Gentle Yoga Adieu, a playlist

color yoga seated

It has been my pleasure and privilege to guide the practice of the Gentle Yoga students at Weinstein JCC the past two years. The moment is ripe for a new phase in my life. I leave this group to the capable hands of a new teacher and will cherish my memories of them. My last session with them will be June 22. Namaste, m’dears!

“Three Little Birds”                                    Bob Marley

“Summertime Is In Our Hands”               Michael Franti

“The Way I Am”                                          Ingrid Michaelson

“What A Wonderful World”                     Louis Armstrong

“Blue Skies”                                                 Willie Nelson

“Chan Chan”                                         Buena Vista Social Club

“Gaucho”                                               Gustavo Santaolalla

“How Far I’ll Go”                                 Auli’i Cravalho

“Golden Years”                                           David Bowie

“Love Never Wasted”                                Howard Jones

“We May Never Pass This Way Again”  Seals & Crofts

“Makeda”                                                     Les Nubians

“Luna De Fiesta”                                       Jose Luis Encinas

“Just A Cloud Away”                                Pharrell Williams

“Set The Tigers Free”                               Villagers

“Song For The Asking”                            Simon & Garfunkel

“Desert Sketch”                                        Frederic Hand

“Nocture No. 2 Op 9, E Flat Major”     Frederic Chopin


Balmy Nights Playlist


Peaceful, dreamy, contemplative. Gentle tunes for a gentle practice of yoga on a balmy night. All songs available on iTunes.

“When the Darkness Comes”              Colbie Caillat

“Ses Mains Tremblant Encore”     Sylvain Chauveau

“Mon Couer S’ouvre A Ta Voix”   Camille Saint-Saens

“Simple Gifts”                                  Frederic Hand

“Butterfly Waltz”   Most Beautiful Piano Wedding Music

“Dear Theodosia”                         from “Hamilton”

“Latika’s Theme”          Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack

“Down to Earth”                            Peter Gabriel

“Hallelujah”                  Vitamin String Quartet

“Sweet Davila”                              Demouche

“I’d Go Back If I Could”                Chris Thile

“Sadness and Sorrow”                 Piano Squall

“Rainbow Connection”    Weezer & Hayley Williams

“Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14”  Lawrence Foster

“Adagio for Strings”           Samuel Barber

“Plaisir d’Amour”         Jean-Paul-Egide Martini

Yoga Fitness: Take Me Higher Playlist


For a high energy yoga flow or power yoga practice, this playlist gets the blood flowing and the endorphins soaring. I first pulled it together as a playlist for my running called “Runner’s High.” I use it in a group class I teach that is about half bodyweight strength training and half yoga poses. Fun to dance to, as well. Enjoy!

“Worth It”                                                          Fifth Harmony

“Shape of You”                                                  Ed Sheeran

“Chained to the Rhythm”                                Katy Perry

“Hold My Heart”                                               Lindsey Stirling

“Man Like That”                                                Gin Wigmore

“Freedom! ’90”                                                   George Michael

“Me Too”                                                              Meghan Trainor

“Bang Bang”                        Jesse J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj

“Rebel Rebel”                      David Bowie (2016 Remastered)

“Suffragette City”               David Bowie (2012 Remastered)

“Billie Jean (cover version)”       Acoustic Tribute Band

“Send My Love”                                                   Adele

“You Need Love Like I Do”           Gladys Knight & The Pips

“Forget”                                                                Pogo

** Followed by one or two slow songs for a brief Savasana (relaxation pose).

***If you want to have a playlist for a long run, I also use these songs to create a peppy groove for cranking out the miles.

“It Don’t Mean A Thing”  Lionel Hampton, Electro Swing Vol 4

“Freaks Orchestra”                                            The Noisy Freaks

“The Trouble”                                                      Pogo

“Tattoos”                                                              Caravan Palace

“Wonderland”                                                     Caravan Palace

“Hyperactive!”                                                     Thomas Dolby

“A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody”   Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock

Emerald Yoga: St. Patrick’s Day Playlist


It is no huge deductive leap to look at me and suppose that I observe St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, as a celebration of my people. And, I don’t mean “Beer-Truck Saturday,” which Richmond used last weekend as an excuse to get sloshed in plastic, green derbies and cheap bead necklaces. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉 Slainte!

For this week’s Gentle Yoga class, I built an Erin Go Bragh playlist that lifts the spirits and soothes. Had to leave out the countless jigs and reels available, as well as more rocking, martial offerings such as U2’s “Bloody Sunday.” All songs are available for download on iTunes and probably elsewhere, if you take my meaning. Angelic voices, harps, flutes, some Gaelic indecipherable to the American ear and even a recitation of a William Butler Yeats poem. (Apologies that I cannot work out how to get proper accent marks on the Gaelic.)

“The Stolen Child”                                       The Waterboys

“She Moved Through The Fair”                     Sheoda

“The Foggy Dew”     The Chieftains & Sinead O’Connor

“Boadicea”                                                         Enya

“Smaoinim”                                                      Enya

“Siuil a Run”                                                     Lisa Kelly

“Danny Boy”                       James Galway & The Chieftains

“Linger”                                                             The Cranberries

“October”                                                           U2

“Chasing Cars”                                                 Snow Patrol

“Port na bPucai”                                              Triona Marshall

“Irish Harp”                                                      Wellness Chillout

“Sally Gardens”                                  Celtic Harp Soundscapes

“The Parting Glass”                           UCD Choral Scholars

Yoga Tunes for Winter Mood

Switching up the playlist enlivens a yoga practice, I believe. Students request it! Below is my latest playlist, created for a Gentle Yoga class, themed to the season. All songs available on iTunes. Happy Holidays and stay warm!

“Song for a Winter’s Night”             Sarah McLachlan

“Winter Birds”                                      Ray LaMontagne

“California Dreamin'”                    Diana Krall

“Let It Snow”                                   Straight No Chaser

“Concordia”                                           Yo-Yo Ma

“A Christmas Jig”                                Yo-Yo Ma

“Linus and Lucy”                          Vince Guaraldi Trio

“Bashanah”                                       The Hanukkah Players

“Gaudete”                                            Celtic Thunder

“A Hazy Shade of Winter”           Simon & Garfunkel

“Chasing Cars”                                 Snow Patrol

“Sigapo”                                            Beit Habubot

“Cinema Paradiso”                       Itzhak Perlman

“Yored Ha’Erev”                        The Idan Raichel Project

“Neverland (Piano variations)” Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

“Lullaby”                                      George Winston

“Count Your Blessings”           Diana Krall



We have weathered a stormy, contentious year on the political scene. Whatever side of the aisle you stand on or whether you feel adrift in the middle, it has been difficult. My Gentle Yoga class tonight is held in a gym & community center that is also a polling place for voting. I created the playlist below to soothe nerves and generate positive vibes for my students. May the good feelings flood the building! And when the final votes are counted, may we all remember we are in this together, all Americans.

Tonight’s gentle, mindful flow will focus on releasing tension in the chest/heart and throat/voice. Most of us hold onto significant stress in these areas. Chest-opening poses (asanas) help to relieve the tension of overwork at desks/computers, the forward hunch that is a physical manifestation of worry or loss, and the inner ache of powerful feelings such as lack of love and connection or an overflow of negativity. Throat-opening poses help alleviate the tension of neck, jaw and base of skull that come both from a forward-jutting posture (computers & phones) and the clenching that arises from anger, tension or the repression of speech. Emotionally, sometimes people carry a lot of tightness in the throat area if they feel it is not safe to speak their truth or that it will never be heard, so why bother.

Chest Opening poses include Upward Facing Dog, Cobra, Sphinx, Locust, Standing Camel or Kneeling Camel (pictured above), Humble Warrior, Crescent Lunge, Fish (recommended in restorative form with blocks or a rolled mat for most people), Bow or Upward Facing Bow or Side-lying Bow, Cow, Lord of the Dance and Wild Thing. Forward folds and shoulder stretches can also be beneficial to the heart chakra.

Of benefit to the throat are Camel (again), Fish (supported & restorative), Bridge, Shoulder-stand (supported) and Plow (although I seldom teach it because of the risk to the cervical spine).

I hope you will find the playlist below both soothing and uplifting. (Songs from iTunes.)

“Winter Winds”                                           Yoga Pop Ups

“Air On A G String”                                     Tiempo Libre

“As”                                                                  Stevie Wonder

“Life Is Better With You”                           Michael Franti

“Stand By You”                                              Rachel Platten

“Peace Train”                                                 Cat Stevens

“Imagine”                                                       Etta James

“You’ve Got A Friend”                                Owen Richards

“Together”                                                      Demi Lovato

“Dream A Little Dream Of Me”                  Yiruma

“Blackbird”                                                      Sarah McLachlan

“Somewhere Only We Know”                     Lily Allen

“Here Comes The Sun”                                 The Beatles

“I Won’t Give Up”                                           Jason Mraz

“Up To The Mountain”                                  Patty Griffin

“Meditation (from Thais)”                             Lawrence Foster

“Sayuri’s Theme”                                             John Williams

“Across The Universe”                  Vitamin String Quartet

“The Cave”                                                         Yoga Pop Ups

***Photo credit: Jimmie Ransom

LUV Yoga – Songs for Gentle Practice

For me, everything is better with music! The following songs are in my ear for a gentle, mindful yoga  practice of about an hour  and 20 minutes — from the class filing in and setting up, through warm-up, flow and into savasana (final relaxation). I found them all on iTunes. Namaste!

“I Can See Clearly Now”                         Jimmy Cliff

“Good To Be Alive Today”                      Michael Franti

“Life Is Better With You”                       Michael Franti

“Ritual Mystical”                                    MC YOGI

“Hypnopedie”                                          Bebo Best

“Om Mane Padme Hum”                      Marti Nikko & DJ Drez

“Flying With You”                                   MC YOGI

“Free Spirit”                                              Budi Siebert

“Just A Song Before I Go”                      Crosby, Stills & Nash

“Rain”                                                          Jesse Cook

“Differente”                                               Gotan Project

“I’m Not Drowning”                               Steve Winwood

“Falling Into You” Karma Chill Mix    Devon Haines: Viva Beats

“Lakshmi”                                                  Girish

“Hidden Door”                                           Adam Hurst

“Priya (Beloved)”          Michael Mandrell & Benjy Wertheimer

“Thai Chill”                                                 Ethereal Moments

“Change The World”                                Eric Clapton

“Stars In The Sky”                                    Rainforest Lullabies