How to Create a Healing Soundscape for Restorative Yoga

February 2, 2015
restorative-yoga
Restorative Yoga is all about restoration: restoring the body, mind, and spirit.  A large component of any restorative class is the music, or as I like to refer to it: the soundscape.  As a Yoga teacher myself, I take great pride in not only the class I teach: the theme, the sequencing, the creativity, etc., but also the soundscape I provide for my students.  Sound can be such a great tool when used with that intent.  Just the vibrations of a certain sound can have various effects on the body, mind, and spirit: one of which is healing.  Because we are living creatures who emit energy, and who are also made of energy, the frequencies of the vibrations created by instruments have direct effects on our energetic bodies, thereby also affecting our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.  Because of the importance then of sound during Restorative Yoga, I have put a lot of effort into finding music that can aid in the healing that takes place.

 

When I first started teaching Restorative Yoga, I was baffled at how little there was in terms of music specifically designed for this type of yoga, and then how little there was written about the topic.  So, I set out on my own journey of sorts to find the right music that spoke to me, that felt healing to me, so that I could share it with my students.

 

Before I share that with you, I’d like to note that if you teach Restorative Yoga, and like me are on a hunt to create a healing soundscape for your class, there is nothing better than live music.  As both a teacher and a student of yoga, I’ve experienced that having live music in the room is transformative.  The body feels the vibrations of the instruments much more directly than it does when the sound is recorded, and the intensity and effects of those vibrations are most certainly heightened.  That said, we do not always have the resources for live music in our classes, thus the journey to create a healing soundscape.

 

As a dancer and choreographer, I have always been drawn to strings.  Something about the sound they produce has always gripped me artistically and emotionally.  Later, as a yogi, I was surprised to feel the same, though in the yoga studio I tended to gravitate more towards the lower sounds of string instruments, such as those produced by the cello.  I also started to enjoy certain piano compositions.  As I continued my journey to create a healing soundscape I noticed the pull that film scores started to have on not just my ears, but my whole being.  Something about music specifically designed to accompany a story really spoke to me, and still does to this day.  It was, and still is, these components, plus a few more, that have led me to the following composers:

 

Johann Johannsson
Garth Stevenson
Max Richter
Clint Mansell
Olafur Arnalds
Barrington Pheloung

 

Check out some of their compositions here:


  

I hope this list helps you on your own search to create a healing soundscape, not just for Restorative Yoga, but even just for your own healing and wellness.  Have other composers you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear some suggestions!  Comment below!

 

Also, if you’re interested in checking out my Restorative Yoga class in Los Angeles, see my schedule at The Springs.  I’d love to have you.

 

Namaste.

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