Bikram Yoga: Music Class

Bikram Yoga Music Class?  What?

Yes, you heard it.  Our studio is trying out something different and playing music while we do our yoga class.  Unfortunately we missed the class where they had a live guitarist playing during the class.  Shame ’cause that would have been a trip!  I wanted to see how a guitarist and his guitar coped in the heat and humidity and hear what his musical interpretation of the series would sound like. Oh well, it wasn’t to be!

We did however, try a music class on the weekend just passed where the dialogue was done over some tunes playing and well, the long and short of it is that at this point, we enjoy the normal classes better!

I had mixed feelings about it because it wasn’t what I expected but done well it would be a pretty fun class to go to.

So when you think yoga plus music, it doesn’t sound too bad right?  I’m thinking yoga music would be chanting, chimes, bamboo flutes, birds tweeting, ocean waves, you know all those meditation stress relief type tunes?  Something like this:

or this:

You don’t have to listen to it all but you get the drift of what I was expecting right?  I figured, it would probably make the class more relaxing or meditative.

OK so it wasn’t like that at all.  It was instead yoga to a mix of Popular Music.

yoga-music-art

Some songs we knew, some we didn’t.  Things like Prince’s “Purple Rain” (which we did during wind removing pose and had me imagining my sweat turning purple, as well as using my strength to stop myself from singing “Purple Rain!  Puu-urple Rain!” out loud and since it was wind removing pose, my thoughts wandered over to “Hey, if I farted right now, nobody would hear anything!”), Passenger’s “Let Her Go” (which had both Tony and I rolling our eyes) and John Legend’s “All Of Me” (Really?  More eye rolling from me because the song doesn’t make me think of love, just a model marrying a successful musician who is completely infatuated with her and would do anything for her.  Cynical much?  Hmmm).  Regardless, this isn’t supposed to be the type of things you’re thinking of while doing yoga!

I did like Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” when it played during Pranayama Breathing.

I love that song so much I ended up with it stuck in my head for the next 2 days!!  It’s the beat that replicates a human heart beat that I love.  I definitely had a smile on my face during breathing with this song on.  Did I mention?  I LOVED it!

And when a cover version of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” played, both Tony and I got goosebumps  “I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life….”.  Well, isn’t this why we all do yoga?  To make that change?  “Gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it riiiiiiiiiiiiight”.

I found if I didn’t know the songs, it was easier to do the poses because there were no compulsions to sing, dance , sway along, cry  or cringe to those songs.  If I knew the song, then I’d have to fight all those compulsions and when there are words, it puts pictures into my head of all the things that relate to it and I end up thinking about those things instead of being present in the room doing the posture.

Also sometimes the music would be loud and I wouldn’t be able to hear anything the teacher was saying.  And there were many times the teacher would abruptly change the song because she didn’t think it suited the posture we were in and I actually found the abrupt changes to songs, would do the same for my focus.

What I liked were those moments of clarity where through the noise, I was able to focus and concentrate so much that it was just me, the mirror, the pose.  When there is a lot of noise, there’s a lot more energy you have to put into concentrating and focusing so that moment of clarity and focus, when it happens, no matter how short lived, is much more appreciated than in a normal class when there’s nothing to distract you but yourself.  Also the class flew by much faster than it had ever done before.

Would we go again?  Peut-être

I think in time they’d be able to build quite a nice soundtrack to the entire series and it would make it a very fun class to go to.

For example, can you imagine during full locust pose, Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove ” was playing?  I swear if I was a teacher instead of saying “LIFT!  Head, body, legs, come up like a 747 taking off ”  I’d be singing, “Just moooooove yourself and gliiiiide like a 747 and loooooooose yourself in the sky among the clouds in the heavens.”  This is probably why I’m not a teacher ’cause I’d turn the entire series into a Karaoke session.

Now that I think about it, I’d probably play Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” during standing bow (to regulate heart beat at a time when it’ll start pumping pretty hard) and I’d put PM Dawn’s “Die Without You” as the breathing song – It’s got ample intro for set up and then has clicking to make it easy to count the breathing and as for the words, yeah, I’d say you would die without breathing!

It’ll take a lot of thought, effort and preparation to get the music matching this entire series for 1.5 hours but when the song matches the posture (like “Teardrop” during breathing) it’s a pretty powerful experience.

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