Yoga Music Pick #5

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Yoga

Okay, I get it; ‘waves are coming in’, ‘there is much magnificence near the ocean’, and there is oodles of ‘sheema’ to go around, but I don’t care to hear about it during every yoga session, thanks. Now I don’t want to come off as a total curmudgeon here or anything, but these particular New Age yoga staples do nothing to help me focus and enjoy my practice.  In fact, they drive me up the wall.  Likewise, if I have to hear another 70 minutes of Gregorian chanting I’m going to shit during my shavasana, so to speak.  What’s a budding yogi to do?

Where I can appreciate something ethereal and introspective to assist you directing your focus inward, I still prefer to hear something, well, more ‘hip’.  Dig what I’m sayin’, homeslice?  And who is more hip than Miles Davis?  You could really take any Miles Davis album (Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, ‘On Every Corner, et al.) and it would probably work perfectly, but I chose to dig out my vinyl copy of his ‘A Tribute to Jack Johnson’ album.  Fortunately, I have a USB turntable so I can easily add it to my iTunes for future listening during my stretching sessions at the gym after my Brick workouts.  Where it may be a little more raucous than you might be accustomed to during your practice, it sure helps me ‘find my center’, or ‘align my chi’, or whatever it is you do in yoga.

Originally conceived as the soundtrack to the 1970 movie ‘The Great White Hope starring a young James Earl Jones, this album is divided into just two tracks: ‘Right Off’ and ‘Yesternow’, both of which are totally mind blowing.  I mean, with such notable musical superstars such as Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea – how could it now, right?  Shit, this album was practically made for the structured, yet spontaneous nature that I adore about yoga.

For some, this album might come across as straight ahead rock, with a sprinkling of jazz, then the moody second half almost reminds me of early Tangerine Dream.  Although a studio performance, it has always felt more like a live album, rich with improvisation and spontaneity.  I suppose this might be due to the loose atmosphere, never mind Hancock just coming in off the street to play the Hammond B-3, which leads to this largely atmospheric feel; it’s essentially a jam session. This album will always hold a special place in my heart and something I am now glad to add to my stock of preferred yoga soundtracks.

  1. insolent cur says:

    miles to go before i stretch… .

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