I need some badass yoga music
November 4, 2016 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I teach heated vinyasa flow yoga. In the past, I have not normally taught or practiced with music, but I recently started teaching at a couple of studios that expect music to be played during class. So I am looking for some good tunes. Difficulty level: I do not like typical "yoga music."

My musical tastes tend toward weird art rock, punk and soul.

So far I have one really great playlist. It's about 40 songs long and works well either in order or on shuffle, but as I'm teaching several classes a weak, the mix is starting to get old really fast. This playlist is a copy of an iTunes Genius mix based off Black Moth Super Rainbow. (I tweaked it a bit in Spotify to get rid of some more rock-y songs.)

What I like about this playlist:
- it has some drone-y, pop-y songs with a nice steady beat
- it has some cool instrumentals by artists like Ratatat and The XX
- it has some songs with lyrics that mirror themes I like to bring into yoga: No More Runnin, "Am I really all the things that are outside of me," etc. (I just realized both of these songs are by Animal Collective.)

I also really like lyric-less music for practice. This playlist is not as well-curated, but should give some indication of what I like — nothing suuuuuper esoteric, but also nothing too traditional. I also like things like Scratch Perry's dub, Sun Ra, Rufus Wainwright's covers of "Across the Universe" and "Hallelujah" and The Knife's "Heartbeats". I am not opposed to pop music either — I have Rihanna's "Needed Me" and "Work" and Beyonce's "7/11" on a more upbeat playlist.

What I *do not want* is anything that might be played at a spa as background noise, or anything too woo. Also, I have listened to a number of other people's yoga playlists on Spotify and they all come off as too Mumford-y for my taste.
posted by Brittanie to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Brightblack Morning Light's self titled album might work for you.
posted by STFUDonnie at 11:41 AM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I apologize if this is already on your playlist (I can't get Spotify to open at work), but what about the Cocteau Twins?
posted by cakelite at 11:42 AM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I visited some family in Orange County and they invited me to attend Vinyasa/flow yoga with them (my first time yoga-ing). The yoga leader person played this song during one of the flows and it felt pretty great to be sweating and working out to this beat:


posted by TomFoolery at 12:41 PM on November 4, 2016

Possibly more rock than you're really looking for, but obligatory BLACK YO)))GA Meditation Ensemble mention. The Asanas Ritual album has more drone, while the other's much heavier on the guitars.
posted by Su at 12:51 PM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hi! These were the ones that came to mind for me, personally. Here's it made into a playlist on Spotify for easy access.

Sigur Rós — "Góðan Daginn"
Freelance Whales — "Generator ^ First Floor"
Tunng — "Hustle"

Rostam — "Wood"
Patrick Wolf — "The Magic Position"
Eels — "Fresh Feeling"
Stereolab — "Les Yper-sound"

Rhythmic energy:
The Dø — "Unissasi Laulelet"
Gold Panda — "Quitter's Raga"
The Octopus Project — "Whitby"

Jon Hopkins — "Open Eye Signal"
James Blake — "Timeless"
Glasser — "Apply"
Vashti Bunyan — "Here Before"

Local Natives — "Who Knows Who Cares"
Man Man — "Head On"
alt-J — "Warm Foothills"
posted by a good beginning at 1:22 PM on November 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

My yoga teacher uses a lot of contemporary piano music - Yann Tiersen comes up often.
posted by janepanic at 2:22 PM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't open the playlists, but hopefully something in here fits what you're looking for.

Kenichiro Nishihara and Nujabes are troves of piano-based, pop-jazzy, riff-focused stuff.

Glass Animals -- sparse, kind of weird. "Black Mambo" / "Pools" / "Toes" / "Hazey" / "Gooey"

Alpine -- kind of treble poppy -- interesting textured sounds. "Foolish"

Late Night Alumni (I only know songs from Empty Streets) are a little bit club. "Empty Streets" / "Rainy Days" / "Seemingly Sleepy" / "Eros"

The album Raising Sand by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant -- if you ever are in the mood for blues-countryish. "Rich Woman" / "Fortune Teller" have just the right amount of swing in them to make you want to move while keeping it chill.

Medeski, Martin, and Wood -- I have no idea how to classify them (dark weird electronic jazz?) -- try "Uninvisible" / "End of the World Party" / "Anonymous Skulls"
posted by miniraptor at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I remember being in a yoga class when Tycho - Awake came on, and it seemed really perfect. A similar "feeling" song is Gold Panda - Marriage (good beat but also warm and engrossing).

Caribou may have some tracks that would work for high energy moments (Sun, Sundialing).

Something by Bonobo could also fit in (maybe Kong?) but it's a bit on the slower side.
posted by Paper rabies at 6:00 PM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am always pleased when Rhye's Open comes on during yoga.
posted by dizziest at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I came here specifically to suggest the Black Yoga playlists on Bandcamp, but Su beat me to it! Their whole schtick is yoga to a darker drone soundtrack.

I recently went down an internet k-hole and found a couple of awesome artists that seem like they do a lot of electronic instrumental work that might be good for vinyasa flow yoga. Andy Stott, Deru, Midori Takada, and Mort Garson are all new additions to my work day soundtrack.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:46 AM on November 7, 2016

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