If the only sound you normally hear during yoga class is the instructor's voice and your own breathing, you might not even think to practice yoga to musicÃ¢â‚¬”but at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, every class is set to a playlist. "We're a vinyasa studio that's focused on creative sequencing and a lot of playfulness and joy in the classes," says Mary Dana Abbott, creative director and an instructor at Laughing Lotus. "The music helps carry the movement because it's so flow-y."
When Abbott's making playlists, she doesn't start with the first song. Instead, she likes to begin with what she calls a "peak" song: a song that has a high energy level and plays during the fastest-paced segment of the class. (That's not necessarily when the most difficult poses fallÃ¢â‚¬”for those, Abbott prefers songs without lyrics so they don't overpower the instruction.) Then she plans music that will play both before and after that "peak" song. For example, in the playlist below, which Abbott used in a recent class that focused on standing sequences, "Reflektor" is the "peak" song. Check it out:
1. Junip, "Your Life Your Call"
2. Arcade Fire, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"
3. mc sultan, "Der Bauch"
4. Arcade Fire, "Reflektor"
5. STRFKR, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
6. Albert Hammond, "It Never Rains in Southern California"
7. Son of Dave, "Shake a Bone"
8. Tears for Fears, "Ready to Start"
9. Allen Toussaint, "St. James Infirmary"
10. Bombay Bicycle Club, "Lights Out, Words Gone"
11. TrentemÃƒÂ¸ller, "Come Undone" (feat. Kazu Makino)
12. Baddinger, "Baby Blue"
13. MGMT, "Introspection"
14. Beastie Boys, "Shambala"
15. Moby Skylar Grey, "The Last Day"
16. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, "All Wash Out"
17. Apollo Sunshine, "We Are Born When We Die"
18. Dean Blunt, "I Run New York"
19. Fleetwood Mac, "Songbird" (Instrumental, Take 10)
20. Burial, "Dog Shelter"
You can download the playlist on Spotify here. Not ready to sweat this second? Sample some of the songs:
Laughing Lotus Yoga Center has locations in New York and San Francisco.
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