Sing your heart out

Photo from borianag’s photostream

Most people have an innate desire to sing, but we we generally relegate our singing to the shower, the car, or an occasional karaoke night. We have all kinds of excuses for not singing (or at least not singing in public!) that deny us the joy of singing in a group.

Body Harmony Yoga Studio is hosting a special kirtan evening on Friday, September 28th from 7 to 8pm, (doors open at 6:45pm). Local composer, musician, and Body Harmony student Anne Leader will be leading the kirtan (a call-and-response chant, so there’s no need to even know the words!) and will be accompanied by live musicians.

This is an incredible opportunity to experience the joy that comes with finding harmony in a group. Our brains are wired to derive satisfaction from being part of something collective (we’re part hive creatures) and chanting in a group often brings a strong sense of well-being.

Everyone is welcome for this special event – you just need a willingness to participate, an open mind, and a small donation for the musicians.

Nothing but the beat

I have a not-so-secret love for Top 40s high-energy music. Kanye, Rihanna, Beyonce, Pitbull… and even J-Lo and Britney get heavy rotation in my playlists. Despite the simplistic (sometimes down right ridiculous) lyrics, over-produced vocals, and lack of originality, these songs with their catchy hooks and repetitive beats get stuck in my head, make me want to dance, and put a smile on my face.

This Top 40s-happiness spilled over into my yoga practice when I wasn’t paying attention and left my iPod on shuffle… on came David Guetta in the middle of a sun salutation. The energy of the song ramped up my energy and I started timing my movements and breathing to the beat.

The next time I did an energetic practice, I intentionally played Nothing But the Beat by David Guetta. Talk about a fun way to practice! Without even trying, the poses flowed into each other and yoga started to feel like dancing. No yawning during that practice 😉

For more typical yoga music, I’ve updated my listen and meditate song lists with some new songs and albums:

  • Eternal Om by Yogi Hari Eternal Om - Yogi Hari
  • Flores by Mirabai Ceiba Flores - Mirabai Ceiba
  • Har Hare Haree by Gurudass Har Hare Haree - Longing to Belong
  • Ma by Guru Ganesha Singh Ma - Yoga Living Series - Meditative Moon
  • Yoga: 8 Limbs to Bliss by Maggie Diaz Del Castillo Yoga: 8 Limbs to Bliss - Maggie Diaz Del Castillo

Ma is a wonderfully relaxing song – perfect for savasana – although it may induce yawning!

There’s lots of great mellow music to have on while doing yoga, but sometimes being entirely unmellow is just what a practice needs!

Updated mellow music list

A few new mellow tunes that I’ve added into the rotation. Take a look at the Listen page for a full list of songs that are great for a yoga practice and at the Meditate page for meditation music I recommend. Click on the iTunes button to purchase a specific song.

  • Holding a Heart by Girl Named Toby Holding a Heart - We Are - EP
  • Long Time Sun by Snatam Kaur Long Time Sun - Celebrate Peace
  • Never Ending Road (Amhrán Duit) by Loreena McKennitt Never Ending Road (Amhrán Duit) - An Ancient Muse
  • Where are you Going? by Dave Matthews Band Where Are You Going - Busted Stuff

Updated meditation music

Some new favourite songs for meditation. Click on the iTunes button to purchase a specific song.

  • Gobinday Mukunday by Sada Sat Kaur Gobinday Mukanday - Mantra Masala
    A quicker, more energizing version of the ”Git ‘er done” mantra. Good for reviving the spirit and enhancing energy.
  • Mul Mantra by Snatam Kaur Mul Mantra - Anand Bliss
    The February Full Moon Meditation at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre was the mul mantra. I think this is the most beautiful version of it – very heart-centred and grounding.
  • Ong Namo – I Bow by Gurunam Singh Ong Namo - I Bow - The Journey Home
    Also called the Adi Mantra, chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo starts off every Kundalini yoga class. It’s a reminder to honour (or bow to) all the teachers that came before and the wisdom that lives within.
  • Pavan Guru – Lord of the Wind by Gurunam Singh Pavan Guru - Lord of the Wind - The Journey Home
    The “May the Force be with You” mantra, Pavan Guru increases energy and stimulates healing.

See the Meditate page for a full list of meditation music I like.

Full moon listening

Laura holding half moon poseThe beautiful Mul Mantra meditation last night at Bound Lotus in honour of the full moon inspired me to update the song lists on the meditate and listen pages. I’ve added a few new favourites and created a list of music I like to use for savasana.

The full moon can be a time of increased energy and mental activity. It’s also just an amazing time to be out at night – particularly with the current clear weather we’re having!

I’m subbing the 8:15pm Yin Yoga class this evening at Bound Lotus. Come join me for a delightful full moon class and, of course, a beautiful relaxation in savasana afterwards!

Songs for savasana

These songs are particularly lovely for that beautiful relaxation period at the end of a yoga practice. Click on the iTunes button to purchase a specific song.

  • Aad Guray by Deva Premal Aad Guray - Dakshina
  • Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons Awake My Soul - Sigh No More
  • Into the West by Howard Shore & Annie Lennox Into the West - The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
  • Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson Keep Breathing - Be OK
  • Long Time Sun by Snatam Kaur Long Time Sun - Celebrate Peace
  • Never Ending Road (Amhrán Duit) by Loreena McKennitt Never Ending Road (Amhrán Duit) - An Ancient Muse

Visit the Listen and Meditate pages full lists of songs that are great for a yoga practice or for meditation

Yin on Fridays & new mellow music

Wrap up your work week (or kick-off your weekend!) with yin yoga. Join me at Bound Lotus (161 East 1st St., North Vancouver) on Fridays, starting January 6, for a yummy yin yoga class from 6:30-7:35pm.

Yin yoga is a great way to de-stress and refuel. It lets you settle into postures, relax your muscles, and target often neglected connective tissue. Yin brings to life the yogic idea of a quiet body leading to a quiet mind.

And all my yin classes end with a guided rest in savasana – the ultimate in delicious relaxation!

Speaking of relaxation, I’ve updated the Listen page with a few new tracks. A couple are winter-themed, including my new favourite holiday song: Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson. I’ve been loving waking up to Winter Song and having it in my head through the morning… hopefully it keeps me going through what looks like it will be a rainy January in Vancouver!

Laura & Sofie in dolphin pose