Whether you’re a total zen beginner or a lifelong yogi, practising yoga is a personal experience that is designed to build a mental and physical connection. Some people view it as a spiritual experience, other people prefer to engage more with the mindfulness element, while some even choose to focus primarily on the physical benefits.
No matter at which point you sit on that spectrum, the same question may inevitably float to the surface: what should you listen to while you flow it out? The power yoga playlists of top 40 hits that sound like a boot camp class simply don’t cut it for everyone, and nor do the zen spiritual nature sounds you’d find in low-rate spas.
We need something in between, that can motivate us to actually get onto the mat but comfort us enough to keep us on it. So, where is the yoga playlist for the music appreciator who wants to blend their music into the overall experience?
Well, here it is. And who better to formulate the playlist than someone who happens to be both a certified yoga instructor and a Far Out writer (yes, this would be me)? That’s right, those random skills do sometimes come in handy in unexpected ways. And that includes formulating a yoga playlist that not only appeals to some alternative tastes, but also flows with the structure of yoga in action.
The thing about a yoga playlist is that simply having an hour of music isn’t enough—and it won’t make you want to return to your mat every single day. You need variety. You need the ability to hit shuffle. And with that, it’s also important to have a little bit of variety—mixing the old and the new. Big Star and Bon Iver both have their place in this playlist. This one seriously has it all.
If you’ve ever wanted to practise your downward dog listening to Nick Drake’s ‘Place To Be’, The Velvet Underground classic ‘Sunday Morning’, and The Shins indie masterpiece ‘New Slang’, now’s your chance. There are further inclusions from The Beatles, Beck and Billy Bragg, meaning there’s a little bit of everything in this essential playlist.
Without further ado, here is the ultimate alternative yoga playlist so you can flow it out to some great tunes.
The ultimate alternative yoga playlist:
- ‘Place to Be’ – Nick Drake
- ‘Waltz #2 (XO) – Elliott Smith
- ‘Sunday Morning’ – The Velvet Underground, Nico
- ‘Pale Blue Eyes’ – The Velvet Underground
- ‘The Night We Met’ – Lord Huron
- ‘Should Have Known Better’ – Sufjan
- ‘April Come She Will’ – Simon & Garfunkel
- ‘Jesus, Etc.’ – Wilco
- ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ – Joan Baez
- ‘For Emma’ – Bon Iver
- ‘Trouble’ – Cat Stevens
- ‘Thirteen’ – Big Star
- ‘California Stars’ – Wilco, Billy Bragg
- ‘The Golden Age’ – Beck
- ‘New Slang’ – The Shins
- ‘Certainty’ – Big Thief
- ‘Every Time the Sun Comes Up’ – Sharon Van Etten
- ‘I Like The Way This Is Going’ – Eels
- ‘Love in the Time of Socialism’ – Yellow House
- ‘No Expectations’ – Bahamas
- ‘Amsterdam’ – Gregory Alan Isakov
- ‘State Lines’ – Novo Amor
- ‘No Woman’ – Whitney
- ‘Bookends Theme – Reprise’ – Simon & Garfunkel
- ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ – Death Cab for Cutie
- ‘Montana’ – Youth Lagoon
- ‘Cherry Wine’ – Hozier
- ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ – Dirty Projectors
- ‘If You Need to, Keep Time On Me’ – Fleet Foxes
- ‘Pink Moon’ – Nick Drake
- ‘Death With Dignity’ – Sufjan Stevens
- ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moon’ – Jose Gonzalez
- ‘Like Real People Do’ – Hozier
- ‘Norwegian Wood’ – The Beatles
- ‘Big Jet Plane’ – Angus & Julia Stone
- ‘The Medic’ – Foxing
- ‘Flightless Bird, American Mouth’ – Iron & Wine
- ‘I’ll Be Around’ – Yo La Tengo
- ‘Beauty’ – The Shivers
- ‘Angeles’ – Elliott Smith