Best Yoga Music: Yoga workout playlist — alternative, indie, & jazz mix

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by John on May 10, 2011

I’m trying to keep up with Monica as now she’s supplementing her workouts with stretching and yoga. OK, she needs good music for that too, right? She tells me that they have the typical new age, mystical music that you would expect at a yoga studio. I decided to look into yoga music and I was amazed at how little variety there is to be found. I believe there are many alternative, indie, and jazz artists that record beautiful and inspirational songs that would provide the same calming effect while practicing yoga. I’ve been careful to avoid anything that is too upbeat (contrary to everything else I’ve ever posted here), or with moody or depressing lyrics. I know that yoga is an integral part of the Hindu religion and while there is not typical Hindu music here, I try to be mindful of it’s spirit, imagery, and calming effect. After the 70+ hours of upbeat music I’ve posted, it’s nice to mellow out a little here…

If you have a song that you love to use when doing yoga, please share (either comment below our thru twitter @boldpacemusic)! If it works with our goal of providing inspirational, calming, and meditative music, I’ll add to our next yoga playlist and link back to your site with a big thank you :)

Off and Running CD Tin Notecard Set

Off and Running CD Tin Notecard Set (6 cards, 2 of each style for $15 at

Looking for a perfect gift for someone who loves yoga or fitness? Take some music below and slip it in with a CD tin notecard set from Remanents. These cards, gifts, and tees have been sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie, Nordstroms, Henri Bendel, Fortnum and Mason (London) and many other fine stores, however, you’ll find the largest selection at See more cards and tees along with beautiful Couture Fabric Holiday cards and Halloween cards too.

There are 21 yoga songs below with a total playtime of 1.4 hours. Enjoy…

Best Yoga Music: Yoga Workout Playlist — Alternative, Indie, & Jazz mix

Click here to download songs from itunes

Click below to play samples and/or download songs from amazon:

To get this music, just click on either itunes or amazon playlist above and download either entire the playlist or individual songs. Or see our Amazon store for the very best full albums by artists on the playlists.

  1. Mt. Airy RoadGeorge Benson: A instrumental start by one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history. “Airy” is a perfect description for this song.
  2. Seven A.M.The Blue Nile: One of my favorite bands when I want to listen to relaxing music. Their lush, ambient sound creates a wonderful atmosphere for introspection.
  3. Do You Realize?The Flaming Lips: Unlike the Blue Nile, you might not think of the Flaming Lips and yoga. But this song has such simple and poignant lyrics that it just seems to work. If you are curious about the Flaming Lips (they have put out some music that is very bizarre), the album with “Do You Realize?” is called “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” and it is amazing…a must have. Find it here:
  4. MykonosFleet Foxes: Love the transitions in this song and the infectious harmonies that sound like a Native American chant.
  5. The First Days of SpringNoah and the Whales: “Like a cut down tree, I will rise again and I’ll be bigger and stronger than ever before”.
  6. Twin Peaks ThemeAngelo Badalamenti: Showing our age here, but Monica and I used to love this show. This is just such a cool song.
  7. ShelterThe XX: Similar to the Blue Nile, everything by the XX just seems simple, atmospheric, captivating, and the embodiment of cool.
  8. One WishHiroshima: In a small nod to Japan, enjoy Hiroshima’s eastern-western fusion style with their musical masterpiece.
  9. Swept AwaySpyro Gyra: While sometimes criticized as a “pop-jazz commercial” band, there is a reason they are one of the most successful jazz groups in the past 30 years. Here’s a good example…
  10. Return to InnocenceEnigma: With lyrics like “Don’t be afraid to be weak, don’t be too proud to be strong” and “Don’t care what people say, just follow your own way” and another Native American sounding chant, you can feel the spirituality and peacefulness.
  11. The Safest Place - Sade: Always smooth and peaceful, here Sade says “in my heart your love has found the safest hiding place, inside a field and trees and a lake…”
  12. Such Great HeightsIron and Wine: While overplayed (and over-covered), I love the lyrics and this minimalist Iron and Wine version highlights the lyrics…just picture your significant other telling you: “I am thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned”.
  13. Carries OnEdward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: With a 60′s good vibrations sound it’s easy to enjoy this indie rock band’s sound. “One love…one touch…one look…carries on”.
  14. The Man With the Child in His EyesKate Bush: One of my favorite artists, Kate Bush has a beautiful voice that shows on this light and simple tune. If you are interested in hearing more of Kate Bush, check out what I think is her best album–The Kick Inside. The Saxophone Song, Kite, Wuthering Heights, and The Kick Inside are all stand-outs. Listen here:
  15. The Dress Looks Nice on You - Sufjan Stevens: This singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is a critical and indie favorite and you can hear his talent on this sweet and sentimental tune… “I can see a lot of life in you, I can see a lot of bright in you”.
  16. WaitingThe Style Council: At their best, Paul Weller and the Style Council did jazz-infused stylish pop better than anyone else. Here’s a sample of their stylish soul-pop… “I’m gonna love you anyway, I don’t care what people say, I’m gonna love you, come what may”.
  17. UnderwaterboysShriekback: An extremely interesting and eclectic band, this song from their best album “Big Night Music” captures their haunting, mysterious, hypnotic style. It’s not really about the lyrics (“Wha diddle iddle I doh down here…the Underwaterboys”), it’s about a feel with this music and “Big Night Music” describes it perfectly.
  18. Doot DootFreur: If someone tied me down and made me choose a favorite song of all-time, this would be it. There’s some nostalgia here of course, as when this came out in 1983 I was in the midst of devouring all new music and I have never heard anything like Freur. Doot-Doot was the title track from Freur’s only album. It was an ambitious experiment in techno, synthesized beats and keyboard riffs. Unfortunately, the rest of the album was not strong, but this is a classic you must hear (best with good speakers or headphones)…
  19. OverniteScritti Politti: Green Gartside was a rare talent and Scritti Politti was this Welsh singer/songwriter’s musical vehicle. This song is from “Provision” which was a follow-up to the classic “Cupid & Psyche”. While Provision was not as strong of an album, this was nevertheless a hidden gem. “Overnight…and while your trouble’s away, under the stars up above…I’ll build you another day”.
  20. EetRegina Spektor: Not sure how she made a song called “Eet” sound so good, but leave it to this quirky New Yorker (born and raised in Moscow until age 9) who is a classically trained pianist. “It’s like forgetting the words to your favorite song, you can’t believe it, you were always singing along, it was so easy and the words so sweet, you can’t remember, you try to feel the beat”…we’ve all been there right?
  21. Limit to Your LoveJames Blake: Another critically acclaimed artist who has a quirky, R&B sampling and dubbing style that is very unique. Here is one of his more accessible songs that has a very cool vibe. “There’s a limit to your love, like a waterfall in slow motion, like a map with no ocean”.

Want more workout and running music? See all of our playlists and more songs listed by bpm…Bold Pace Music

Have any suggestions for our next yoga, workout or running playlist? Please comment and share…

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea May 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Hi! I ran across your running playlists while looking for running music (I’m training for my first triathlon!) and now have found your blog ~ which is inspiring and I’ll definitely keep reading.

I’m a yoga teacher in San Francisco & I have a few playlists for my classes up on iTunes ~ you can search Ping for Andrea Drugay and there are some other yoga teachers with good playlists, who I follow, too. I’ll be adding more in the future ~ I had about 20 iMixes and they all disappeared when iTunes got rid of the iMix feature, so now I’m creating new ones… it’s a fun (and necessary) process :-) Cheers.

Deanna March 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Hi! Found your website while looking for music for my yoga class. teach in Charlotte NC. I also have some of my playlists that I use in my yoga classes in iTunes–seach Deanna Boulanger in Ping. Namaste.

John March 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Great, thanks Deanna. I just followed you on Ping (as John — Running Music). I love that you don’t have the “typical” music for yoga. Please keep in touch.

Linda April 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I have been using piano pieces by Matthew C. Shuman in my Yoga group for the past couple months now. I downloaded his CDs from Amazon and iTunes, it looks like there are hard copies available through his website.


His pieces really fit my routines nicely. And a really nice thing is how my class members consistently compliment my song selection.

Hope this helps you! :)

Marlino December 28, 2012 at 1:53 am

Oh, that James Blake song is so good. Thanks for the reminder.

John December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hi Hally — You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by and please keep in touch…would love to hear more of your yoga music suggestions.

Jerry moore July 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

hi are you on CardsApp? thank u

John July 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi Jerry – No, sorry. All our greeting card designs can be found at You may also see them at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, or in many other smaller retail stores.

krista November 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I really want to play Bauhaus-Bella Lugosi is Dead during svasana but that might be pushing it..

John November 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

Hi Krista — Ha! Understood…well perhaps during shavasana on halloween?

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