Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yoga Playlist: Hip Hop Class

I had such a great time putting this playlist together, and I hope the music made for a fun class.  Below are the playlist details, including some Spotify -- oh, the wonders of Spotify!! -- links, which should allow you to listen to most of the songs.  I've put an asterisk next to the songs that aren't currently available on Spotify.  (It's a shame they're not; Sweatshop Union and Collective Efforts are two of my favorites.)

Class Playlist:
  • Be, by Common
  • Definition, by Black Star
  • Identity Cards (feat. Luckyiam), by Grieves
  • Passin' Me By, by The Pharcyde
  • Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys), by Jay-Z
  • Here I Come, by The Roots
  • Remember the Name, by Fort Minor
  • Big Pimpin'/Papercut, by Linkin Park & Jay-Z
  • As We Enter, by Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
  • Timelines, by Sweatshop Union*
  • Another Day, by Crown City Rockers
  • Puppets, by Atmosphere
  • Ghetto Rock, by Mos Def
  • Strugglin', by K'naan
  • Check the Rhime, by A Tribe Called Quest
  • Made in America, by Kanye West & Jay-Z
  • Let It Alone (feat. Manchild), by Collective Efforts*
(Click here to listen to most of the above songs on Spotify.)

Pre- and Post-class Playlist:
  • What's Hardcore?, by K'naan
  • Moment of Clarity, by Jay-Z
  • Like Toy Soldiers, by Eminem
  • Seasons, by Collective Efforts*
  • Quiet Dog, by Mos Def
  • Listen!!!, by Talib Kweli
  • On the Rocks, by Grieves
  • 100% Dundee, by The Roots
  • The Thing About It, by Sweatshop Union*
  • Doo Wop (That Thing), by Lauryn Hill
(Click here to listen to most of the above songs on Spotify.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yoga Creates Fertile Ground

This week in my classes I'm talking about something that David Swenson shared during a panel at this past fall's Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park.  (If you ever have the opportunity to study with David Swenson, take that opportunity!  He is amazing, down-to-earth, funny, and very practical.  Click here to read about a workshop I took with him in 2010.)

During the panel, the subject of yoga practitioners and egos came up.  Swenson said (and I'm paraphrasing here based on some notes I took) that yoga creates fertile ground.  The more you practice, the more fertile it is.  So you have to be careful which seeds you plant -- if you plant an ego, you can grow an even bigger ego than normal.

This makes good sense to me, and of course this idea of fertile ground applies to more than just your ego.  This week I'm asking my students to determine what seeds they want to plant for their practice and then to set an intention around whatever they're working toward.  It can be anything at all -- the point is to be thoughtful about it and then to bring awareness to it.  And then practice!

Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory. 
~ K. Pattabhi Jois ~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yoga Playlist

Update: I've recently discovered the wonders of Spotify, so you can listen to most of this playlist by clicking here!  I think the only songs below that are not available on my Spotify playlist are those by Collective Efforts, Timmy Curran, and Sweatshop Union.

I've had some requests for this playlist as well - enjoy!

  • Infinity, by The XX
  • To Travels & Trunks, by Hey Marseilles 
  • Flower, by Moby 
  • Doin' Alright, by Collective Efforts 
  • I Know I'm Not Alone, by Michael Franti & Spearhead 
  • Forever, by Timmy Curran 
  • I Follow Rivers, by Lykke Li
  • Hit the Wall, by Sweatshop Union 
  • Young Blood, by The Naked and Famous 
  • Animal, by Miike Snow 
  • Kill Your Heroes, by AWOLNATION (these guys have really grown on me)
  • Where's the Love, by Trevor Hall 
  • All the Same to Me, by Lucero 
  • Green Gloves, by The National 
  • Lucky Now, by Ryan Adams 
  • The Poet, by Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses (please, please, please come to Denver soon)
  • Monster Ballads, by Josh Ritter

Yoga Playlist: Sons of Anarchy-inspired

I've had many students ask me to send them the below playlist, so I thought I'd post it.  I watched seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Sons of Anarchy in a span of just a few months, and I found myself a little obsessed with the music on the show. 

This playlist was merely inspired by the show; not all of these songs or artists have been featured on SOA.  Enjoy!

UpdateClick here to listen to most of the below songs on Spotify.

  • Gula Gula, by Mai Boine   
  • Blood Bank, by Bon Iver 
  • In the Future, by Bushwalla (I found this song via Weeds)
  • Crabbuckit, by K-OS
  • For You, by Matisyahu 
  • Girl from the North Country, by the Lions (it is impossible to get tired of this song)
  • I Can Breathe Again, by Baywood (I think we may be looking at a one-hit wonder here, but it's a good one)
  • Hey Mama, by Mat Kearney
  • Manhattan, by Kings of Leon 
  • Sorrow, by The National 
  • The Dream (feat. Senor Kaos), by Collective Efforts 
  • Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise, by The Avett Brothers
  • Burn This Town, by Battleme
  • White Daisy Passing, by Rocky Votolato 
  • Where Dirt and Water Collide, by The White Buffalo 
  • Hey Hey, My My, by Battleme 
  • All My Days, by Alexi Murdoch

Other great songs played on the show (and there are many!) but maybe not so suitable for a yoga playlist:
  • Burn It Down, by AWOLNATION
  • Family, by Noah Gunderson
  • Coal War, by Joshua James
  • Mary, by Patty Griffin
  • Shiny Eyes, by Flatfoot 56
  • John the Revelator, by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Year, Go Big!

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.
~Pema Chodron~

Happy New Year!  I was privileged to start the new year doing one of my most favorite things - guiding a class filled with awesome, dedicated yogis.  As my mom says every year, this is going to be a good year :)

In this morning's class, I shared some information from Yoga Journal about abhyasaSally Kempton talks about abhyasa in a great article called "Navigating Change," which was in the October 2011 issue.  She explains:

The very heart of the practice of yoga is abhyasa - steady effort in the direction you want to go.

I love this.  It beautifully explains what we're doing on the yoga mat each of those moments we're there, and it's a terrific way to think about life off the mat.  I've been thinking a lot lately about living with intention and setting goals, both short- and long-term, that are based on my values and what I hope to contribute to this world.  I like the idea of setting goals and then working to make "steady effort in the direction you want to go." 

Kempton goes on to explain that, once you've decided what sort of change you want to make in your life, "it's crucial to take action."  Then, " you take your first small steps, you'll usually find that each step leads to another and that opportunities begin to show up in response."  I love this too, and I've found it to be true.

So why not set a bold goal for yourself this year?  Do something that takes courage.  Do something you've been saying you'll do "someday."  Then take action and begin to put forth "steady effort in the direction you want to go."  You do this on your mat all the time!  This year, go big!  Throw yourself out of the nest!


P.S. If you're interested in learning more about abhyasa, I also highly recommend the article, "Hot Buddha, Cold Buddha," by Judith Hanson Lasater, which is available at Yoga Journal online.