The Sound of Silence

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I mentioned in a yoga class once that I enjoy practising yoga to music, which didn’t receive a particularly favourable response. I was asked if I could truly connect with myself with such distractions, and wouldn’t it better to take a break from all the noise in the world? I could understand their point but I didn’t agree. Music has been an integral part of my life since I was born. My parents always had music or the radio on, and I too love listening to all kinds of music. To me, it can enhance a practise, especially if I’m feeling a little low or in need of calming down. The music, along with my practice, provides the inspiration I need to face challenges or just simply to relax.
So, what do I listen to? Well, I’m particularly fond of film scores and have often done a mean Virabhadrasana (Warrior) to Howard Shore’s wonderful Lord of the Rings soundtracks. If I’ve felt a little agitated and in need of a more fluid practice to calm me down, I have sometimes listened to Leftfield as I practise: the combination of beats and more chilled tracks is just the job. Yet, I also listen to more obvious ‘new age’ music which aids relaxation and helps me to think clearly. At times though, I just simply have the radio playing quietly in the background, which I don’t really pay attention to, but like the noise. Ah, yes, the noise.
Maybe those people in the class were right. We are not used to silence anymore; so full are our lives of music, overheard conversations, traffic, neighbours and ring tones that we are uncomfortable with the noise inside our heads. Is it a fear of what it would say if only we could hear it above the din? Maybe, yes.
As for me, I just love music and that extends to all facets of my life. Whether I’m studying, working, reading or writing, I like to have the radio/music on, so naturally that includes my yoga practice too. Whether it should, is another question entirely. Maybe I’ll experiment and see if I can get used to the sound of silence.
What about you? Do you like silence or sound when you take to your mat?

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