New Music in 2015

A view of the Seismic game
An upset of a winter, illustrated in a board game

It may not be a good sign if, when a friend asks you if you’ve run into any great new music for your yoga classes, you are completely stumped.

That said, my climbing buddy Josh did ask me this question right about when I was trying to prepare for teaching my very first Restorative Yoga class – as a substitute teacher. I normally teach Vinyasa, when for much of the class, stimulating and driving music is par for the course. I wanted to make sure I didn’t interrupt any healing that may have been going on for the students who dared to come to a class taught by a -gasp- sub. I had some good, nothing-in-English, flutes or strings music but I wasn’t sure I had a whole 90 minutes’ worth.

So, I went surf-shopping, and found some great new stuff.

I’ve been using some great other new stuff in my classes – and in my running – lately and I’d love to share these with you. Some were most excellent suggestions by various students (Adrienne, most recently but also Zoe, Art, Jessica and others) in my yoga classes.

In seemingly related news, I’m about seven weeks into my new job and I’m surprised to admit that it’s turned my world a little more topsy-turvy than I had expected. It’s weird, not being the person who has been there for 15 years. It’s a real challenge to my week, having a 30-minute (each way) commute, when for at least 8 years, my commute was a mere 5 minutes by car. It’s an adjustment, but a welcome one, not being the one person in charge of the look and feel of the optimal experience of a project, from beginning to end – to be a part of team that works together but also passes parts off to each other, at times. I opted in to this, to specialize, but I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was, to share in the responsibility. Music’s been … grounding through these changes.

Back to the music. Here is the stuff I’ve been digging – sometimes in my yoga class playlists, sometimes elsewhere – while cleaning house or going for a run. Enjoy!

  • Hindi Zahra’s Handmade. Ok I bought this nearly a year ago but I think Steve’s heard it playing in the house three times since and said HEY THAT’S GOOD!
  • Beck’s Morning Phase: a swing back into his Gordon Lightfoot mode. I love his funk mode, but this chill mode is so lovely and perfect for the first 5 or last 15 minutes of my yoga classes.
  • Fink’s Hard Believer. Thank you, Adrienne!
  • Rhiannon Giddens’ Tomorrow is my Turn. We saw her perform with Carolina Chocolate Drops a few years ago. More fabulous music!
  • The Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow. I have no idea how I found this but this album keeps coming back into rotation.
  • Dengue Fever’s The Deepest Lake: we are still emotionally processing our most excellent adventure in Cambodia in January 2014. This wonderful, versatile pop music is from there!
  • Haley Bonar’s Last War: I finally get why people like Haley. Yes, kinda 80s but also… some kind of wonderful. ‘Nuf said? (Yes, I loved the movie with that title)
  • The Rose Ensemble’s Fire of the Soul. My oh-so-musical family in Victoria introduced us to these people who are based mere miles from where we live in Minnesota. Rich, nearly-qualifies-as-ancient stuff for a track or two in yoga.
  • The Handsome Family’s Singing Bones. I fully admit to buying this because one song on it was used for the theme song to the “True Detective” TV show. But darn if a different song, “Song of a Hundred Toads,” hasn’t since become my favorite, maybe partly due to it being part of my soundtrack on the drive down to the Iowa Yoga Festival last October.

I did end up buying some new (to me) music in preparation for Sunday’s Restorative Yoga class. I ended up using none of it on that day, but I hope to integrate a few tracks into future classes:

Happy Monday, all. If you have musical suggestions for me, leave a comment here!

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