Happy Valentine’s Day Playlist

 

 This week I was splurging on one of my favorite bars, the Chocolate Peppermint Luna Bar, when I realized that they have quotes written on the wrapper!  Most of you know I LOVE quotes, but this quote was just perfect.  Perfect because Valentine’s Day was approaching over the weekend and I was having trouble deciding whether or not to do a Valentine’s theme for my Rock and Flow Power Yoga Class at Marin Power Yoga.   This was my answer.

YES!!!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be romantic as it is often thought to be.  Self-love.  Make yourself happy.  Isn’t that more important?

So I shared this quote with my class, then continued with an awesome playlist that had the word “love” in the title (that wasn’t hard… Probably could make 5 different playlists!!!).  Enjoy!

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Valentine’s 75 minute Playlist:

How Deep is Your Love – Beegees

That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s

Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players

The Power Of Love – Huey Lewis

Baby Love – The Supremes

Best of My Love – The Emotions

Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family

I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

All You Need is Love – The Beatles

It Must Have Been Love – Roxette

Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey

Endless Love – Diana Ross

Because I Love You – Stevie B

How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

The Greatest Love Of All – Whitney Houston

Learning to love yourself.  It is the greatest love of all.  ~Whitney Houston

Power Yoga Playlist – “Earth”

Earth-Day-CraftOn April 22nd each year, we celebrate Earth Day.  It is a great reminder to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!  A perfect example is observing the habits of my 3 year old daughter and realizing I have plenty of teachable moments to show her how we can be much kinder to the environment!

Example #1) After school while I cook dinner, she plays on her own and sometimes draws.  This week, I noticed that she had taken literally 5 sheets of white paper and scribbled a tiny bit on each page.  What a great lesson to teach her to REDUCE the number of pages and just use 1 paper until it is all filled up!

Example #2) My daughter’s school had a special Earth Day Celebration that included a petting zoo, music performance, face painting, art projects, and of course snacks.  They provided mini paper cups of lemonade for the kids to take.  My daughter finished her first cup and then threw it away, only to return to the snack table and grab a new cup.  No no, let’s REUSE our cup and ask the teacher to refill it with some more lemonade, right?

Example #3) Everyday after school, it is part of our daily routine when we arrive home to check the mail before entering the house.  Normally, my daughter takes everything out of the mailbox and gives it to me.  I decided to let her help me sort through “junk” mail and “important” mail this week, and she helped me RECYCLE the “junk” mail into our recycling bin.  Good job!

Earth Day is everyday!  But if anything, having a special day designated for Earth Day each year forces people like myself to take extra notice on how wasteful or hurtful we may be to the environment!  Every little bit matters…

For my Power Class this week, I made an Earth playlist.  To be honest, it was pretty hard finding upbeat songs about taking care of the Earth, but I came up with a decent list.  For my sequence this week, I am adding in as many standing balancing poses as I can.  We will be using our feet, our roots, to symbolize our connection with the ground and Earth below us just like the roots of a tree.  Enjoy!

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “Earth” (75 minutes)

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

1) “Earth Song,” by Michael Jackson, 6:46

Sun Salutations A & B:

2) “We Are Here,” by Alicia Keys, 4:44

3) “One Tribe,” by The Black Eyed Peas, 4:41

Standing Work Series:

4) “Give Love,” by MC Yogi, 3:40

5) “Paradise (On Earth),” by Cris Cab, 3:46

6) “On Top Of The World,” by Imagine Dragons, 3:10

7) “Earth From Outer Space,” by Michael Franti, 3:51

8) “Hall of Fame,” by The Script, 3:23

9) “Wavin’ Flag,” by K-Naan, 3:33

10) “We Will Shine,” by MC Yogi, 4:06

11) “One Day,” by Matisyahu, 3:28

Backbending / Core Work:

12) “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas, 4:33

13) “Everything Is Everything,” by Lauryn Hill, 4:53

14) “If You’re Out There,” by John Legend, 4:20

Hips / Deep Stretching:

15) “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, 5:08

16) “Gone,” by Jack Johnson, 2:08

17) “Imagine,” by John Lennon, 3:04

18) “What a Wonderful World,” by Celine Dion, 3:47

Savasana:

19) “So Much Magnificence,” by Deva Premal

*****

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves.”

~ John Muir

Power Yoga Playlist – “Cinco De Mayo”

Mexico-Musicians

What is the meaning behind Cinco De Mayo?  Many people (including myself), have wrongly thought that it is to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day.  However that holiday is really on September 16th.  Cinco De Mayo is actually a celebration of the Mexican army defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, even though they were outnumbered and were unlikely to win.  It is therefore a celebration about believing in the impossible and beating the odds.

Today I taught a Power Yoga class and wanted to do something different to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.   As much as I would have loved to turn my yoga class into a party with margaritas and tacos and dancing, I knew that wasn’t a possibility.  So I decided that at least the music for the class could be a party!  I compiled an upbeat playlist that includes various Hispanic or Latino musicians, and taught a faster vinyasa flow with a little bit more cardio elements such as donkey kicks.  After all, we were having a party right?  Hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do!

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “Cinco De Mayo”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

1) Oye Como Va,” by Santana, 4:18

2) “Escape,” by Enrique Iglesias, 3:28

Sun Salutations A & B:

3) “We Are One (Ole Ola),” by Pitbull, 3:42

4) “The Cup of Life,” by Ricky Martin, 4:37

Standing Work Series:

5) “Danza Kuduro,” by Don Omar and Lucenzo, 3:19

6) “Hips Don’t Lie,” by Shakira and Wyclef Jean, 3:38

7) “Gasolina – DJ Buddah Remix,” by Daddy Yankee, Lil Jon, and Pitbull, 4:43

8) “Guajira (I Love U 2 Much),” by Yerba Buena, 4:10

9) “Vivir Mi Vida,” by Marc Anthony, 4:11

10) “Whenever, Wherever,” by Shakira, 3:16

Backbending / Core Work:

11) “Bailando,” by Enrique Iglesias, 4:03

12) “Alejandro,” by Lady Gaga, 4:34

Hips / Deep Stretching:

13) “Senorita,” by Justin Timberlake, 4:55

14) “Sway,” by Michael Buble, 3:08

Savasana:

15) “Spanish Lullaby,” by Chill Out Music Academy, 4:11

*****

“Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.”

~ M. Scott Peck

*****

“We can help unite our communities and inspire them to be excited about the goal of building a culture of peace by celebrating together.”

~ Robert Alan Silverstein

*****

“While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life everyday, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.”

~ Mattie Stepanek

Power Yoga Playlist – “Everything Is OK”

Everything Is OK

I am a huge worrywart.  My husband can fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, whereas I stay up tossing and turning replaying events from the present day or stressing over my to-do list for the next day.  I worry about big things, like whether I am raising my daughter “right,” or when we will be able to find (or afford) a house to call “home.”  I worry the night before I have to teach class, even though I have taught many classes and know I have a music playlist and class theme prepared.  Then there are those why-am-I-stressing-about-this things like worrying about earthquakes or accidents happening.

We all have worries on our mind (some more than others), but most worries emerge over events that are in the future and are usually out of our control.  It is ok to worry, but not to the point that it consumes your mind and takes you out of the present moment.  If worry creates positive action, then that is productive and helpful.  However, if worry is over something that cannot be changed, then it is useless and should be let go of.  I, myself, am working on tackling my worries by acknowledging them when they arise, exhaling them away with a conscious effort, and replacing those worries with reminders that everything will turn out fine.  It is an active, and very deliberate, process that I am working on in my own life.

My playlist this week includes songs that remind us that everything is ok.  No matter what challenges life hands us, we need to let go of our worries and focus on everything in the present moment that is good and beautiful.  You are strong and you will make it.  You will be ok.

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “Everything Is OK”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

Silence

Sun Salutations A & B:

1) “Everything’s Okay,” by Lenka, 3:51

2) “OK, It’s Alright With Me,” by Eric Hutchinson, 2:31

3) “We’ll Be Alright,” by Travie McCoy, 3:17

Standing Work Series:

4) “We OK,” by The Very Best and K’Naan, 4:36

5) “It’s Alright,” by Matt and Kim, 3:24

6) “It’s OK,” by Cee Lo Green, 3:46

7) “Be OK,” by Chrisette Michele and Will.I.Am, 3:43

8) “All Alright,” by Fun., 3:57

9) “Be OK,” by Ingrid Michaelson, 2:28

Backbending / Core Work:

10) “All Will Be Well,” by The Gabe Dixon Band, 4:10

11) “Okay Alright I’m Alive,” by Bahamas, 2:58

Hips / Deep Stretching:

12) “Everything Will Be Alright,” by Matt Wertz, 2:55

13) “Living In The Moment,” by Jason Mraz, 3:55

14) “Be Alright,” (Acoustic Version) by Justin Bieber, 3:30

Savasana:

15) “Why Not?” by Jonsi, 4:49

*****

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how… The artist never entirely knows.  We guess.  We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”

~ Agnes de Mille

 

Power Yoga Playlist – “Spring”

Rainbow

March is here, and we begin to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.  One of my favorite things about March is seeing all the spring blossoms that begin appearing everywhere.  A normal commute along the usual roads, or a regular walking path around the neighborhood, can be brightened by the beautiful colors and flowers all around, if you just take a moment to notice them.

March is always quite a rainy month, but without the rain, we wouldn’t have rainbows coloring the sky.  My most recent Power Yoga playlist is inspired by this changing of seasons from winter to spring.  I searched for songs that I felt expressed beauty, light, and appreciation for something as simple as seeing a rainbow that appears one moment and is gone the next, or seeing the rays of sunlight peeking through thick, gray clouds.

Hope you can take a moment each day and see glimpses of the beautiful world we live in.  Happy Spring!

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “Spring”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

Silence

Sun Salutations A & B:

1) “Beautiful Day,” by U2, 4:08

2) “Under the Sun,” by John De Sohn, 3:13

Standing Work Series:

3) “Ray of Light,” by Madonna, 5:21

4) “Brighter Than the Sun,” by Colbie Caillat, 3:50

5) “Let the Sun Shine,” by Labrinth, 3:00

6) “Go Outside,” by Cults, 3:23

7) “Island in the Sun,” by Weezer, 3:21

8) “Beauty in the World,” by Macy Gray, 3:50

Backbending / Core Work:

9) “It’s a Beautiful Day,” by Boyce Avenue, 3:12

10) “Good Life,” by Tyler Ward, 3:27

Hips / Deep Stretching:

11) “Hello Mr. Sun,” by Joe Brooks, 3:18

12) “Beautiful Day,” by Joshua Radin, 3:32

13) “A Good Day (Morning Song),” by Priscilla Ahn, 3:24

Savasana:

14) “Long Time Sun,” by Girish, 5:24

*****

“How quick and rushing life can sometimes seem, when at the same time it’s so slow and sweet and everlasting.”

~ Graham Swift

Power Yoga Playlist – “President Style”

George-Washington

When I prepare for my yoga classes each week, I first decide on a theme for the week such as gratitude, fear, or perseverance.  Then I search for inspirational quotes to share with my classes that fit the theme.  Finally, I try to make a playlist that has at least a couple, if not all, songs related to the theme.

Well, since today is President’s Day, I decided to set this week’s theme as “change,” encouraging my students to try new poses or new variations of poses to change and grow and transform their practice.  Quotes by Presidents were pretty easy to find on the internet, but what I wasn’t sure about was how to come up with a President music playlist.  I had no clue what songs to choose.

I use Spotify to find music because I love how playlists are shared openly and I can create as many playlists as I want and stream them offline in my yoga classes.  Much to my surprise, I found President Obama’s playlists, including his Official Inauguration Playlist, Michelle’s Workout Mix, Supporter Picks, and 2012 Campaign Playlist!

So here’s a few songs I mixed together from President Obama’s playlist for a one hour Power Yoga class.  Enjoy!

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “President Power”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

Silence

Sun Salutations A & B:

1) “Wake Up,” by Arcade Fire, 5:35

2) “SING,” by My Chemical Romance, 4:30

Standing Work Series:

3) “Suddenly I See,” by KT Tunstall, 3:22

4) “Respect,” by Aretha Franklin, 2:23

5) “Keep Marchin’,” by Raphael Saadiq, 2:38

6) “The Best Thing About Me is You,” by Ricky Martin & Joss Stone, 3:36

7) “Wake Up Everybody,” by John Legend, The Roots, Common & Melanie Fiona, 4:25

8) “Learn To Live,” by Darius Rucker, 3:47

Backbending / Core Work:

9) “Home,” by Dierks Bentley, 3:58

10) “Love You I Do,” by Jennifer Hudson, 2:49

Hips / Deep Stretching:

11) “Something Special,” by Usher, 3:57

12) “Ordinary People,” by John Legend, 4:41

Savasana:

13) “Mute Angels,” by Hammock, 4:56

*****

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek.”

~ Barack Obama

Power Yoga Playlist – “Brand New Day”

Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese New Years and one of the traditions leading up to the New Year is to clean the house and cut your hair as an act of getting rid of any misfortune from the previous year and to prepare for good luck to arrive.  On New Years Day, new clothes and shoes are worn to symbolize a fresh start and red envelopes are given to children to symbolize good fortune.

Although I celebrate Chinese New Years and participate in many of these traditions, I also believe that we are given opportunities to make a “fresh start” everyday.  We are not, and should not, be limited to an entire year of good luck or bad luck.  Instead, I believe we have the power to turn a bad situation into a good one, a tough day into a smooth one, and a sad heart into a happy heart.

“We as human beings have the amazing capacity to be reborn at breakfast everyday and say, “This is a new day.””

~ Jack Kornfield

Every time we step into a yoga class and settle into that first pose, whether it’s child’s pose, mountain pose, supine pose, or a seated pose, the only task you have for those first few moments is to begin breathing.  Not just regular breathing, but ujjayi breathing, the controlled, deliberate, and slow inhale and exhale through your nose that creates such a deep sound in the back of your throat, that it sounds like an ocean.  The breath we use in yoga is so powerful that our exhale can literally force all that stuff weighing heavy on our hearts or clouding our minds, away, if not at least for the entire yoga class, but also perhaps enough to help you walk out of class with a lightness, a freshness, or perhaps a glow of positive energy to help you re-face your challenges with a little more patience and perspective.

I wish you and your loved ones health, wealth, happiness, and good fortune this Chinese New Year of the Horse, and I hope your practice on the mat will help you see everyday as a brand new start!

*****

Power Yoga Playlist – “Brand New Day”

Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:

Silence

Sun Salutations A & B:

1) “Brand New Day,” by Joshua Radin, 3:31

2) “Silenced By the Night,” by Keane, 3:17

Standing Work Series:

3) “We Found Love,” by Boyce Avenue, 3:38

4) “Beautiful,” by Christina Aguilera, 3:59

5) “Slow and Steady,” by Of Monsters and Men, 5:02

6) “Happy,” by Leona Lewis, 4:02

7) “The Light,” by Sara Bareilles, 4:23

8) “All This Time,” by OneRepublic, 4:02

Core Work:

9) “The Luckiest,” by Ben Folds, 4:22

10) “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” by Katharine McPhee, 3:31

Backbending / Deep Stretching:

11) “Shine,” by Hannah Georgas, 3:18

12) “Be Still,” by The Fray, 2:49

Savasana:

13) “Rose,” by Ludovico Einaudi, 4:17

*****

“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson