The best 10 Songs for a Sweet and Mellow Yoga Flow

We are thrilled to have our first guest blogger this week, Caitlin Wilker from Caits Cozy Corner! Based out of Atlanta GA in the States, her personal blog is all about fashion, family and traveling. I think you’ll love her as much as I do! Did I mention she loves yoga? Be sure to follow her on Instagram, too. ​ – Balance + Vine

When I first began taking yoga, I not only loved the poses and the movements but the music. It really captures me. I think yoga music is everything. Finding new songs and discovering artists that can add to the variety of playlists for different styles of yoga is key. The right music can really help you dive deeper into your practice and connect with your inner strength. Plus, a well-built playlist provides structure and helps bring the practice of your poses together.

But how do you find the right kind of music? It can be pretty personal and sometimes tricky. Sound is a huge factor in setting up your atmosphere for your audience and requires practice to find out what type of music helps you to focus on your body and breathing. You don’t want any music that can distract from feeling zen. Just because you love a certain song to get you in the mood to clean your home, it could actually annoy you while you’re trying to perfect that headstand you’ve been working on for the last few weeks.

I think building a playlist is no joke. You can’t just throw random songs together and expect the class, or your personal yoga, to flow well. It takes thoughtfulness, a keen ear and a vision. So why type of music do I love to listen to while attending a yoga class or even just practicing a few moves in my family room? Here are my top 10!

Love NYE – Badly Drawn Boy

You can hear the love seeping out of every note of this sweet instrumental piece of magic. It’s not for nothing that this is a very popular song for walking down the aisle. Play this and you’ll be flowing through your asana’s with an instant sense of unity and self-love. You’re welcome.​

Ryan Farish – Sunset to Sunrise Mix

This whimsical video really puts me in a relaxed state. His multi-instrumentalist music truly helps me chill out through his fusion of dance, electronica and chill out vibes. In fact, it’s earned him a following that spans the boundaries of genre! I listened to this particular song and it just put me at ease after a few minutes which I knew would be a great warm up for practicing my poses.

Spiritual State – Nujabes

I discovered this beautiful album while browsing a good old-fashioned CD store in Tokyo, Japan. Upon hearing the first notes I was immediately sold. The delightfully surprising combination of soft sounds and piano notes will gently take you away to another plane. It’s my absolute favorite track of all time.

Yoga Meditation and Relaxation Music: Namaste for Wellness and Sound Therapy

I’m not normally a huge fan of this “spa” style music, but this song has an oddly compelling sound. It is as if you are listening to someone else’s dream of a piano being played across a vast distance. I find it incredibly centering.

Kusanagi – Odesza

This track is as good as melancholy gets. It takes me back to a sweet, intangible state of mind that I vaguely seem to remember from childhood with it’s mellow yet profound and powerful vibe. It’s the perfect companion for the closing poses of your practice and will make you blissfully sink into savasana.

Satyam – Bangalore Master 

If you’re looking for more of an Indian vibe without getting too funky, these tunes will definitely do the trick. It’s sophisticated, laid-back and if you light a stick of incense and close your eyes, it won’t be hard to imagine yourself saluting the sun in Rishikesh at dawn.

The Style Council: The Paris Match

Unlike any other Style Council song, this is their tribute to the 40’s piano bar sound. Sexy, sad and soft, it speaks to the sensual undertones of yoga.

Sweet Tides – Thievery Corporation

The name says it all. It’s calming, dreamy, and just purely sweet. I fell in love with this song when I was living in Rome and I used to play it for my cooling down after my early morning runs in Villa Ada park. It brings back magical memories of the calm glistening lake, the sound of my sneakers on the empty gravel paths, the smell of damp oak leafs and the warming rays of the rising sun kissing my skin before the hectic city came alive.

Baleen Morning – Balmorhea 

Another moving, deep and peaceful track. This beautiful piano masterpiece continues to touch me right in the heart every single time. Maybe it’s just my HSP traits, but I love how this song seems to clarify and amplify whatever emotion I am experiencing while I listen to it. Perfect for a deeper, more reflective part of your practice and for accompanying hip openers.

Magic – Coldplay

I think I like the instrumental version of this killer Coldplay song is even better than the one with lyrics. It has everything and more to help you start off your practice of in a focused and easy flow. The steady beat carries a lot of empowerment and when the guitar chimes in you can just feel the energy rushing through your bones.

What types of songs do you enjoy listening to during yoga? Comment below!

How to experience freedom in your own life

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”  – Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu, Yoga mantra

It is Independence Day in America, and it was Independence Day for Canada just this past weekend. As a recent expat from America now residing in Australia, this is the first time I am deeply aware of my roots. Call it homesickness, I am reflecting upon what it means to be celebrating this day of Independence from literally the other side of the world. And what it means to celebrate freedom.

What does it mean to be free? And how do we ourselves enjoy the same freedom as America (and other countries) celebrate? Because I don’t know about you, but I often feel chained. Do you feel chained to a job, to a home, or to a lifestyle or habit perhaps? Sometimes I very much feel held back by limitations in this world.Although being held back may feel external, I know that the shackles holding me are actually very much internal. Because what is actually holding us back from our freedom, from our power, from our celebration is what binds us inside. And it’s not the job, it’s not the home, or the lifestyle or habit; what binds us is not necessarily the external factor, but really is our reaction to it.

So how we do rise above the shackles? Dig deep. We first must figure out what we are bound to. Because it more than likely is not the job, the home or the lifestyle or habit. It’s usually something deeper. Ask yourself, are you bound to fear? Are you bound to not feeling good enough? Do you feel shackled to feeling unloved?

Therein lies our freedom. To discover what binds us, become aware of how it plays into our world, and moment by moment, thought by thought, think of ways to overcome it.

One way to overcome it is by projecting into the world what you feels binds you. For instance, in my own life, I feel shackled by never feeling good enough. I fear putting myself out there in a big way, because I greatly fear that I will be criticized and told I’m not good enough to shine. This is a huge realization for me. Perhaps this may awaken a realization in you or, perhaps what binds you (if at all) is something different. But what I recognize is that because I feel not good enough, I’m going to do everything in my power to help others recognize they are good enough. To shine a spotlight on them and let them know how important they are in this world, how good they are in this world. Because perhaps if I see it in others, then I can start to see it in myself.

This works with anything, truly. “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

​Are you chained to the fear of not having enough money? Perhaps turn it around, and ask yourself, how can I help others feel secure financially? Donate or volunteer your time.

Are you chained to feeling unloved? Ask yourself, how can I love more? How can I project my own love into this world? Call someone up and tell them how much they mean to you. Write a love letter a day for a full year, to every person you know. Even celebrities, family members, friends, even enemies (a-ha!).

Are you scared of being lonely? Then help others feel less alone. Adopt a pet, call a friend you haven’t talked to in some time, or chat it up with a person sitting alone during your lunch break.

Above all else, remember that you internally choose your freedom. Freedom doesn’t choose us. We as individuals have the power to be free within our own minds. We just have to become aware of what truly binds us, and from there we can choose to free ourselves of it.

Shine bright.