Yoga – music or silence?
When considering things that ‘go together well’ it’s always going to be a subjective matter. I, for one, love salted chocolate! The two flavours dance on my palate in a joyous celebration of taste. My wife, on the other hand, wrinkles her nose at the mere mention of this combination.
The same is true for yoga asana practice and music. Those who love vibrational support and melodic inspiration when flowing from pose to pose are always searching for great playlists and soundtracks to accompany their yoga practice. Others revel in the silent internal waves of breath and moments of peace away from the dominating external world. Both are valid and with enough yoga teachers in the world these days, everyone can be satisfied.
One thing that I think all yogis can agree on is the beauty of collaboration. I feel life is challenging enough without going through it alone so I look for collaboration in most areas of my life. As a yogi who often (but not always) loves to flow through a practice accompanied by music, collaborating with musicians has had a wonderful effect on my Vinyasa sequences and musical appreciation.
A collaboration of music and movement
DJ Taz RashidIn summer 2016, I met DJ Taz Rashid at a yoga festival in France. Before I even heard his music (or he knew what I was teaching) there was an instant connection with him – like chords that strike a harmonious tone. We talked a little at this festival and planted seeds for collaboration. Eventually, we talked about him remixing some of my music, which birthed an amazing version of Aad Guray Nameh.
After a few conversations, it was clear that there were more layers to this collaboration. I have recorded two full-length Vinyasa Flow classes accompanied by Taz’s music, available for EkhartYoga members. This first class (below) is online now and the second will come in a few weeks. Together, Taz and I collaborate to meld body, emotion, intellect and spirit through movement and music.
This musical flow class is an all-round journey through the whole body. Using Sun Salutation-based waves of poses, David guides you through a series of lunges and twists and eventually backbends. Expect to be turned upside down, over and around… part of the journey into yourself.
Free download for your yoga practice!
DJ Taz is offering a free download of his album, Live in Love for you to use as an accompaniment to your practice. All you need to do is click on this link and enter your email address.
The state of the music industry
There is another layer at play here too. The current state of the music industry is in a very funky place (no pun intended). Rights and licenses, what’s allowed and not allowed are all regulated and enforced by governments and corporations who do not always have the artists in mind when creating business proposals and enforcing laws. As a musician, I appreciate the need for some form of control so that artists get paid for their work. The key is finding the way to make sure they actually get the money, rather than the executives or businesses that run the industry.
Collaboration is the way! I’m fortunate to have met some wonderful artists and musicians in my life as a travelling yogi and most of them are very happy to share their music and make offers and deals to have their music used as intended (I include myself in this). For my music flow classes on EkhartYoga, I have written to every artist whose music I use and have gained permission to do so. Most of them, when not contractually bound, are happy to have a membership to EkhartYoga or some other form of reciprocation. Collaboration benefits all of those involved and is an important way for us to shift the current climate so that those who actually create music and art are properly compensated for their work.
Okay, I’m almost off my soapbox here, so I will finish this paragraph simply by asking you to please BUY MUSIC from artists rather than just streaming it for free. If you are interested in finding out more, search the internet for ‘Spotify Payment Practices to Artists’ and you’ll see what I mean.
Help me support these artists!
Along with DJ Taz Rashid, I have worked with other incredible creative musicians who have given me permission to use their music in my music flow classes. Here’s your invitation to collaborate and support these great artists… visit their websites and Bandcamp pages or iTunes and actually buy some music. If I skip one day of coffee and cake, I can afford a whole album at full price! If I take a week’s ‘cleanse’ and instead of spending my money on chips and espresso I buy music and pay for art, I will bring much-needed support to passionate artists who bring musical pleasure to the world.
So, enjoy these artists and thank them for allowing their music on EkhartYoga:
Aki-Ra Sunrise, Aukuai, Avi Adir, Brenda McMorrow, David Lurey, David Ma, DJ Drez, General Fuzz, Jai Uttal, Jay Jay Jay, Joe Lohrmann, Kareem Raihani, Kashi Kollective, Luis Paniagua, Netanel Goldberg, Oneness Sound, Pedro Collares, Praful, Random Rab, Rising Appalachia, Sacred Earth, Sathya, Tina Malia.
What are your gifts and what can you offer?
Beyond music and yoga, I invite you to look for collaboration in all areas of your life. What are your gifts? What can you offer? And how can this support someone else who is offering their gifts to the world? What kind of win/win situation can you create with others by simply taking a step away from personal needs and finding solutions that benefit others? Can you find things you feel that blend beautifully and bring them together?
I look forward to your comments and suggestions,