yoga and pop music

Supposed former infatuation junkie is the fourth album by singer-songwriter, Alanis Morissette. It followed her global smash, Jagged Little Pill and is brash, brave and completely inspiring. Most of the tracks follow the path of Morissette’s spiritual journey into an eastern way of thinking. It explores both light and dark sides of ones spiritual endeavors and provokes much thought for the listener. The album cover alone showed this album was going to be very different to its predecessor and remained a mystery to many. Its image of Alanis’s mouth covered by text turns out to be text from, The Eight Precepts of Buddhism.

I have chosen two tracks which give opposing views of a spiritual path had by Alanis whilst travelling to India. If you practice yoga, these tracks I am sure will speak volumes to you.

Baba (meaning father in Hindi) sounds angry, both lyrically and musically. The protagonist of the song tells us of a frenzied world of lemming-type spirituals, flocking to a guru’s ashram of absolution. She (Alanis) seems to be the outsider, the one looking in and asking the questions when nobody else is and seems completely jaded by the promise of enlightenment. There is a clear resentment in the lyrics towards the ”˜Baba’ in question- the guru of power and status. The song really explores the journey and sacrifice one must take to undertake an enlightened path. ”˜How long will this take baba?‘ she asks. ”˜How much longer till you completely adore me?’ ”¦..Ring any bells with any yoga students or teachers out there?

This song must have certainly been written by the artist at an early stage of spiritual evolution. I can’t help conjurer up images of a lost western woman in an ashram, thinking ”˜what am I doing here with all these crazy people and who does this baba think he is, god?’ How many of us have thought the same way about your own yoga journey? We all know what it feels like to become impatient and have doubts about our practice and sadhana (spiritual journey). Hopefully we all have learnt that practice, acceptance and letting go are blessings which lead us a greater understanding. I said hopefully 🙂

Thank u is all about letting go, acceptance, gratitude and peace with the self (atman). The beats and twinkling chimes are perfect for a sun salutation or two, and the vocals are extremely beautiful and uplifting.
Each line in the verses of the song begins with ‘how about’ – How about these things, are they so bad? Is it really a bad thing to cry your eyes unashamedly, to forgive and forget and to stop over-eating? These lyrics are offerings, not a dictation – again Alanis is trying to provoke thoughts in the mind of her listeners.
This song is more reflective than the earlier track Baba, and is surely written at a latter stage of her journey – its seems now she gets it – the very thing she was questioning so much earlier on in the album. Many people I talk to about their practice of yoga experience the same thing; an unfolding, a self-realization, peace. It’s clear those things can only happen through practice and surrendering. 
‘The moment I jumped off of it, was the moment I touched down’, is a beautiful metaphor for getting over your ego, off your pedestal and becoming grounded. The chorus is lead by much gratitude to India and for things we often take for granted, such as just being silent and having time for reflection. It now time to be thankful for those things that aren’t material, they come from within, from you and your connection with the universe.

I conclude this review with my personal favorite line from the song as I feel it packs a punch and will get any skeptic thinking; ‘How about no longer being masochistic and remembering your divinity’! 

With that knowledge the possibilities are infinite. I hope you give the album a listen and that it brings you the same light it did for me.

*Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie by Alanis Morisette (1998) Label: Maverick
*Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morisette (1995) Label: Maverick.

Read next >> sound awakening