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Does Music Belong in Your Class?

Consider the pros and cons of using music to complement your teaching.

By Dan Charnas

The Sound of Silence. "Sound is there to reveal silence," says Erb. When the music stops, there's still so much song: the sound of your breath, the beating of your heart, the cacophony of nature and humanity outside the studio. Sometimes music can mask the more subtle sounds that bring us closer to our inner rhythms. "The illumined state of mind, the atomic level of wave energy within ourselves, is all completely sound," says Gurushabd. "There's no getting away from sound."

The Ear of the Beholder. "Sometimes music makes you feel that you have had some kind of experience," Lerner says. "But music may be confusing what it is you experience." Ultimately, Lerner and Erb are cautious about music, because they know that it is highly personal.

Perhaps my Bob Marley catharsis was extraneous to the yoga. And yet, there's a part of me that longs for the real and the raw in my yoga practice. For one, I'm tired of "yoga music," the ubiquitous, fluffy ear candy that you hear in waiting rooms and classrooms across the country. Others might call it "spiritual" music because it's lilting, but to my ear, much of it is listless and insipid, with no spirit whatsoever.

Give me Bob Marley any day of the week.

Dan Charnas has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than a decade and studied under Gurmukh and the late Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. He lives, writes, and teaches in New York City.

Please take our poll and share with us: Do you prefer to teach or attend classes where music is used?

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Reader Comments


NO music in Yoga classes. U should listen inside you rather than to some kind of pseudo-esoteric sound. In this, i follow the tradition and it has been proved as being the right way....


I really enjoy our monthly live drumming sessions (sometimes accented with a dash of pan flute) - the energy that connects those practicing with the drummer is amazing. I also like when MC Yogi is played, nature sounds and even special mix tapes of pop music (usually some theme, like songs about peace or love - groovy!).

ron ahola

where can I find a "beginners" dvd that has NO MUSIC BACKGROUND?



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