Yoga music and a Yoga DJ’s are becoming common place with events sweeping the nation infusing the celebratory festival environment, with yoga practice. Just five years ago, having a live DJ or live band in your local studio was a rarity. Some may have heard of a DJ Drez playlist, or if your were in LA you may have gone to a special event to hear MC Yogi. However, for the most part, you probably practiced yoga in silence.
Today, there’s an entire roster of DJs on yoga-festival lineups, and up-and-comers like (SYF Presenter, DJ TAZ), Bhakti Styler, and more booking regular gigs in studios and event spaces across the country.”– Andrea Ferretti of Yoga Journal
But what is yoga music? Is yoga music simply derived from a series of Sanskrit chants? Is it Kirtan? A Gong? Or, is it a playlist created by the teacher for his or her flow class? Does music played in a yoga class, lessen the authenticity of yoga? Many of us have asked these questions ourselves, and have heard both sides of the argument.
“While some yoga teachers dismiss the live-music trend, as a mere ‘distraction’ from yoga’s most powerful exercises, such as listening to your breath or observing your thoughts to bring calm and focus, others see it as a tool for going inward, for timing the breath to the beat, or for simply feeling joy during the practice.” – Andrea Ferretti of Yoga Journal
“There is a time and place for a quieter, more introspective practice, and you shouldn’t dismiss that,” says Stephanie Snyder, a San Francisco–based vinyasa teacher who travels across the United States and Europe and teaches some classes with a live DJ.
Lets start with the basics. Music played in a yoga class most notably, provides a new way to market the practice to a more diverse demographic such as those from other regions, spiritual beliefs, physical shapes and ages. Since the benefit of yoga, we hope, is to bring it to everyone. Therefore, some yoga, is better than no yoga. Right?
Perhaps what we should look at is that music itself, in this scenario, is getting a bad rap. Music for thousands of years has aided the human condition, aided our consciousness evolution, provided solace in every emotional scenario, and plays an integral role in virtually every culture since the beginning of time.
Enter DJ Taz, a person who both defines this new sub genre, but also is growing inside of it. While India may be a starting point for this indescribable subset of music, musical accompaniment, that flows as we do – it has become an integral part of our lives in the Yoga community.
“My Mission in life is to help awaken the collective consciousness with music. “ DJ TAZ
Isn’t that good news for a brighter future for yoga? If the term ‘yoga music’ seems so fleeting and undesirable perhaps its speaking to something deeper. If the point is union, why are we judging the vehicle that carries us there?
“I’ve talked to a handful of classical Indian musicians who say that their music is their yoga, which makes sense: classical asanas and pranayama were performed at certain times of the day, to attune the yogi to nature’s rhythm. Ragas were invented with the same idea in mind.” – Derek Beres
Tazdeen Rashid is a yoga DJ. brings a high vibrational energy to any crowd instantly by mixing a wide range of music beats and rhythms including, Ancient New World, hundreds of electronic Remixes, House, Kirtan, Devotional, and cosmic sounds. His vision is to be a channel to cause the expansion of all those around by tapping into the creative wisdom of the body and allowing them to feel, let go and awaken.
For DJ Taz, his music is his yoga. Taz has been producing and part of creating mindful events globally over the last few years and as a musician, he plays guitar, keyboard, Native American Flute, didgeridoo and hand percussion. He takes these instruments and connects to the Divine and what comes through has the ability to move his crowd to connect to their Divine higher selves.
The aim of the yogi: unifying all seemingly disparate elements into one continuous moment. Just as we celebrate the change in our physical practice as we progress and bend into new asanas and states of meditation, we can also appreciate the changes in our perception.
Still, a persistent yet undefined image of ‘yoga music’ continues to wield its confusing head. I say, breathe and let it go. The fact is friends, while India may have been a starting point for this indescribable subset of music, the result is an amazing new platform in which we can all come together and celebrate.
We recently chatted with Teri Undreiner who excels at Loving and encouraging people, and being an LMT , Life Recovery Consultant, Yoga Instructor, Songwriter/Singer/ Writer, Essential Oils Wellness Advocate/ Workshop Teacher, Warrior Posse Designs ( Yoga Shirts & Apparel)…
NAME: Teri Undreiner
SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook, Twitter/Instagram: teriundreiner
Occupation: Loving and encouraging people, LMT , Life Recovery Consultant, Yoga Instructor, Songwriter/Singer/ Writer, Essential Oils Wellness Advocate/ Workshop Teacher, Warrior Posse Designs ( Yoga Shirts & Apparel)
Current Town: Phx. Az.
Where has yoga taken you?
Yoga has taken me to a deeper place within me and challenged me to live a much more conscious life than I was doing before it. It’s opened me up to reading different things that help me to get in touch with the “inner woman of the heart”. It brings me so much joy and peace and helps me live a more contented , yet adventurous life. It’s given me courage to branch out and challenge myself to do things I haven’t done before or things that fear use to stop me doing. It has connected me to so many different types of people as well. I feel that my world and my heart has become so enlarged to take in so much more of life. Yoga has taken me into other venues, and stretched me to reach out to demographics that I had no previous connection with, such as the Military and First Responders world.
What are the 4 most pivotal occasions in your career both in and outside of Yoga?
1. About 5 years ago, I was choosing between going through Yoga teacher training and Life Coaching and so I decided on a 200 YTT certified through Holy Yoga,, because I wanted to bring Yoga to the Church since most Churched people didn’t engage with yoga I wanted to show them the two were compatible. I use theme related classes that challenge not only our bodies but the way we look at things emotionally and spiritually.
2. Two years ago I began a journey into Life Coaching because I thought that including Yoga with how to help others live more productively and positively would be helpful to my career. Venturing into becoming a Yoga Instructor that included Life Coaching themes and meditations has enabled me to begin my dream of holding Workshops.
3. I began doing Essential Yoga Workshops just this year that incorporates a yoga class, essential oils, and a Nidra class with powerful affirmations to encourage people to move forward in their lives. This Workshop helps them learn how to intentionally relax and let go of those things that n o longer serve them.
4. I have also ventured into becoming trained for Trauma Sensitive Yoga and working with a Veteran and his equine therapist Horse, Bella and have began making videos of such work.
What do you never leave the house without? My phone, computer, backpack filled with books, journal, pens and food/water.
Where are your favorite places to experience? I have traveled to the Mediterranean and it is my favorite out of the country place by far. But I travel although right now to see my kids and first grand-baby, Barrett and that is my favorite of all and my daughter in Ventura Beach.
What are the first three words that come to your mind when someone says: “grounded” or “connected?” Centered. Content. Strong.
We want to know what your typical morning looks like! What does your daily practice look like?
My daily practice …First thing in the morning I make coffee and I take it outside with my Bible, and or another book I’m reading about living a conscious lifestyle. I also take my journal to write down my thoughts and then my computer as well. I like to share my most fun thought of the day first to encourage others if I can.
I either go to a yoga class or I do a 5/15 minute sequence of my own before work. I put on some emotionally moving music and use those moments to do my sequence as a dance. I use it as a worshipful practice to begin my day off in the right attitude and mindset.
What is one mantra that is like a remedy for your soul?
I made this mantra up coming from a lifestyle before Yoga that was a people pleasing lifestyle. “ I’m not who I thought I was, and I don’t know who I will be, but I am confident of this, that I am becoming who I am.” I also ask myself the question, “ How are the connections?” I do this because if the connections aren’t encouraging me to live that life of authenticity and worry free of pleasing others, then I seek to change that.
How do you channel your inner 5 year old?
I think that I live with such wonder already in my life, that I stay in that child-likeness all the time. I also play with my crazy dogs. They keep me playful. Plus having a grandchild. Nothing better than that for calling out to that child within.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I got my nose pierced at this years SYF ( 2015) and my first tattoo at 62 years old a bit later. It’s the lotus because I love the story of the journey of the lotus. When the light draws up the lotus from the muddy and murky pond, the pressure of the rising against the water enables the soil on the lotus to begin to fall away and by the time it reaches the world outside of the water, that which muddied it up and held it down has been purged. That has been very fun to watch happening in my life!
What is your favorite pose to teach in your classes? And why?
I love Warrior Two straight into Exalted Warrior because it is so strong and confident. I love that it is reaching forward as well as back signifying that often life takes you back and forth and you get to learn how to steady yourself. I love going straight into Exalted Warrior because as a faith based yoga teacher, the strength I receive from God through that gives my heart such a burst of gratitude that it just is natural to go from warrior 2 straight there. I like to add on Humble Warrior right after that because it just makes sense to me in that trinity. I think I love these because they give great ideas for intentions, meditations, and themes. So, even though there are 3 here, they become as one pose for me together.
If you’re not on a yoga mat, where can we find you?
Work, writing, songwriting/ singing, walking dogs.
Meet Joy Nanda, CranioSacral Therapist, Yoga & Meditation Intstructor
We recently chatted with Joy and discovered bliss…
NAME: Joy Nanda
EMAIL: contact Joy through her website…
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter/Instagram Facebook: craniosedona
Occupation: CranioSacral Therapist, Yoga & Meditation Instructor
Hometown: All over upstate New York
Current Town: Sedona
Where has yoga taken you?
Yoga has taken me to a place of self-acceptance and compassion for others that trascends everyday “reality.” I feel comfortable in my own skin, and no longer feel the need to project “negatives” onto others. When I truly embraced the philosophy and teachings of yoga, all my challenges in this life, including health challenges, were put into a perspective from which healing truly began, and I am enjoying the journey wherever it takes me.
What are the 4 most pivotal occasions in your career both in and outside of Yoga?
- Leaving a Medical Scool faculty position to pursue alternative forms of healing.
- Becoming a Yoga Therapist to bring the healing power of Yoga to everyone, regardless of physical ability.
- Leaning how to use meditation techniques as therapy for stress-related condtions.
- Putting it all together to develop a holistic brain health program.
What do you never leave the house without? Water and awareness of where I’m going in this life.
Where are your favorite places to experience? The Hangover Trail here in Sedona, and the parking lot at Natural Grocers, where I almost always encounter a good friend or two.
What are the first three words that come to your mind when someone says: “grounded” or “connected?” Yogi, Muladhara, Santosha
We want to know what your typical morning looks like! What does your daily practice look like? 20 minutes of seated meditation followed by asana flow as inspirted, or a yin sequence for specific meridians as needed. Checking in with my gratitude list to close.
What is one mantra that is like a remedy for your soul? Om, Gum, Ganapataye Namaha seems to cover every situation. Asato Ma is my prayer.
How do you channel your inner 5 year old? Marveling at nature and playing with my cats.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself. I lived through the 1960s. And I remember most of it.
What is your favorite pose to teach in your classes? And why? Balancing Half Moon – most of my students never dream they can do it when they see a demo, but actually manage it quite easily. The balancing in the pose is actually the sun and moon aspects of Hatha yoga brought together perfectly in one pose, not just the aspect of balancing on one leg. The exhilaration of completing the pose, the inversion and extension of all the limbs is balanced with the moon aspect of grounding into the earth with both leg and arm, and feeling supported in a way we don’t usually access in daily life.
If you’re not on a yoga mat, where can we find you? Working with clients one-on-one in CranioSacral sessions or teaching meditation.