My iTunes library looks like ten different people from all across America of all different ages got together and made a musical chopped salad. I mean, it’s really not everyday you meet a girl who has “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel and “Southern State of Mind” by Darius Rucker both in her “top 25 most played” list. That being said, maybe I’m one of the few. You could call it a “struggle”, but I’ll just say I’ve always had a somewhat fascinating relationship with music choice.
I have a tendency to absorb and relish in the music of whatever chapter of my life or location I’m living in, no matter how different it is from the rest of the music I listen to. I realized this the other day as I was strolling past the Prudential Center in Boston, wearing oversized glasses and a black coat when hits from the Country Strong soundtrack came on my playlist. As Gwenyth Paltrow wailed “you may see me as a wide-eyed dreamer/that just rolled in off a dusty Midwest bus,” and I, in turn, hauled ass off of a #39 down Huntington to get to class on time, I couldn’t help but see the hilarious paradox between my life and the music blaring through my earbuds.
I moved to Texas from the east coast was I was 13, and that was when I added country music to my list of favorite genres (it often feels odd listening to it when surrounded by blaring ambulances and snow mounds.) I’d be lying if I said this music didn’t have me fantasizing about being a real-live born and raised southern girl who’s married, blonde, a wearer of bright colors, and from some small town where “they drink sweet tea and raise you to be polite” as Rucker says in his song … but, lets not kid ourselves. I was born in Manhattan, my wardrobe is 90% black, and, I couldn’t have been raised on “sweet tea” because I was under the impression that sugar was a substitute for sweet n’ low for the greater part of my childhood (Mom, time to switch to Stevia …)
When I moved to the Lonestar state, my hair got a little bit bigger and blonder, and I started off my time in Houston at an Episcopalian school where I attended chapel twice a week. Though born and raised Jewish, I still just loved the songs we sang in chapel, and having taken singing lessons and being an active member of choir, I was regularly asked to open our Monday and Wednesday chapel services with a solo that was anything from “The Battle belongs to the Lord” to “Shine, Jesus, Shine”.
So, after all of that, here I am, in college, with everything from old eighth grade choir hymnals to Toby Keith to Kenny G in my ever-expanding library of music, all with an equal likelihood of coming on when I put my iTunes on shuffle. And now, through attending yoga class, there’s even more being added to the mix.
With Yoga, my musical library is expanding yet again. And, my practice is helping me see in a general sense that I don’t have to
fit into any sort of box, musical or otherwise (which is fantastic news, because I have no intention of deleting anyone off of my life’s soundtrack.) Recently, I’ve been introduced to a realm of music and playlists from different teachers that have continued to make my practice more exciting. When I discovered that some of these playlists are online, I got to downloading and realized I had to share them with all of you!
If you’ve ever been to a yoga class and find yourself regularly leaving the present moment to remind yourself to ask the teacher what song was playing when you were in your second round of sun salutation B, join the club. Recently, a teacher whose music I regularly enjoy, Ame Wren, let me know that she posts her playlists and links to download them on her website. Additionally, most yoga instructors, like Peter Crowley, have Facebook fanpages where you can find out what they’ll be playing in class that day. Crowley, who teaches Freedom Joy Yoga, a class to pop/dance/techno music, on Friday evenings at Back Bay Yoga Studio, makes it easy for you to find and listen to his awesome song choices in your own time.
With this chapter of my life, I’ve been adding Frou Frou, Zero 7, and Death Cab for Cutie (as well as a host of others) to my Rascal Flatts and Billy Joel dominated iPod. And, with easily available online playlists, you can too – enjoy!