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Yoga Relaxation Music 101 – Releasing Your Stress, Connecting Spiritually

Although names like Yanni, Dido, Ariel or Enya might not ever be listed among top traditional yoga music artists, they are popular in relaxation music for Westerners. For many U.S.-based practitioners, the availability of music by these artists has meant an abundance of modern alternatives to meet their own cultural preferences and a contemporary entranceway into an enlightened art.

Contrary to what many have probably expected, yoga is not always practiced in the same ways as the ancient (or modern) Hindu spiritual practices. The fast pace of U.S. life has created a strong need for ways in which the average working American can relax. Yoga – which teaches practitioners how to breathe and relax through a series of postures – now gives people a way to slow down. It is a fitness art that allows for honoring tradition while keeping pace with modern times.

It should also be noted that yoga has no goal of converting its practitioners to Hinduism. Granted, much of the traditional music of yoga has origins in this spiritual faith and sounds a lot like the religious music that accompanies worship. Since 1500 B.C., Hinduism followers have used the music to help them follow a path to enlightenment. Outside of the religion, however, practicing is a way to stay fit. The standard meditation postures involved in yoga make you stronger, more flexibility and give you more endurance. Additionally, yoga has its health benefits: less stress and lowered heart rate and blood pressure.

When the U.S. practitioner begins to look for music to accompany his rituals, he will probably not look for names like Guru Ram Das or Mool Mantra. He will look for familiar names or names that would be suggested in his own culture. Guru Ram Das and other similar artists use the instruments that have always been used in both Hindu and yoga music: the santoor, flute, sitar and sarangi, for example. Their music also makes use of lyrics that come across a lot like chanting and invoke the sacred. Music as a universal relaxation technique has not been around as long as the Hindu worships music.

The ancient sounds of Hindu do not have to be present for music to qualify as yoga music. The main requirement is that the music helps you to relax. The number of people in the U.S. practicing yoga has forced a shift to offer alternatives. The Yoga Journal reports that more than 15.8 million people in the nation practice yoga (“Yoga in, America” study, 2008). Of those who do not practice, 18.3 million indicated they are interested in practicing yoga. The surge in interest is not the only thing that has driven a shift for music. The yoga market is a $5.7 billion industry. This kind of buying power is sure to capture the interests of vendors and drive competition and variety.
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Tue, May 10 2011 » Health And Fitness

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