Conquering musical anxiety one playlist at a time

Up until this morning, I wanted to write about my musical anxiety, which has not eased up. I've been suffering from extreme bouts of despair about music in class. Ever since I received feedback on music, I have been obsessively fiddling with playlists, hijacking other teachers' ipods to look at their lists (how do they all have dozens of lists?) and feeling a little panicky.

But then I read a quote from San Francisco teacher Janet Stone, whom I adore. She told Yoga Journal that a song doesn't have to be uplifting or happy. "It just has to be moving." I totally dig that idea. I'm not really confident about ramping up the tempo of class with music yet. I also teach mostly at the crack of dawn or intro classes, and a driving beat doesn't make sense. I am settling into the idea that even songs with depressing lyrics can work if the tone and energy of the music is right.

So I changed my approach and this week created a new playlist with artists I had previously rejected for sad lyrics: Ray LaMontagne, Roddy Woomble, The Reindeer Section and Sufjan Stevens. And call me crazy, but I had the best class yet this morning. I subbed for another teacher at 6:15 a.m. and the class of 17 included students who were new to me. I accidentally omitted all balancing poses, so added deeper hip work, and the mellow music seemed to blend perfectly with the early morning mood. Something worked wonders because I got more positive comments today than I ever have, including "excellent class" and regulars asking when else I teach. *Blush.* People, we have progress! It is all kinds of awesome to hear that people actually want more of something I already love to do. Current mood? Happy.

The playlist:
Hold You In My Arms, Ray LaMontagne
Every Line of a Long Moment, Roddy Woomble
Cartwheels, The Reindeer Section
To Be Alone With You, Sufjan Stevens
White Daisy Passing, Rocky Votolato
Heartbeats, Jose Gonzalez
Breathe, Alexi Murdoch


lookrichbitch said...

Yay! So proud of you! At least you're not blasting the tunes during savasana! FTW!

kale kim said...

That's great! When you're in a happy place, you spread the love. Hurray!

Phboyd said...

Hooray! So glad to hear it. I'm so happy and proud of you.

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