Several of my Prenatal Yoga students have asked me about my yoga class playlists or about particular songs on during class. A student of mine mentioned today that she would like to have some of the songs for during her birth.
Music can be such a great way to reconnect with the body during the painful and frustrating aspects of labor and childbirth. Not to mention something to keep you occupied through the potential hours of waiting. I recommend having quite a few playlists that you can change depending on the mood and space you’re in: a relaxing mix, a sensual mix (my lovely Prenatal yoga instructor Anne Phyfe of 8 Limbs highly recommends setting a similar mood to the one the baby was conceived in in order to give birth) and of course a mix with a lot of rhythm to get you going and breathing!
Here’s a few of my most recent playlists. Look for more coming soon!
Gentle Mix: Playlist 1
Suni-Ai (Listening Meditation) by Snatam Kaur from Shanti
You Can See Forever by Desert Dwellers from Down Temple Dub: Flames
Hey Ma Durga (Compassion) by Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band from Devaloka
Nomad by Niraj Chag from Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea
Let Your Heart Be Known Remix by Steve Gold from Let Your Heart Be Known
Loveland by Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbeck from Loveland
Remembrance by Various Artists from Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea
Flowing Mix: Playlist 2
Matriamah by Hans Christian from Slow Music for Yoga
Prana Shakti by Desert Dwellers from Down Temple Dub: Waves
Madrugada by Various Artists from Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea
Raga Hansadhwani by Ustad Usman Khan from Mystic India
Violet Violin (feat. Joanna Laczman) by Wojtek Urbanski from Freshly Composted 3 – Compost 300
Breathe Me (Ulrich Schnauss Remix) by Sia from Colour the Small One
Comtine D’Un Autre Ete: L’a… from the Amelie Soundtrack
Baba Hanuman by Steve Gold from So Much Magnificence
Mahadeva by Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbach from Music For Yoga and Other Joys
Tidal by Auburn Lull from Alone I Admire
Shabda – The Purity II by Rainer Tillman from Shavasana: White Swan Yoga Masters, Volume 3
Let Your Heart Be Known by Steve Gold from So Much Magnificence
Traditional Mix: Playlist 3
Sacred Works of Liberation by Lama Gyurme from Rain of Blessings: Vajra Chants
Sacred Stones by Sheila Chandra from Weaving My Ancestors Voices
Solar Spirit by Asiatronic from Asana 2: Moving Meditations
Narayanaya by Nada Shakti & Bruce Becvar from from Jiva Mukti
Baba Hanuman by Shantala from Sri
Jiva Mukti by Nada Shakti & Bruce Becvar from Jiva Mukti
Isha Vasyam by Nada Shakti & Bruce Becvar from Jiva Mukti
Breathing In by Shaman’s Dream from Breathing: Music for Meditation, Relaxation
Shanti (Peace Out) by MC Yogi from Elephant Power
In Ayurveda, we talk about the importance of eating for the seasons. In summer you eat cooling foods to bring down the internal body temperature and in fall and winter you seek out more warming foods to help keep your internal heat up. I find that as soon as fall rolls around I am ready to eat soups every day, which has lead me to get creative in the kitchen.
One of my favorite recipes is a curry lentil soup I developed a few years ago. It is super yummy, easy to make, and for those on a budget also quite affordable. This soup warms you up, fills you up and also makes great leftovers. I often take it to work for days after and will often add cooked rice the day after to make for a slightly different taste and consistency.
And just in case you were wondering about the health benefits…here’s an article in which researchers have linked curry to helping fight cancer.
So, here is the recipe. Have fun, enjoy, and if you’re super fiery (Pitta), I recommend leaving out the cayenne:
Megan’s Curry Lentil Tomato Soup
1 small to medium sized onion diced
4-5 garlic gloves diced
2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP oil (I use grapeseed, but you can use almost any mellow flavored oil)
1 large potato diced
3 carrots chopped
1 cup red lentils
5 cups veggie broth
1 large can diced tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted ones, they add flavor)
salt & pepper to taste
dash of cayenne if you want some spice
Chop onions and saute in oil for 8 minutes, until soft. Chop and add garlic, saute another 2 minutes. Add curry powder and a dash of salt. Saute 1-2 minutes. Chop and add potatoes and carrots, saute another 1-2 minutes. Then add 5 cups of broth and lentils. Bring to a boil and then simmer approximately 20 minutes or until veggies and lentils are soft. Add can of tomatoes including the liquid in the can. Add salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cayenne if you like. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.
When I first began seriously studying yoga I felt that there was a certain aspect of “playing by the rules” that was important to my practice. I studiously went to classes, spent time listening to teachers and focused seriously on my meditation practice. While there is certainly something to be said for the traditional “classroom” experience of yoga, off the mat yoga has become increasingly beneficial to my practice.
I have realized the importance in finding the yoga (and balance) in all things and as I have progressed over the years with my own practice, found myself more and more comfortable moving my practice to non traditional venues and having a lot more fun with it.
I have becoming increasingly attached to finding ways to practice outside. There is something incredibly potent about feeling the grass pressing into my palms in downward dog and the surge of energy that comes from doing a headstand on the bare earth. It certainly brings a new meaning to tree pose for me at times.