Last month, we touched on why we choose not to perform adjustments…this month, we’d like to talk about why we don’t play music during our classes. A few students have asked about this, so we thought it would be worth taking time to explain. While yoga class can be a welcome escape from the noise and chaos of daily life, the goal of yoga is being able to take your practice off the mat.
Having pleasant and calming music in the background can definitely help you tune out during a yoga class…but here’s the thing: we don’t want you to tune out. Yoga is about TUNING IN.
Yoga is about being comfortable with your surroundings – in the silence and in the noise. The noise of the dog groomers next door, the noise of the landscapers with their mowers and leaf blowers…just as you try to relax in shavasana for Yoga Nidra.
The noise and the silence is your yoga. To progress in your yoga practice, it is necessary to develop the attitude of relaxed awareness. For instance, during Yoga Nidra, we ask you to become aware of all the outside sounds…not so you will become completely absorbed in the irritating sound of the leaf-blower…but so you will be able to WITNESS the sound of the leaf-blower, briefly connect – and let it go.
Developing the ability to fully tune in to the environment and knowing that the environment does not determine your state of concentration or relaxation is a necessary practice in yoga. If we had music playing, you would not have the opportunity to develop this awareness. Instead, you would learn the art of dissociation, rather than the art of relaxation. With things like iPhones, Facebook, Twitter and On Demand, don’t we have enough opportunities to dissociate?!!
Yoga is cultivating the ability to remain in a continual state of internal equilibrium regardless of what is happening around you. It is developing the ability to RESPOND, rather than REACT. It has been said that “there is no noise in the city, there is no peace in the Himalayas. Both are within you.”
© Copyright 2011 – All Elements Yoga – Gail Seckrettar