Since I completed my week long teacher intensive with Maty a couple of weeks ago I have stopped playing music in most of my vinyasa classes. I have always played music when I teach yoga. It started back in college seven years ago when I shifted from teaching step aerobics and body sculpt classes to yoga. I would play the ‘cool down’ tracks from my cardio classes for my new yoga sessions. Since college my playlists has definitely evolved. I take a lot of pride in keeping my yoga playlists fresh and inspiring. And I love taking classes set to music as well. But there is a difference that I notice when I practice yoga without music. It’s missing a big distraction. The songs lead me away into a storyline and often times help motivate me or they can carry me away from the intensity of being completely and fully in my body and mind at that moment. It helps the time go by faster when I practice. As far as teaching with music, it is way easier from me to teach when there is music on. It fills up any silence when I have nothing to say. It helps create energy when I am lacking spiritual pep talks. And I can just let people ‘flow’ through a couple rounds of sun salutations and stand in a corner while the music leads them. When I turn off the music I don’t have that volume button to mess with or to occupy my hands, I am not playing D.J. so I am prompted to look at the students and speak to them and adjust them and help them the entire class. Like I should be. I am more present and more focused. I think I teach better classes when the music is off. I feel more connected to the people in the room. I have been scared to turn off the music until now. Afraid I wouldn’t be enough without the music. Not any more.
This is not to say that I will never play music in my classes again. Or that I think it is a bad thing to play music in yoga classes. This means that I will not be scared to try new things when I teach my classes any more. And cheers to enjoying the silence and the sound of our breathing.