Recently, while driving to teach an evening prenatal yoga class, I was listening to the radio in my car, and ACDC’s You Shook Me All Night Long was streaming across the airwaves. I was never a huge ACDC fan back in the day, but there was always something about that song for me. The next thing I knew, the sun-roof was open, the windows were down, and the volume was cranked as high as it could go. Singing along, my hair flowing in the wind, I flew down the road giving a show to curious passersby. When I walked into class my hair was windblown, my face was flushed and I sported a huge smile. I’m sure more than one of my students wondered with a raised eyebrow whether I was exhibiting the signs of post-coital bliss. Not quite, but very close.
I then found myself explaining to my pregnant students how oftentimes, as motherhood looms and encompasses our lives, we tend to lose touch with the other aspects of ourselves. So much of our time and energy go to our babies. Yet it is crucial that we maintain and cultivate all of the aspects of who we are because it is from our own self-care and cultivation that our children learn their sense of self-discovery. Not only that but in the extreme, we as mothers may begin to harbor resentment toward our children as we wake up ohne day and wonder who the heck we’ve turned into.
Later that evening, I remembered that once upon a time I was incredibly passionate about music. Some might have even called me a music buff. I will just say I loved it. It was not just spiritually uplifting music, but everything from jazz, classical, alternative, rock, soul, pop electronica, reggae, dance, and folk. You name it, I was into it. I have a collection, now dusty, of over 2000 CDs and a library of over 1500 songs on my iPod.
I would spend time listening to public radio discovering new music, and when I heard songs that I liked I would call in, and then go out and buy the album. I would spend hours at Virgin and Aron’s records. I was that girl at the dance clubs who was always pestering the DJ about the tracks he played. It was more than a hobby, it was a love affair. I look back now and realize that music wove itself into my experience of life, creating a soundtrack to my past, much as if I were living in a movie.
Yesterday someone asked me if life changes when you have a baby. I told her, “yes, completely.” “For the better?” she inquired. “Absolutely,” I shared. And it’s true, it has and it continues to change every day as it should, with or without a baby. It would be accurate to say I no longer have the time to explore much music on my own. Most of my music research these days is in children’s music for my daughter. There is an entire universe of kiddie tunes. I had no idea, and although it is fun and I am slowly learning all the lyrics, I have to say I am beginning to miss that “old” part of me – the music chick.
So as of late, I have been rediscovering music through yoga. In many circles of yoga philosophy, New Age tunes are the norm. In Kundalini Yoga the rule is that anything spiritually uplifting is suitable. In other schools of yoga, there seems to be a mix of combining the old with the new.
A couple of years ago I was attending a class taught by Sara Ivanhoe in Los Angeles. The norm there was everything from Krishna Das to Salt-n-Pepa; it was fun and it worked. An eclectic playlist can become part of a teacher’s distinguishing teaching style. There are even some teachers who have published CDs of their favorite yoga tunes.
I recently attended a class taught by David Romanelli, who teaches a traditional Vinyasa Flow class to music like The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Doing Sun Salutations to the sound of these classic artists infused the practice with a fresh sense of fun and exhilaration. David says that “it’s my way of adding my passion to the practice.” These words spoke to me and to my desire to reconnect with those parts of me that seemed to have been buried under diapers and wooden blocks. The time under his instruction was a sensory release, and that is exactly what he intends.
I thought to myself, “I could really get used to this.” True, my time and energy are now redirected, but I do not have to neglect those aspects of myself, my deep-rooted love for music, and self-discovery through music. I am a mom and a yogi. Why not blend my love of yoga with my love for music? I can picture myself studio hoping to check out the different bands just the way I once club hopped.