What does Sadie Nardini, fierce founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga, practice to? She’s sharing her ultimate yoga playlist, which includes a few of her new songs, with YJ. And we’re hooked! Want to practice with Sadie (to great tunes) in person? Join her and DJ Taz Rashid at Yoga Journal LIVE! San Diego, June 24–27.
Sadie Nardini is no stranger to rockin’ anything: A packed schedule of yoga intensives around the world, amazing hairstyles that don’t succumb to powerful practices, and of course solid playlists to accompany her classes.
Recently we had to ask about a song played in one of her YJ LIVE! New York sessions. Turns out she’s also rockin’ her own music: The song was Nardini's own. Her album, Salt & Bone, is an empowering indie pop anthem with shades of electronica and tracks that can inspire a yoga practice, dance party, tough breakup or bad morning (“F*#k perfect, it ain’t worth it”).
We caught up with Nardini to borrow her ultimate yoga soundtrack (hear it all below) and hear more about music-making asana.
Yoga Journal: When did you start creating music? How does that complement your life as an established yoga teacher?
Sadie Nardini: For as long as I can remember, I have been a singer. I grew up watching my mother perform in rock bands, big bands, jazz bands, but the yoga teaching was going so well, I decided to give it all of my attention. Then last year, I got a rare invitation to write and record my own music with some established musicians and producers in L.A. I was beyond terrified, because I'd spent a lifetime getting comfortable sharing my voice in the yoga space, but the music space was a really unknown beast. I had to walk through many fires of fear and doubt to find the courage to step up to that mic for the first time and record. But I did it, not only because it's my other calling, but because I knew if I could do it, my yoga fans would also love the music I was creating for them.
YJ: You are always on the road teaching. How did you find the time to write and compose? (Seriously!)
SN: I didn't have any time to make this album. At all. Yet, I made it. I wrestled time itself to the ground and pushed open some space for this record to breathe and be created. Sometimes, life is going a certain way, and it seems there is absolutely no way to take, say, three weeks off and make a record. Yet, where there's a will, the way will be made. I saw that when I just sat in meditation, opened my palms, and said, "Right. Let's do this. Help me," mountains were moved on my dharma's behalf. Then I undertook the arduous and yet so satisfying task of walking the path that was made for me.
YJ: What inspired Salt & Bone?
SN: I brought all my story to this wheel, which became the vinyl circle of the record Salt & Bone. The whole album is actually a karmic wheel that moves in my own story, from ego-fronting to longing to be seen, leaving toxic relationships, to choosing vulnerability, and, as one song says, "reclaiming the light inside of me."
This whole album is a collection of varied genres: There's an epic Game of Thrones-esque song (Blood Moon), mellow grooves (Kryptonite), a 1950's-sounding Meghan Trainor-esque one (CatCall), and dance jams like Let Her Dance and Fire Ceremony. My intention was to make every song a sonic meditation so listeners can find part of themselves in it and use it to support and complement their yoga practice of living in courage, authenticity, and alignment, both on and off the mat.
YJ: In particular, Fire Ceremony is a cathartic, inspirational track so suited for a yoga sequence. Did the song or sequence come first?
SN: After I recorded Fire Ceremony, I realized there was a very clear opportunity for yoga asana and ritual movements. Everyone can dedicate three minutes to cleansing, burning away those internal and external stories and habits weighing them down, and also to illuminate and fire up what they want to burn brighter in their spirit, hearts, and lives.
YJ: Thanks for sharing your playlist with our readers! You described it as bell-curve, mellow-to-fire-and-back playlist. What kind of practice would you pair this with?
SN: This empowering and evocative playlist would be great for any home or in-studio yoga practice where you want to groove and feel your way through a warm up, be supported to jam out and flow with stronger and more energetic beats for a bit, and then take it down for a liquid-fire, mellow stretching and meditation period. In other words, it’s perfect for most Hatha-based and Vinyasa-style yoga or even exercise classes that include a mindful period of warming up and cooling down.