Music or silence... the soundtrack of being


My wife and I alternate in our opinions on music or not during practice. Silence allows the breath to become the soundtrack and strips away another confounding variable – sound. Yet, no practice is completely silent, so any sound does become incorporated in the practice. Silence is natural.

Music on the other hand can shoe-horn the soul into a gentle place and allow it to further open up. Music can allow the heart to enter sacred places and allow the mind to let go. Music is somewhat magical.

There is of course no right answer as context is everything. For example, what type of yoga is being practiced? Is the practitioner new to yoga and music makes the transition to simply “being” less threatening.

And then there is the music itself. Bad music can distract us and put us in the mind, away from breath. So if it is music, then it must be supportive.




For my personal practice I usually try to do my asanas, pranayama and meditation outside in the garden, then the sounds of the birds and the wind through the trees become the music and it is very uplifting, but this is a personal preference.

I also teach yoga and had many requests from my students for music and although I will play soft background music during the asanas I usually stop it when they do their relaxation, meditation and pranayama at the end of the class. Then I want full awareness on the practises at hand and very little distraction from outside influences such as music. The music I play is mostly soft soothing music from Deva Premal, some music with dolpin sounds and other natural sounds mixed in.


? Wonderfully put, I do agree with that.
I often use music as a device to defuse chatter yet I have no need to actually play the music via a worldly device such as a CD player.
I simply recite it in my inner ear, e.g. I may play Beethoven?s pastoral symphony or Elgars morning song, each has a very soothing effect & the other worldly concerns seem to evaporate ?

Usually no more than couple of minutes are required to cleanse the soul of the chatter; Music is then switched off at will when required without a need for consensus or any physical intervention ?

Pandara: I envy a life style (weather conditions) which allows yogic practices out in nature. Hope you have a garden in which you can truly listen to the symphony of nature? :smiley:


Hi Fin,

Yes SA is bblessed with plenty of sunshine, my garden is 1600m2 with plenty of trees, rose bushes and other beautiful plants. I am very blessed and grateful for that everyday. :slight_smile:


Music and the three gunas …
Music, as an art form has an expressivity what goes beyond the mind.
Music acts on the pranamaya kosha. Good music heals the vital body, and makes it strong. It is very useful for children up to the age of seven, when the vital nature’s development is the primary process.

To use music for healing requires rich personal experience, love for music, and perhaps a gift from “the heavens”.
Not everything what is pleasent has healing effects, not evrything what we do not like at first, is bad. The taste for music can be trained just as the taste for food.

As about silence … it is a requirement to turn from sensorial things to … the extrasensorial. Silence is for the ear what darkness is for the eye.
So there is a time for music, and there is a time for silence. Because the latter is harder to maintain, I think it is more useful/powerful.


I second that envy!

I vary my practice as well. Music is also nice to help block out, foreign sounds. I like to use music that really tugs at my soul such as Celtic music (sounds a bit silly using Celtic music for an ancient practice developed in India, but I’m an Irish girl and us Irish folk get a little high off Celtic flutes!). One rule I like to use is to avoid songs with to much wording. Unless it’s a powerful mantra.


I usually do yoga when it’s quiet because it helps me focus more on my positions some of which I am still trying to master.


I have to confess, I too can practice outdoors and enjoy nature sounds (in California) but I usually practice indoors where the sounds of others’ breathing helps guide me (and indoors is where the classes are taught). As I’m new to yoga, many aural “triggers” help me simplify and enter the sacred realm of simply being. That said, although I have a love of music with a wide range, I am discovering (for lack of a better word) spiritual music. Spiritual music, or world music, is opening up for me and I am just familiarizing myself with different artists – Wah!, Snatum Kaur, and Tibetan Bowls (Michael Perricone)… but I find that my newness is an advantage to listening to this type of music as it reads “exotic” to me. Not foreign but rather new and special, thus it allows me to go to unfamiliar thus very familiar places in my soul. To help me peruse and choose my music, I enjoy download sites for the preview option… such as [url=] (a friend turned me on to it last month) but there must be others out there. That site has a great range of “spiritual” music… for yoga, trance, kirtan, etc. thus it has great focus (which translates to me as heart in a way also). Anyway, I know that there are others out there… i-Tunes, etc. but I enjoy genre focus. Any directions to be steered? Or simply, artists to recommend?


Hi Dreamsoul,

Deva Premal is one of my most favoutite artists, I am sure you will find her music entrancing and “exotic” as you put it.

Enjoy the exploration!


I’ve just heard a little of her music-- very lyrical, classically trained – East meets West. Which is whole wonderful sub-genre, the fusion world music.

What symbolizes wonderful harmony (literally, figuratively, and harmonically) are those Artists who explore the different faiths or whose bands represent those traditions. It works on many different levels. Co-existence and harmony. Hey, the Beatles were all from Liverpool and they couldn’t stay together!


hi pandara,

do you teach at a yoga studio or out of your home, i’m just curious because i live in bordeaux and might make the trip to pretoria to broaden my experience.



I usually find the middle road. I enjoy listening to soft music. Nothing too distracting and nothing too difficult to ignore if need be.


Lovely discussion. I compose music for yoga and meditation. However, when practicing myself I tend to prefer doing it without music. I have so much music in my life so I prefer the silence sometimes.


Greetings Dreamsoul,

Music can allow the heart to enter sacred places and allow the mind to let go. Music is somewhat magical.

Yes Indeed! I was totally agree with you. Music is magical that gives you endless imagination and happiness. Using calming and relaxing music during yoga meditation is definitely give you relaxation and inner peace.

Listen and enjoy this Music Nutrition's Sounds of Receiving track.

For more healing and calming music, visit:


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