I’ve got music on my mind today. There’s a music only yoga class at Sacred on Sunday evenings, instruction at a minimum. It’s a standard Bikram-style sequence, so it works for anyone who’s taken a similar class before, and it is beautiful, a room full of people breathing together and moving silently and in sequence, adjustments to poses coming from within rather than from a teacher. Teachers are wonderful and insightful and irreplaceable, of course, but there’s a special kind of focus that comes from tapping into yourself for guidance, and the music can feel like magic.
Songs for the Sunday night class are usually based around a theme, singing along encouraged when the songs are familiar and call for such a thing. Tonight’s class was lovely, but there weren’t many opportunities to hum or mumble along, and I kind of missed it.
When I practice massage, I tend to keep the music pretty tame. No evocative sing-along songs, usually no lyrics at all, just relaxing songs to serve as part of the backdrop for your session. A fellow massage therapist had a great post about music the other day, in which she mentioned specifically avoiding “super-familiar, easily identifiable songs.” I tend to agree with this — unintentionally stirring up memories, whether good or bad, is not my goal. It can be distracting and can shift the mood, and I like to keep things nice and calm.
That said, sometimes you just want to hear your tunes. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a sing-along massage (singing through the face cradle sounds crazy awkward), you may have a particular song or album that puts you at ease. You may be soothed by Beck or Pink Floyd or Nina Simone; music from a particular era might make your heart feel glad. We all have our comforts. If there’s something you’d like to hear during your massage, you are welcome to bring it. I use an iPod dock, nice and simple, and you are welcome to replace my music with yours during your session if you’ve got tunes you want to hear and a compatible device. If that’s not your thing, I’ve got a nice ambient mix at the ready.