Sat Nam Kundalini Yoga Teachers,
Having a great selection of music that is organized on your iPod is one of the essentials that will help every new teacher increase the quality of what is offered in a Kundalini Yoga class. Spirit Voyage, iTunes, etc. are great resources to start collecting your favourites. Looking at other teachers’ iPods is the quickest way to start building your yoga music collection along with listening to what and how other teachers use music in their classes and writing down the name of the song and the artist you like.
Some teachers never play songs during a class (Yogi Bhajan rarely did during a yoga set) and some teachers play music all of the time. Remember we want to lead the students deeper into the experience of the kriya, relaxation and chant, so use your music with this in mind. Practice smooth handling of your iPod or laptop along with watching the students, the time, using a microphone (if applicable) and occasionally glancing down at any kriya notes you’ve made.
I like to organize my songs into playlists such as:
Various Aquarian Sadhana versions including mixing different artists for my own “custom” mixes.
Yoga Dance Mix – up tempo songs from Dev Suroop Kaur’s Kundalini Beat to Bangara.
Birthday Long Time Sunshine – On this Day (Short Version) – Hari Bhajan Kaur.
Closing Long Time Sunshine – Amrit Kirtan, Snatam Kaur.
Guru Ram Das Mix – I have about 3 1/2 hours of just Guru Ram Das chants including wonderful versions by Pritpal Singh - Santo Ram Das Sarovar Nika and Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur , Dev Suroop Kaur, and the version by Sangeet Kaur that Yogi Bhajan often cried upon hearing.
Gurbani Kirtan – from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
Jap Ji and Banis – daily Sikh prayers in multiple versions including a fast, slow, and tantric version of Jap Ji in Gurmuki (Guru Raj Kaur) and various English versions.
Lunch/Break/Mix – for lunches and breaks during workshops.
Although I rarely use music during a kriya up until the relaxation, on the occasions that I do I’ll organize a playlist for specific kriyas such as these two in your Aquarian Teacher Yoga Manual:
Rhythms of Gatka 1 – Pantra: exercise 1 & 2.
Ra Ma Da Sa – Snatam Kaur: exercise 4.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo – Snatam Kaur: relaxation.
Pituitary Gland Series
Jap Man Sat Nam – Snatam Kaur: exercises 4 thru 7 continuous.
Ong Sohung or Ra Ma Da Sa – Snatam Kaur: 8 & 9 continuous.
Aad Guray Nameh – Snatam Kaur: relaxation.
Last but not least consider learning an instrument – perhaps guitar or harmonium – and playing and singing live to your students. Your teaching career is long and you’ll get better over time. Simple Guru Ram Das Chants, The Longtime Sunshine Song and On This Day (Birthday Song) will go a long way in opening people’s hearts in your class – we all know the power and magic of live music!
Let me know if you find this useful and what you’ve added to your music and playlists that’s different from what I’ve listed.
With blessings and gratitude, Har-Prakash.