Health & Wellness

Music and Mindfulness

Providence Monthly Magazine ·

Some people do yoga to get fit, to burn calories, to really break a sweat. Some do it for the stretch, and can stay in pigeon pose for minutes on end to get the ultimate relaxation into their SI Band. Me, I do yoga because it’s the only guaranteed way for me to clear my head, to get an hour off from the unending mental to-do list that I hear at all hours of the day - even, sometimes, in my sleep. So with a head full of thoughts and shoulders full of tension, I headed off to Jala Studio on South Main Street for their Jivamukti class.

Held on the last Wednesday of the month, Jivamukti is a vigorous Vinyasa class with one major upgrade: live music. The idea is to work out your body while smoothing out your mind. As we sat on our mats and began our practice, instructor (and studio owner) Bristol Maryott explained how music changes yoga. “It’s the practice of Nada yoga, the yoga of sound and deep listening,” she said. “We are constantly vibrating: Emotional states like feeling stressed, happy or angry create a vibrational frequency resonating within us. Nada yoga utilizes sound to open and align us.”

Antonio Forte began playing his music: slow and mellow, soft enough to allow for a mindful practice but upbeat enough to keep the momentum of the flow going. “When we practice yoga, we are opening ourselves very deeply on physical, mental and emotional levels. The vibration of uplifting music is all the more potent if we listen to it when we’re practicing yoga,” Bristol said. “Our practice retunes our vibrations and brings us back to a sense of ease and inner well-being.”

The 90-minute class took us through some intense poses, going back through sequences of downward-facing dog into plank into baby cobra, back to down dog as our rest pose. Standard poses, but done quickly enough through enough repetitions to get the blood flowing (and get the muscles working enough that my abs were talking to me for the next two days). But with the music playing, and the warm winds flowing through the studio while the sunset glowed outside, it was hard to care that we were working hard. We were doing something real, and really beautiful, together.

Jala Studio
285 South Main Street 

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