Music to Meditate

img_8530My meditation practice, like many aspects of my life, is a work in progress. I’m not as consistent as I would like to be, but still my practice has come a long way. When I started meditating just a few years ago, I overthought how I would sit and what I would think about. I would get frustrated, open my eyes, and then feel I either had to give up or start over.

Now, my meditations are fluid. I turn on a playlist – one I edit and vary from time to time – and find some organic movement for a few minutes before asking my body for stillness. If I’m really loving myself, I will do a 30-40 minute yoga flow beforehand, stretching and pulling my muscles and my mind before finding a seat. I ask my body before I sit, because sometimes the answer is “no” or, “fine but you need to lay down.” If your body doesn’t feel comfortable, settling into stillness will be more difficult. Last night, for example, I struggled to sit for long because my period is causing tension and tightness across my low back and abdomen. Had I really listened to my body, I would have laid back onto my mat and spread my knees to release my sacral tension.

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Some people really prefer instrumental music for meditation, because they find voices and lyrics distracting. I’ve found that the right songs, even with lyrics, can set my spirit on fire while my mind remains at ease in the comfort of familiar words and language. I do arrange the songs in my playlist intentionally, and I leave the instrumental songs to the end. That way, if my meditation has led me far away from my physical body, I’m not pulled back to earth by my favorite Ellie Goulding song!

So without further ado, here are 5 songs I’m meditating to these days:

Find the playlist here on Spotify.

1. Vincent, Ellie Goulding

First written by Don McLean in 1971, Vincent is an ode to the late and great Vincent Van Gogh. His art has always been an inspiration to me, and Ellie Goulding has been my favorite singer since college. When she released her rendition of Vincent last year, it immediately was added to every one of my playlists. (Meditation and otherwise.)

2. The Night We Met, Lord Huron

Have you watched 13 Reasons Why? If you have, this song immediately will bring you all the feels. It’s sad but heartfelt, and that combination has always spoken to my soul. Listening to this track, I imagine I’m in a ballgown in the middle of a high school gym, all by myself, spinning.

3. A Little Bit of Everything, Dawes

A dear friend turned us onto the magic of Dawes when we were at Bonnaroo a few years ago. Since then, this track has brought me through some very trying moments. An evaluation of life, this song looks at those tough moments when we question how all of our lives have led us to the moment we’re in now. *Fun Fact, the lead singer of Dawes is married to Mandy Moore.

4. Uncertain Changes, Yonder Dale

This track is one I stumbled across when I was intentionally looking for meditation music. It’s instrumental, sweet, dreamy, and it leads perfectly into the final song…

5. Devi Prayer, Craig Pruess & Ananda

This 20 minute chant reminds me of my christian background with its beautiful lyrics and melody straight out of heaven. When I’m really just cutting to the chase, I will meditate to just this and know that I spent 20 minutes with magic.  

What are your favorite songs to bliss out to? Comment below or send them to me directly!

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