Our Ask a Yoga Teacher series continues with the following question.
Why don’t you play music during your yoga classes?
“While we know there are many people who enjoy listening to music while practicing yoga asana, the lineage we are trained in makes a habit of keeping classes music-free. This is partially to create a calm environment that is as inclusive as possible (not everyone likes the same kinds of music or is in the same place emotionally or mentally in each class), and partially because we believe that music has a great potential to distract our students from the teacher’s instructions, and from their own internal experience. Not having music in class is, in many ways, very similar to keeping one’s eyes closed during the practice (which we continually suggest). Having one less avenue for the senses to engage with, more energy is freed up. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there are benefits to one’s mood that can arise from listening to a well-curated playlist, our classes are set in silence in the hope that you will bring that extra energy towards looking at the mind, and towards learning to change your mood without external props. The mind does not like silence. It wants to be engaged and entertained. By attempting to keep the class without distraction, we hope to create a space for our students to engage instead with their mind, to get a taste of the meditation for which the yoga asanas are only a preparatory exercise.” – Michael