There’s many reasons people do yoga. One of the most frequently given reasons is to do it for emotional well being. We do yoga to feel less stressed, to find inner-strength, to deal with difficult emotions, yada yada yada. Instert Yoga Journal-crap here. It’s so interesting that with all this emotion healing we rarely hear or read about people doing yoga to get good and angry.
Allow me (Mel) to explain. Like most yoga practitioners I like to listen to music while doing yoga. In fact, the trend for live musicians and dj’s in yoga classes is trending hard in NYC right now. Just google it. The results are pretty numerous. But the variety of music used in these classes seems to be heavily concentrated in the hippie/Michael Franti/Kirtan fusion genre. Don’t get me wrong! If that kinda music gets you going and fuels your tapas, so that your practice is all you want it to be: Good for you; there’s plenty of classes to choose from.
Here’s my issue. I like to do yoga to Metal. You know what I mean. Well known bands like Metallica (old, pre-“Load” preferably, none of that new shit they try to pass for music. Fucking Jason Newsted isn’t even part of the band any more and Lars is still an evil troll…WHATEVER. I digress), Pantera, Korn, Alice in Chains (grungey-metal), and Rage Against the Machine to name just a few. I loooooove practing to the most brutal Black and Death Metal I can find. Bands like Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, White Chapel and Satyricon really get my fire lit and have me hitting the mat hard. Then I do what I do best, connect to a deeper part of myself and explore my internal physical, psychological and emotional landscape.
It seems so obvious to me that this is the music to listen to while devoting myself to finding a better state of being. Others don’t think it is so obvious. Often I hear, “What do you listen to? To do yoga?! That’s weird.” Well, I guess for me yoga isn’t all rainbows, butterflies and incense. No honestly, I know I sound angsty, but come on. I rely on my yoga practice to carry me through dark times, nasty emotional places and tumultuous periods of life. Listening to what some consider to be “angry,” “aggressive,” or “frightening” music actually allows me to have the cathartic release I need in order to keep my sanity and not hurt people with words or actions.
When I practice I get to dive right into the dark center of my rage, my pain, irrational anger, fear…pretty much anything that’s keeping me from being the person I want to be. I dive in, feel it all and my tapas burns up these heavy energies and allows me to strip away the layers of my day, my experience, my ego till I can reconnect to the more balanced and glowey Mel that shines her light in the face of the most challenging circumstances. If you will, my practice is my personal mosh pit, from which I emerge healthier, lighter, happier and more able to do good for the people around me.
So my advice? Try it. Go with whatever music does the same for you. Think outside of the Deva Premal box. Although, I do love me some Deva and sometimes play her too. In the name of showing up authentically Kim and I will be sharing what kind of music moves us. It may not be what works for you, so we invite you to share what you listen to and why.
Guaranteed, this is gonna be interesting. Enjoy today’s selection.