Playing music during a yoga class is an industry norm in the United States. Unfortunately, a lot of it sucks.
Music is subjective. But as a general rule it is not advised to play Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" during savasana, or Bruce Springstein's "Born To Run" ever. And definitely not any Journey (or any classic rock, for that matter) or T.I. (or any rap music, either, seriously wtf?) unless you are deliberately trying to cock-slap this practice in the face.
Sadly I have endured all of the above tragedies. Trust me, nothing quite fucks with your zen like some star-spangled-awesome rock tune blaring while you're trying to surrender into half-pigeon pose.
Don't take it from me. There are plenty of practitioners willing to go on-the-record to unmask the epidemic of inappropriate musical vibes in yoga studios. I reached out to six friends at random (whoever was logged into facebook at the time of this post) and each of them had a story to tell about a class that was ruined because the teacher was a bad DJ. Instructors might not care about what noises they are polluting their sacred space with, but their students do:
Mistake #1: House Music
[The DJ] let the K street club venue get the best of him and was playing some of that good old fashioned big room house... I was just starting to get my feet wet in yoga and he was making the water colder — Toby Mues, Washington, DC
Mistake #2: Missing The Beat
I took a "slow flow" the other day and all of the music was way too fast paced for the class she was trying to teach. — Alyssa Breanna, New York City
Mistake #3: Curating The Wrong Feels
One yoga instructor played some songs from the Requiem for a Dream score, which is beautiful but the opposite of relaxing in my mind — Liz Doerr, Richmond
Mistake #4: Taking It Too Far
I once was in a yoga class with a teacher who only played music she wrote and recorded. That seemed cool at first but by the third song of off-key chanting and wheezing harmonyum, I couldn't take it anymore — Zoe Kaiser, Washington, DC
Mistake #5: Pop Music
I was once at a yoga class in the wealthy neigherhood of Brentwood. When the class started, I was immediately turned off by the mainstream radio music. I think it was Miley Cyrus. Maybe Justin Bieber. It happened. And I never went back. — Serene Talia, Santa Monica
Mistake #6: Making Any Of These Mistakes
I won't go to a class if I know the teacher has bad taste in music — Nancy Granger Townsend, Washington, DC
The yogis have spoken.