Need a new yoga music playlist for your class or home practice? So many Yoga International members have answered this question with a resounding “Yes!” that we asked White Swan Records, the number one yoga music label in the U.S., to curate a 75-minute playlist for you on Spotify.
Perfect for a winding-down routine or a heart-centered practice, the playlist will take you on a sonic journey through a variety of musical styles—celebrating the divine feminine, devotion to Hanuman, and the warrior spirit of Rama. Upbeat tunes that’ll have you dancing are sandwiched between some of the most meditative and centering songs of the past year.
Haunting. Soothing. Otherworldly. This describes the opening mantra of White Swan’s playlist, sung by bhakti troubadour Benjy Wertheimer of Shantala. If your mind is wandering when you start your practice, this song will stop you in your tracks.
According to mantra music superstar Deva Premal, “Om Sahana Vavatu” is a mantra from the Taittiriya Upanishad that is “traditionally chanted at the beginning of a class or a shared time between a teacher/guru and student/disciple. It is all about the power of joining together—in life, in study, and in harmony.”
On this live concert track, Deva’s angelic vocals are accompanied by the subtle droning of the tanpura—that is, until the several thousand people in the audience raise their voices with hers for the closing chant, “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” (“Om Peace, Peace, Peace”).
The Hanuman Chalisa is a 40-verse chant that glorifies Hanuman, the monkey god from the famed Indian epic The Ramayana. Govind Das & Radha breathe new life into the chant with reggae-infused guitars, keyboard, drum kit, and “a whole lot of neat digital sounds and effects,” says kirtan artist and bhakti yoga teacher Govind Das.
“By praising Hanuman, we invite, invoke, and revive the great yogic qualities of love, faith, courage, service, and devotion into our lives,” he adds.
“‘Srimati Radharani’ is a chant that honors and adores the sacred feminine,” says Radharani, a kirtan artist based in New York’s Hudson Valley. Srimati means “the possessor of all abundance, brilliance, and divine effulgence”; Radha is Krishna’s beloved, and rani means “queen.”
On the surface, she says, her touching rendition of the song is a repetition of sacred names of the divine feminine. But “below the surface, it is swimming and basking in mystic feelings and revelations.”
The tempo of the playlist picks up with this East-West fusion ode to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Who knows…it may well inspire you to groove.
Now the music gets funkier. This track features a “hard midtempo driving dance rhythm” that EarthRise SoundSystem imagined would “match the intensity of what Rama might have experienced on his epic quest to save Sita” in The Ramayana, says band member Derek Beres.
Another upbeat danceable track—with soul. It’s got great rhythm, elements of Indian pop, digital effects, and world music maestro Manish Vyas’s haunting vocals.
“Shivo Hum” downshifts the playlist (and your practice) into a mellower mode. New Age music maven Paul Avgerinos provides an Indian-inspired aural backdrop, and his harmonic vocals resonate in the heart center.
Singer-songwriter and yoga music superstar Miten wrote this intimate all-acoustic song as “a reminder of the Zen principle that there is ‘no goal but the path.’” The message of the song, he says, is that “it’s easy to get lost in the ever-churning mind, the future, and the past.” But when you pay attention to “the simple joys of life, things ease off a little—we breathe easier, we relax, we stroll, we smell the roses.”
Miten’s partner, Deva Premal, chants a gorgeous mantra interlude, while his own profound vocals and guitar (and Joby Baker’s piano and percussion) strike the perfect balance between mellow and uplifting.
“Breathe Deep” is like a mini-musical satsang with yoga hip-hop artist MC Yogi. He’ll coax you through your practice with lines like “Steady your breath to steady the mind. Keep breathing till I feel the light shine. Breathe Deep. Deep Breath.”
Inspired by the yoga music of North India, musician-composer Stevin McNamara induces a feeling of rest and peace in this gorgeous tune, which blends his own “world-raga acoustic guitar music” with sound healer Christo Pellani’s Tibetan singing bowls, bells, chimes, and crystal bowls—all rendered in a moody, minor key.
The New Age soundscapes in this song will prime you for the sweetest savasana.
Soulful, tender, and surrendered, this mantra-and-pop-music mashup can be used to send healing to yourself or to friends or family, says singer Katie Wise. The healing Kundalini Yoga chant “Ra Ma Da Sa” blends perfectly with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” she observes, which “is a song I like to sing when I’m feeling pain about the human condition.” But on this track “it’s combined with the medicine of mantra.” It’s a great song with which to end your yoga practice, helping you to center your awareness in the heart.