Tune up?

I love thinking about my practice almost as much as I love practicing. Corny, I guess, but it is where I am in my yogic journey. Today a conversation on Twitter amongst fellow yoginis (thanks Sonia, Maria and Faern!) got me thinking...

Why do I practice (and teach) in silence?

I know that music in yoga classes has gotten really popular. I love music -- heck, way back when I was a singer, I spent hours in practice rooms trying to sound good. Never enough hours, though, I guess... But I digress.

In yoga, I find music distracting. If I'm teaching, it distracts me from the students in front of me, the theme and sequence I've developed for the class and from the mindfulness I like to demonstrate in setting up and holding poses. Music makes me want to sing along or keep the beat or sway, but I don't find this helps my yoga. If I'm practicing, music distracts me from my focus on exploring sequence, alignment, breath -- from finding my steady, comfortable pose and from trying new ones.

But I've written before about how much I love chanting. I utilize chant in all of my classes -- to open and close. I find it particularly moving -- especially in my prenatal classes -- to have all those voices unite in honoring their practice, thus deepening it. I have secretly wanted to teach a class with chanting throughout. I listen to loads of yoga music, but off the mat -- in the car, the kitchen, the laundry room. I somehow have this compartmentalized in my practice.

My asana practice for me is about focusing in on my breath -- the sound of me -- breathing -- being -- as I move. It is a break from the din of motherhood -- the constant noise of my beloved toddlers being toddlers. It is about being with myself (as uncomfortable as that may be sometimes...) and honoring the divine in me, in the room and people around me, and in the universe beyond us all. Somehow I haven't found a way to do that to a soundtrack. I know I'm going to get hate mail on this one, but I just don't want to hear anything as I find my Trikonasana. I want to hear Trikonasana.

Part of it, I suppose, is that my teachers don't use music and so as the lineage goes, neither do I. Purists? Perhaps. I'm not sure I want to pin that one on myself at this early stage in my yoga life. I'm going to have to think and listen more about this -- I love the idea of yoga-ing in different ways. This is obviously an opportunity for me.

Maybe I need to tune up. What do you think? What do you like to listen to as your practice unfolds?