We talk to a DJ about creating the ultimate yoga playlist

Want to get better results from your workout? Up the ante with the ideal playlist.

Photo: iStock

If getting fit and healthy is your goal – music and exercise is the support team you need. Exercise, for well obvious reasons, and music to up that ante.

Want to know just how effective a fresh beat can be when you’re hitting the gym or pounding the pavement? Listening to music distracts you from the pain, helps elevate your mood, increases endurance and studies have proved people will even run or bike longer without even realising thanks to their iPod playlist.

With this is in mind, we chat to DJ and aspiring yogi James Mack about how he goes about compiling a yoga playlist that actually makes him work harder and better.

Here’s how to bring some rhythm to your workout routine – regardless of what your go-to exercise is – and reap the rewards.

1.Start with focus

It’s important that the music compliments rather than takes over the practice. A great way to ensure that this happens is by beginning your playlist with songs that help you focus on your intentions for the next 90 minutes.

Melodic atmospheric songs are great for this, try to steer clear of anything with a constant beat or songs that are driven by vocals. Instrumentals are a great way to start to ensure your focus doesn’t shift to the song lyrics.

Track example: “You are a memory” by Message To Bears

2. Experiment with new music

This is sometimes tricky when creating a playlist, as you want to make sure the songs you choose will actually fit with the mood. For this reason I like to add songs I’m slightly familiar with but haven’t heard millions times on the radio.

You want to try and avoid adding too many songs you’ve heard over and over as you can find yourself anticipating the next part of the song and losing focus on your practice.

A great place to source new music is the ministry of sound chillout sessions playlist on Spotify.

RELATED: Songs on celebrity’s workout playlists

3. Remember to smile

As someone who is guilty of having a very serious yoga face, I find it helpful to add one or two songs that make me smile and serve as a reminder to not take things too seriously. These songs can be a throwback to a fun memory or time in your life that you associate with the song, or just a track that you currently find lightens your mood.

Covers of well known songs are great to use for this, as they are not as instantly familiar as the original but still have the desired effect.

Track example: “Torn” by James TW (Natalie Imbruglia)

4. Energise your practice

No matter what your desired athletic pursuit, music has been proven over time to enhance performance. Most people associate this with playing their power song to get over a big hill on a run, or getting pumped up before/during a workout, and the same theory can be applied to your yoga playlist. While I am not suggesting adding Metallica or the latest EDM banger to your practice, find one or two songs that empower you and give you the feeling that you can get over that hill.

These tracks are great to include in a challenging portion of your practice or around the ‘peak pose’ which is generally the climax or middle of the seqeunce with standing and other strengthening postures (and where shaking your booty is more accessible!) and typically have a lyric or a beat or melody that you find empowering.

Artist example: “Flume”

5. Finish with some magic

As your practice winds down to shavasana, it is a great time to include some really beautiful emotive tracks. Again this will be something that is fairly personal to each individual, but as a guide I like to include songs with quite visual or narrative lyrics.

As the practice slows down, the opportunity is there to tell a story through the song selection and really help to end the practice somewhere magical.

RELATED: 20 best songs to help you get to sleep

James Mack is the resident DJ for Flow After Dark which is on Thursday 27th of October in Sydney. To get tickets head here.

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fitness | body+soul