More About Music...

I remember a time when I would never have played music in a yoga class. I was told by someone that the yoga teachers of yore didn't play music, that it interrupted the mind's focus, it was mere distraction, and a few other things. But I practice yoga. A lot of yoga. And I LOVE music. Those two things don't always of together, but they do for me more and more as time goes on. Does that mean I'm more distracted than I was in the past? Perhaps. Does it mean that I like my focus to be interrupted? I don't know, maybe. Does it mean I'm not a teacher of yore? Probably, although I think the teachers of yore didn't play music in class because they didn't have iPods and Bluetooth speakers (gasp) and they certainly couldn't create an amazing playlist on iTunes in under 20 minutes.

However, music can enhance a mood, create a state of relaxation, excitement or agitation (think Enya vs. Metallica). Music is created by vibrations (from the instrument) which create waves that can be heard, just like some waves can be seen. Sound is one way we interact with our environment and, if we are listening, elicit a response.

For me, music is medicine. Here is some medicine from my classes.

Playlist for Focus

  1. Home - Kina Grannis
  2. Ocean Night Song - Laura Veirs
  3. Beauty Sings - Tatiana Manaois
  4. Perfect Kiss - Marie Hines
  5. Just You - Amy Stroup
  6. Surrender - Natalie Taylor
  7. Kalimba Suite - Bobby McFerrin
  8. Paz - Dr. Toast
  9. Little Deschutes (Instrumental) - Laura Veirs
  10. Light - Dr. Toast
  11. Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy
  12. This Far - Kina Grannis
  13. First Touch - John McDowell and Sabina Sciubba
  14. 2 Poor Kids - Ruth B.
  15. Little Talks - Julia Sheer & Jon D.
  16. Endless Wonder (Iridescent Mix) - Entheo

Playlist for the Interrupted Mind

  1. Ethno Lounge (Yoga Class) - Yoga
  2. Intuitive Frequency - Patrick Bernard
  3. Journey Into the Dust (Sweet Chill Mix) - Project
  4. Drums (Lounge) - Shamanism Healing Music Academy
  5. Om Shakti - Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band
  6. Sacred Force - Susanne Coors
  7. On Sacred Ground (Fourth or Heart Chakra) - Chinmaya Dunster
  8. Waterfalls (Bali Chill Mix) - East 2 East
  9. Above the Clouds - Suzanne Teng
  10. Just You - Amy Stroup
  11. Finding Forever - Michael Brant DeMaria
  12. Om Eternal Stream - Patrick Bernard


Prenatal Playlist

Powerful music helps me focus while practicing. It's as though the mood of the music is a wave that can be surfed. This is a playlist that makes me feel strong and centred while moving gracefully. Enjoy!

  1. Perfect Day - Holley Maher
  2. Weightless - Courtney Jones
  3. Always Be - Holley Maher
  4. Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience - Natalie Merchant
  5. The Happy Song - Mo Kenney
  6. Ho Hey (feat. Lennon & Maisy) - Nashville Cast
  7. Blackbird - Sarah McLachlan
  8. Loving You is Easy - Sarah McLachlan
  9. Goddess Invocation - Go-Ray & Duke
  10. Turn Your World Around - Ashley Chambliss
  11. Waves - Nouvelle Vague
  12. Just You - Amy Stroup
  13. Stand in Awe - Dala
  14. Forever Young - Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
  15. Om Shakti - Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band
  16. Ong Namo - Snatam Kaur
  17. Jamaica Farewell - Laura Veirs
  18. Om Eternal Stream - Patrick Bernard


Using Yoga for Optimal Baby Positioning

Some yoga postures can help to give your baby space to move and use gravity for rotation. Any position that situates the hips above the heart will help baby to move out of the pelvis where there is less space to turn and into the cradle of your belly. Even just a tiny bit of movement may be all your baby needs to turn. Practice any of these several times each day, not only to help your baby turn, but also for pregnancy comfort.

Try these poses:

  1. Modified cat-cow pose: Start on all fours, in a table top position, but on the elbows instead of the hands. Rock the pelvis up and down. The hips are higher in this modified version using gravity to move the baby out of the pelvis. The movement of the hips gives baby a little help. Bonus: this also helps to relieve a tight or achey back.
  2. Puppy pose: Begin on all fours with your knees at least hip distance apart. Walk the hands forward to stretch the arms out in front of you so your head is lowered to the floor. You may also lower your head and place your hands under your forehead for support or use a firmly folded blanket. Keep the hips directly above the knees (rather than over the heels) so the thighs are vertical. You may prop your body with pillows or blankets for support so that you can relax and stay in this position for up to 20 minutes at a time.
  3. Supported bridge pose: Use some firmly folded blankets to support you in this pose for up to 10 minutes at a time. Lie on your back with the heels coming towards the hips, feet flat on the floor, toes pointing forward. Lift the hips and place the folded blankets under your hips so you feel fully supported. Let the weight of the body come onto the blankets, allow your body to relax, especially around the abdomen.

While in any of these poses, close the eyes, and focus on breathing deeply into the body. As you exhale, focus on releasing areas of tension. The more you can release the physical tension from your body, the more space your baby will have to move, when ready.

If any pose makes you feel dizzy, nauseous or too uncomfortable, slowly release and lie on your left side for a few minutes to recover.

In cases where the baby is in breech presentation, you will want to consider avoiding postures where the hips open more than normal, such as deep squatting. This will help to prevent the baby from moving further into the pelvis in the breech position. Only encourage the downward movement of the baby once a head-down position has been established.

There are other things you can do to help encourage an optimal position for your baby's birth. Check out this post from last month:  "How Diet Can Affect Your Baby's Position". Say what?!

Prenatal Yoga Playlist

Here is another prenatal yoga playlist for your practice or your labour! I always feel this playlist has just the right combo of fun, slow, uplifting and calming sounds. You can just close your eyes, listen to the music and let your body move. Enjoy!

  1. Long Time Sun - Snatam Kaur
  2. Always Be - Holley Maher
  3. I Am Aglow - Sarah Harmer
  4. Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
  5. Guru Brahma - Carioca Chandra Edgar
  6. Mess Is Mine - Vance Joy
  7. Breathing-Praha (Third Chakra or Hara) - Chinmaya Dunster
  8. Ha-Tha (Sun Meets Moon - Sixthe Cahkra or Third Eye) - Chinmaya Dunster
  9. Forever Young - Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers
  10. The Happy Song - Mo Kenney
  11. Perfect Day - Halley Maher
  12. Hold Onto Hope Love - Amy Stroup
  13. On Sacred Ground (Fourth or Heart Chakra) - Chinmaya Dunster
  14. Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwoole

Prenatal Yoga Playlist

I often get asked about the music I play in class. I have a large music collection to draw from that includes many genres. But I tend to use a rotation of loved songs that instill a sense of calm confidence or a constructive sense of relaxation. Here is one of my favourite playlists for prenatal yoga classes.

  1. Hold You in My Arms - Nashville Cast
  2. Intuitive Frequency - Patrick Bernard
  3. Om Shakti - Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band
  4. Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
  5. The Ecstasy of Dancing - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
  6. Israel Song - Carioca Chandra Edgar
  7. The Dreams (Sound System Mix) - Kalila
  8. Guru Brahma - Carioca Chandra Edgar
  9. Ho Hey (feat. Lennon and Maisy) - Nashville Cast
  10. Waterfalls (Bali Chill Mix) - East 2 East
  11. Purina Namashkar (Crown Chakra or Thousand-Petalled Lotus) - Chinmaya Dunster
  12. No Holly for Miss Quinn - Enya
  13. Takes My Breath Away - Tuck & Patti
  14. LA7 - Moby
  15. Om Eternal Stream - Patrick Bernard