a day when I recently had private and group lessons.

When I left the house that day, I forgot the tablet I loaded my music on. I realized that I forgot the tablet at home only when I got to the place where I would take the private lesson. While I was thinking that I could set music on the internet on my mobile phone, I saw that the mobile phone was not receiving. There was nothing to do. We were not going to use music in yoga classes that day. We were just going to do yoga listening to the sound of our breath. In the private lesson, we would work on a series of rib cage stretching. We would stretch the hip flexor muscles in front of the legs, shoulders, rib cage and try “urdhva dhanurasana” (full bridge) as a peak posture.

We flexed the hip flexor muscles with “Ashwa sanchalanasana” (high move), “anjaneyasana” (low move), “half saddle” (half saddle), “supta virasana” (hero posture on the ground). We used “bhujangasana” (cobra pose), “urdhva mukha svanasana” (upward-facing dog) to open the ribcage, and leaned back in “tadasana” (mountain pose) in each “surya namaskara” stream. In “Uttanasana” (leaning forward standing), we began to stretch by clasping the hands behind the back and opening the arms up from the body. We continued to stretch the shoulders in “garudasana” (eagle) and “gomukhasana” (cow head) arm positions. Before the summit stance, we opened the rib cage with “virabhadrasana II” (second warrior), “viparita virabhadrasana” (reverse warrior), and “setu bandhasana” (half-bridge).

After the peak posture, we balanced the body with “paschimottanasana” (leaning forward on the ground) and “baddha konasana” (bound angle posture). We ended the lesson with “Jathara parivartanasana” (abdominal auger) followed by “savasana” (deep relaxation position). We didn’t really need music while streaming the lesson. However, during the meditation at the beginning of the lesson and the “savasana” at the end, I felt the absence of music. It had been a different experience for me. A meditation and “savasana” in silence, listening only to one’s own breath and not occupying the mind with anything else.

In the evening class, we focused on arm balance postures. “Phalakasana” (stick stance), “phalakasana” variations, “adho mukha svanasana” (downward facing dog) variations, “chaturanga dandasana” (low pushups). We tried the “L” pose on the wall or “Adho Mukha vrksasana” (arm pose) as the top pose. After the summit stance, we balanced and relaxed the body with forwarding bends and twists. It was time for “savasana” again. A long deep relaxation and resting position … Again without music …. Again by listening to breaths … Again in the integrity of the body, breath, and mind … Students who live only their own experience. Neither “omm” sounds, “mantras” nor classical music. Just and only breathing sounds …

Everything happens for something. Maybe that day, forgetting the tablet was to remember again that I was occupying my mind with my breath instead of music. Maybe we needed to get back to the integrity of body, mind, and soul by doing lessons without music. Perhaps it was to remind the teachers of how to do lessons without music, forgetting to do lessons without music again. There was no such thing as a must. Yoga and meditation were possible in any way, anytime and anywhere, with or without music. That’s what remained for me from that day.

Music in Yoga Classes

Music, melodies, notes… I must have music in my life. While driving, walking alone in nature or by the sea, sleeping, and of course doing yoga. Some instructors do not prefer to use music in yoga classes, for others, music is a must. I am one of the second group of trainers. If music is a part of my life, it should definitely take its place in my lessons. You ask why? Because music is the food of the soul. Since we are thinking of relaxing, refreshing, and nourishing our soul with yoga, then I think that music should be included in our lessons.

So what kind of music? Should we use yoga music or eastern melodies in our lessons? Or because our lessons reflect the personality and style of an instructor, can’t they also reflect his musical taste? Is it the instructor that we use the music he likes and the songs he listens in his lessons? I think music is universal. If we are feeding our soul with yoga, then we can use any music style we want. All we have to do is to stay away from parts that will disturb the soul, that is noisy and that will tire our brain, body, and soul.

So what kind of music can we use in our yoga classes? Mantras (yoga poems); Sufic pieces; reed flute and saxophone melodies; classic music; maybe light jazz pieces can be a variety of music that we can use in our lessons. It is all about our style and the music we listen to. As long as the music leaves a calming, unifying, and soothing effect on us. Naturally, the theme of the lesson and the message it wants to convey is also important in our choice of music. If we have focused on bending back and increasing our enthusiasm in a lesson, we can encourage our students to try to exceed their limits by using more enthusiastic music in that lesson. In addition, the parts we use can give a message in terms of their words. Tina Turner’s “Beyond” piece or “Gayatri Mantra” could go well in such a lesson.

In another lesson, if we were inclined to lean forward and turned inside, we could choose pieces that were calmer, more relaxing, and that would direct us to listen to our own inner voice. Sufi pieces, reed flute, and reed melodies would be perfect for such a lesson. If the theme of our lesson is patience, calmness, and acceptance, classical music and jazz melodies can color our lesson. Our choice of music in a deep relaxation position at the end of the lesson – that is, in “savasana” – is perhaps our most important choice, which will affect the whole intention and theme of the lesson. Savasana is a posture where we relax completely, melt on our yoga mat, and surrender ourselves. Therefore, the music we choose should also be a piece that will relax us and we can let go of our body completely and surrender ourselves. Nature melodies such as the sound of water, the sound of rain, birdsong, a calming mantra, light saxophone melodies can be suitable choices for savasana.

Sometimes we teach such lessons that even in savasana we may have to choose a piece of music suitable for the theme and the intention of the lesson. While I was taking yoga classes, I wanted to make a difference in the deep relaxation position. I thought for days to decide. Finally, I found what I was looking for. At the end of the lesson, I chose a piece that would fit the savasana in deep relaxation and resting position. And I think the melody of savasana showed the expected effect. When I woke up from the savasana, I looked very emotional.

As we always say, yoga means unity and integrity. Yoga classes should also be one and complete. This can be done with the theme, intention, asanas, and selected music of the lesson. The melodies we choose not only provide the integrity of the lesson but also put us in the mood we want to enter. It can also be a nice way to share our own musical preferences with other students and build a bridge with them. After all, music is universal, it has a universal language, and music and yoga are foods that nourish, rest, and relax our soul…

The Effects of Music on Our Psychology

How are you with music? If music is indispensable for you like me, I have good news for you. The healing effect of music has been a subject of research since ancient times. For example, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, who lived between 585-500 BC, explored the possibilities of treating patients who fell into despair or were quick-tempered with certain melodies. Today, the benefits of music on our psychological health have been revealed by research. Various studies have shown that music positively affects hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and testosterone, which have an impact on the formation of mental illnesses and regulate the emotional state of the human being; It has been observed that it regulates physiological functions such as blood pressure and respiratory rhythm and provides the balance of oxygen and blood supply in the brain.

So do you think the type of music we listen to does matter? For example, does listening to Led Zeppelin and listening to classical music have the same positive effect on us? According to some studies, it doesn’t matter the type of music we listen to, all kinds of music can help us reduce our stress levels. Marshall and Tomcala (1981) comparatively analyzed the effects of different music genres on stress, and they had the subjects listen to pieces consisting of jazz, rock, religious, classical, and background music. As a result, it was observed that the stress levels of the subjects who were played different music decreased at the same rate.

Some research suggests that we need to choose positive music genres to maximize the impact of music on our psychology. A study conducted by Maryland Medical Center (2008) revealed that positive, cheerful music is good for our bodies. According to the results of this research, there is a relationship between music and heart health. In this study of ten subjects, the researchers found that listening to joyful music resulted in greater blood flow to blood vessels. While it was observed that the blood flow of people who listen to cheerful music increased 26%, it was found that the blood flow decreased by 6% in those who listen to music containing worry and fear.

The study revealed that the blood flow rate in those who listen to cheerful music is the same as the blood flow rate seen after aerobic exercise. Again, the same research revealed that subjects who listened to heavy metal style music had an increase in anxiety level. Scheel and Westefeld (1999) also stated in their similar study about the effects of music that heavy metal music can encourage young people to be angry.

In another study, Knight and Rickard (2001) examined the effects of listening to soothing music on people’s stress level and observed that listening to soothing music reduced anxiety levels. In this study, Pachelbel’s Kanon in D major was played to eighty-seven subjects. The calming effects of classical music were also revealed in the study conducted by Sullivan (1991) on patients hospitalized in coronary and surgical intensive care units. In this study, patients were made to listen to classical music and it was determined that the pain and anxiety of the patients decreased after music therapy.

Why Should Musicians Practice Yoga?

Musicianship and yoga should be in an intimate relationship. You ask why? There are many reasons:

  • The structure of our muscles and tissues is proportional to the work we do, so our physique is not only about what we eat but also what we do.
  • It shows that those who constantly work at the desk, who play the piano or violin, and even especially dentists, have physical complaints among professional groups because of the one-way use of the body.
  • Practicing yoga absolutely supports coping with daily pain and even just trying yoga without including too much technique is better than not doing it at all.
  • Using our flexibility and strength in one direction without balancing also prevents the work of our internal organs as well as pain. However, the solution to this is again a conscious and holistic bodily approach, and not acting with rote knowledge.
  • I don’t know because I can’t play the violin, but maybe if the chinrest or pillow were higher, the left lateral part of the neck would be short and it wouldn’t disturb the balance with the lateral part of the left neck.

  • Sometimes the inability of the XI nerve coming out of the brain to create space for itself affects the back and neck, which is also related to the eyes in the autonomic nervous system because the same nerve is used jointly.
  • While using the first eyes to see, we enable the widening of our field of view by turning our head in the second stage and engaging the neck and back muscles. Without those two muscles, we look limited.
  • Those who play the piano may also have the possibility of kyphosis without their balancers. If they are not played sitting upright, it affects the lung and heart negatively after a while because it is managed by our most basic X. nerve, which feeds them and comes out of the brain, another end of that nerve even affects our digestive organs.
  • Doing work by constantly leaning forward negatively affects the anteroposterior-lateral balance of the body.
  • As a result, conscious movement and a healthy diet according to health are essential for healthy aging.

Yoga, Music, and Meditation: Complementary Treatments in Breast Cancer

To alleviate anxiety, depression, or mood swings experienced by individuals with breast cancer, oncologists recommend that patients learn meditation and yoga techniques or listen to music for therapy purposes. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently announced that it has approved the complementary therapy guidelines issued by the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO).

These Integrative Oncology Society guidelines were prepared by Dr. Gary H. Lyman of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It was reviewed by the ASCO expert panel, jointly run by Lorenzo Cohen. All of these complementary treatment guidelines have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Some of the key recommendations are:

  • Music therapy, meditation, stress management, and yoga are recommended for anxiety and stress reduction.
  • Meditation, relaxation, yoga, massage, and music therapy are recommended for depression and mood disorders.
  • Meditation and yoga are recommended to improve the quality of life.
  • To reduce nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, acupuncture is recommended in addition to nausea medications.
  • Glutamine is not recommended during chemotherapy to improve nausea and vomiting.
  • Carnitine is not recommended in preventing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy because of the risk of harm.
  • No strong evidence supports the use of dietary supplements to manage breast cancer treatment side effects.

People who are treated for breast cancer and after treatment (cancer survivor) want to try all ways to increase the effectiveness of treatment and their quality of life. The aim of specialists is to help patients make appropriate, individual treatment decisions. All available medical literature on complementary therapies should be evaluated to determine what works and what does not. The most important point when reviewing the guidelines is that every patient is unique and independent, and the most important decision is made with a caring professional and patient. In addition, there is a significant lack of knowledge about the benefits and harms of many complementary therapies in oncology and more rigorous research of such methods is needed.

The ASCO expert panel notes that the recommendations may change later on with the compilation of additional scientific evidence. Although ASCO generally accepts the recommendations of the Integrative Oncology Association, it has highlighted the various areas of discussion for the improvement of quality of life. In conclusion, care should be taken about complementary therapies and alternative approaches should not be evaluated without consulting an oncologist and using reliable sources.

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Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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