Yoga Jams

First off, thanks so much for all the support, comments, shares, and feedback on my previous post: Lessons Learned from NEDA Awareness Week. It has been one of my most popular posts of the year(along with my Whole 30 post)! After my last post I kept thinking about what to write. I have so many ideas but none of them seem right to write at this very moment or they need more time to hash out in my journal. There has been so much going on in the Insta IG World and in my own personal life that I’ve been overwhelmed on where to go. I have had a rough week, and I almost decided not to write a post. But then I remembered my intention to blog every other week–so here I am.

If you know me or come to my classes you know that music plays a huge role in my approach. I love creating playlists or let my students choose the music in case I don’t have a playlist curated. I firmly believe that music can enhance a yoga class and can make people feel comfortable in a setting that can be intimidated. If I can do anything to make a yoga class less intimidating and more relaxing I’ll do it! Music can also  make one work harder, focus better, or turn a bad mood into a good one. So here are some of my top playlists:






Body Positivity/Feel Good Playlist

*songs guaranteed to turn your frown upside and make you feel good about your body*

Feeling Good, Nina Simone
Video, India.Arie
Backwoods Barbie, Dolly Parton
Hey Girl, Lady Gaga & Florence Welch
Proud Mary, Tina Turner
Straight Up, Paula Abdul
I Got You (I Feel Good), James Brown
I’m Every Woman, Chaka Khan
The Glory of Love, Nina Simone
Brave, Sara Bareilles
These Boots Are Made For Walking, Loretta Lynn
Beautiful, Christina Aguilera
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Carole King
Lady, Stevie Nicks
Greatest Love of All, Whitney Houston

I Believe in Love and Jam Bands

*songs by your favorite jam bands that will open that heart chakra and let love flow*

Appalachia Waltz, Yo-Yo Ma/Mark O’Connor/Edgar Meyer
Tennessee Waltz, Appalachian Pickers
Soulshine,Gov’t Mule
Prickly Pear, Bela Fleck
Last Chance to Dance Trance, Medeski, Martin, & Wood
Jessica, Allman Brothers
Free, Phish
Everyday, Dave Matthews Band
Don’t Stop Believing, Vitamin String Quartet
I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Vitamin String Quartet
Simple Gifts, Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss
Spiegel im Spiegel, Angele Dubeau
Breath, Helen Jane Long

Electric Flow

*for all my electronica yogis out there, get your flow on with these electronic tracks*

Moonbeams, MC Yogi & East Forest
Awake, Tycho
Ghost, Kiln
Dictaphone’s Lament, Tycho
Yellow Bird (Michal Menert Remix), Pretty Lights
White Lies, Odesza & Jenni Potts
Finally Moving, Pretty Lights
Innocence, Madeon
Bass Head, Bassnectar
You, Gold Panda
Love & Feeling, Chet Faker
Gooey, Glass Animals
Drift Away, Pretty Lights
Part Two-In My Own Way, Ray LaMontagne

Dedicated to Tom Petty

*I made this playlist after Tom Petty died, 45 minutes of some Tom Petty classics and deep cuts*

You Don’t Know How It Feels
You Wreck Me
Don’t Do Me Like That
American Girl
Free Fallin’
I Won’t Back Down
Turn This Car Around
Here Comes My Girl

I Love the 70s

*quintessential classics that will make you take out your lighter while holding Chair Pose*

Junk, Paul McCartney
Baby, I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton
More Than A Woman, Bee Gees
I’ve Got A Feeling, The Beatles
Sugar Magnolia, The Grateful Dead
Learning to Fly, Pink Floyd
Spirit In The Sky, Norman Greenbaum
Dreams, Fleetwood Mac
Heart of Gold, Neil Young
Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Elton John
Into the Mystic, Van Morrison
My Melancholy Blues, Queen

The Go-To

*this playlist is good for any yoga class and suits all musical tastes, my go-to when I or my students can’t decide on what to play*

All The Wild Horses, Ray LaMontagne
Heart Is A Drum, Beck
Queen of California, John Mayer
Girl, Beck
All I Ever Wonder, St.Paul & the Broken Bones
Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter, Nina Simone
Sugar Never Tasted So Good (Acoustic), Jack White
Hit ‘Em Up Style, Carolina Chocolate Drops
Take a Walk, Passion Pit
Lovely Day, Bill Withers
What is Life, George Harrison
Can’t You See, Marshall Tucker Band
Souls Like the Wheels, Avett Brothers
Let’s Be Still, The Head and the Heart

My Favorite Pre-Made Playlists (Apple Music): Classic Acoustic, Relaxed/Remixed, Pure Yoga, Essential 70s Soft Rock, 80s Smash Hits, Today’s Chill, Rock Hits: 1973, The Beatles: Best Pop Songs

My Favorite Pre-Made Playlists (Amazon): Chill Indie for Yoga, Coffee Shop Electric, Mellow 70s Gold, 50 Great Beatles Songs, Classical for Yoga, Alt Pop for Yoga

Blog Posts about Music: That’s My Jam!, O, listen to the music, Say it in Song   


What are some of your favorite yoga jams? What artists help you get your flow on? What has been the most bizarre song you’ve heard or put on a playlist?





Say it in Song

I’m still here…or am I? Life gets busy, dances must be danced, classes must be taught, yoga must be yoga’d, and work must be completed. In between dreams, naps, and pas de chat’s, a muse will appear. Lately I have been graced by the presence of quite a few muses which has caused me to pick up a pen *uhhh, keyboard* and open up the images of my heart….

The other day on the wonderful Book of Face (a fun name my hubby and I call Facebook) one of my friends posted the following question: What is your favorite song lyric(s)? I wanted to respond but soon realized I couldn’t pick just one. As an individual whose life is just as much about music as it is about dance, this question was like Lay’s potato chips, betcha can’t pick just one. In response to this question I  made my own list. As I sit here and make my list I have to give myself some rules or else this post would be one million words and an epic of lyrical proportions. 1) 1 Beatles song/1post break up-The Beatles are my all time favorite artists and I believe they have produced some of the best lyrics EVER, even as solo artists they continued to create work that is timeless, honest, emotional. 2) Include a handful of songs post 1990. Music from the 60s-70s is my jam and I could easily make my list of just songs from this era, but great music has been produced since then. 3) Include more genres than classic rock . 4) Pick what I think is the best/most moving part of the whole song, or what made me fall in love with the song the first time I heard it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that most of these songs are of the depressing and love gone wrong nature. Which while I’m a very happy and love all kinda person, most of the music/art/dance I enjoy isn’t very bubbly, it tends to be very angsty and sad. These kinds of lyrics and art seem to say what I can’t or speak to this inner part of me that I don’t showcase to many folks…I do have a darkside-we all do. It also tends to be more authentic and visceral, which nothing moves me more than when an artist is raw and unbridled. Many of these lyrics resonate with me because they came across my earbuds when I was in some really dark places or effortlessly described my situation(s) at the time. Each song has a link to a recorded version and I highly suggest listening to the music, some of these lyrics are highlighted by riffs and sounds from the guitars, pianos, or voice of the musician.

Are you ready for some lyrical genius? I am. Here we go!

In no particular order….

***Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright by Bob Dylan

Favorite lyrics:  So long honey, baby, where I’m bound I can’t tell. Goodbye’s too good a word babe, so I’ll just say fare thee well. I ain’t a-saying you treated me unkind. You could’ve done better but I don’t mind, you just kinda wasted my precious time. But don’t think twice, it’s all right.

***Just Breathe by Pearl Jam

Favorite lyric: Did I say that I need you? Did I say that I want you? Oh if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see. No one knows this more than me. As I come clean…Nothing you would take, everything you gave hold me till I die, meet you on the other side.

***Give Me Love by George Harrison

Favorite lyric: Give me love, give me love, give me peace on earth. Give me light, give me life, keep me free from birth. Give me hope, help me cope, with this heavy load. Trying to touch and reach you with, heart and soul.

***Ain’t Got No- I Got Life by Nina Simone

  ~everyone should listen to this whole song, a snippet isn’t enough to do it justice~

Favorite lyric: I’ve got life, I’ve got my freedom, I’ve got the life. I’ve got the life, and I’m gonna keep it, I’ve got the life, and nobody’s gonna take it away. I’ve got the life.

***All Apologies by Nirvana (this is the MTV Unplugged version, just beautiful)

Favorite lyric: I wish I was like you, easily amused. Find my nest of salt, everything’s my fault. I’ll take all the blame, aqua seafoam shame. Sun burn with freezerburn chocking on the ashes of her enemies.

***Stop This Train by John Mayer

Favorite lyric: So scared of getting older, I’m only good at being young. So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun.

***Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Favorite lyric: We’re gonna get to that place, where we really wanna go. And we’ll walk in the sun, but till then tramps like us, baby we were born to run.

***Junk by Paul McCartney

Favorite lyric: Candlesticks, building bricks, something old and new. Memories for you and me. Buy, buy says the sign in the shop window. Why, why says the junk in the yard.

***For No One by The Beatles

Favorite lyric: She wakes up, she makes up, she takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry. She no longer needs you. And in her eyes you see nothing, no sign of love behind the tears. Cried for no one, a love that should have lasted years.

***If It’s the Beaches by The Avett Brothers

Favorite lyric: If it’s the beaches, if it’s the beaches sands you want then you will have them. If it’s the mountains bending rivers then you will have them. If it’s the wish to run away I will grant it. Take whatever you think of and I’ll go gas up the truck, pack the old love letters up. We will read them when we forget why we left here.

***Old Enough by The Raconteurs, Ricky Skaggs, and Ashley Monroe

Favorite lyric: When I was I thought I knew, you probably think you know too, do you? Well do you? I was naive just like you, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do…and how have you gotten so far without a visible scar? No one knows who you really are.


What are your favorite lyrics? Why? How does music and lyrics influence your life, art work, day to day interactions? Share below!



Am I All About That Bass?

O the joys of pop music. It is either really annoying or really good. It can also be middle of the road, where it has some great things going for it but it falls a bit short in some areas. Now I don’t listen to much pop music/mainstream music, I only started back because I now have a car that has a working radio. Lately, I have noticed a movement in music that is attempting to be body positive. Which is a great thing! I love that. But, at the same time, most of the songs that seem to be body positive are falling a bit short. A prime example is the song “All About That  Bass” by Meghan Trainor.

I have a love-hate relationship with this song. I still don’t know if I like it, but it is a good pop song because it is catchy and I always listen to it (it is like Britney Spears, but Britney Spears reminds me of my childhood….). “All About That Bass” has some great body positive energy and lyrics but it does give some backhanded compliments to skinny girls and to males themselves. There is also the whole argument about the video and black women being used as props but I am not going to address that. I want to dissect the pros and cons of this song. I still cannot decide if I like it or not, but, I want to show that while people are wanting to show more body diversity and positivity, we are still have a long way to go….

On a side note, when I first heard this song I actually thought it was gonna be about bass as in the form of dubstep or electronic music, not bass as in a booty…..


1) She is happy about her size

This comes out right at the first of the song, “Yeah, it’s pretty clear I ain’t no size tumblr_mehf7rQ5xg1qeomyho1_500two, but I can shake it like I’m supposed to do”. We all should love our size. Each and every one of us is completely different and made by God so we should learn to love how he made us and be happy with our shape.





2) She sings that we are perfect 

The lyrics, “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”. Is sweet. It is a great reminder to the pro up above. We are perfect in our shape because God made us. When this song does get stuck in my head that lyric is sung over and over and over and over again in my brain jukebox. warning-mirror





 3) Her mom gave great advice!

If her mom really said to her, “Yeah, my momma she told me don’t4960567_orig worry about your size”. That is something all mom’s need to be relaying to their children. It isn’t about the size of our bodies…it is about the size of our hearts, our laughter, our soul, our personality etc…Children learn body image habits and acceptance from their parents and family. This is no different than the other things parents teach their kids like love, kindness, selflessness, etc…


 4) Photoshop is bogus

“I see the magazines working that photoshop. We know that shit ain’t real, come on now and make it stop. If you got beauty beauty then raise it up because every inch of you stereotypeis perfect from the bottom to the top”.

Everyone will agree that photoshop has definitely impacted body image in a negative light. You can take one person and change everything about them with a few simple swipes of a computer program. There you can take what was made specifically for you and no one else and then change it to someone else’s ideal. The beauty ideal is what companies want you to think and feel so you will buy their products. It is made up. Also, an ideal, just like a norm, is made by others put on you. Not your own experiences or own thoughts. So each and every one of us needs to think about our own beliefs and look inside our hearts to define for ourselves what beauty is and not rely on photoshop and big business.


1) Just because you don’t have a booty doesn’t mean you can’t shake it shake it

I know plenty of slender, what people would call “bootyless”, individuals whDayna-H-body-positive-media-literacy-300x300o can  shake it shake it with the best of them. It isn’t about how big it is, really it is more about how you can manipulate your spine, low back, hips, and muscles. I can’t shake it. I can move my hips in a Latin ballroom way, but ask me to shake my rump and it doesn’t go. But, I have been in dance classes where girls can shake their tailfeather’s  but do not know how to do ballroom hips. It is ok. Really, are we suppose to shake it shake it? I have no desire to shake my butt. If you do then great! Also, last time I checked, there is no dance syllabus on how to properly shake it shake it.

2) Skinny=bitch

Skinny Bitch. That is phrase used a lot, not just in this song but in everyday life. In movies, in media, in TV, it is equated that if you are skinny then you are a bitch. Just like people think that fat people are lazy. These are ideals/images/stereotypes that have been pushed into our brains by society. I know skinny people who are lazy. I know faweight-stereotyping-w724t people who are hard workers. I know skinny people who don’t take care of themselves. I know fat people who are very health conscious. So honestly these stereotypes are wrong. It is up to us to stand up, change the stereotypes, or not give in to what they are. We make a choice. We can make a change.





3) All guys like bigger women

“Boys like a little more booty to hold at night”, “Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase”.

If this were true, then I would have never ever been on a date, yet alone married. A lot of dancers would not be married. Models would not be married. Athletes would not be married. Sure, there is some anthropological evidence that guys look at hips and breasts to decide if a mate can have a child but things are changing. I definitely do not send signals out via my body that I am ready to have your child (good thing my hubby and I are DINKS).  That doesn’t make me any less of a woman or less attractive. Guys will find attractive whatever they find attractive. Be it a beautiful big woman or a petite, looks like they are 12 years old woman. You cannot pigeon hold men, this classification is no different than funny-picture-skeleton-girls-goal-weightsaying only real women have curves.







4) If we don’t have a booty then we want one

This is something that is in the video. A white, slender, female model seems to longmonique for a booty of an African-American female. That alone seems sort of stereotypical, as well as wrong. I do not have a booty and I don’t want one. I am sure I am not the only one. I am sure there are those that want a bigger butt. But why do they want one? Could it be because society is saying that you aren’t a woman without a big butt? Wait, let us call it, “curves”.Or do they want one for themselves? Also, African-American women are not the only women that have booty. All races have females with booties and all races have those without (even though technically we all have booty, because the butt is made up of 3 muscles and everyone on earth has those 3 muscles).


What are your thoughts?


That’s My Jam!

We all have songs that take us to a special place. Whether it is to a specific place in time, a person who we share the song with, or just a song that pumps us up. Music is a very special energy form. I call it an energy form because it is created and all the energy that is put into it transfers to the listeners (same thing goes for any creative art).  Music, regardless of what genre, is always there for us and can transform our mood. 

This is just a brief list of my “jams”. Each of these songs are chosen for a specific reason. They either make me dance, I grew up with them, or they mention my hometown…”HE’S A HEADED WEST FROM THE CUMBERLAND GAP TO JOHNSON CITY, TN!!!!!”, or they are my drinking songs/hangin’ out with my bestie songs, or they are my husband and mine’s car karaoke songs. I hope you enjoy these, maybe even hear some new songs if you haven’t heard of them.

What are your jams? Please list in the comments. 


*”Uptown Girl”, Billy Joel

*”Love Never Felt So Good”, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake

*”Dancing in the Dark”, Bruce Springsteen

*”Livin’ on a Prayer”, Bon Jovi

*”Santeria”, 3rd Eye Blind

*”Amber”, 311

*”Something”, The Beatles/George Harrison

*”For the Longest Time”, Billy Joel

*”Rock with You”, Michael Jackson

*”Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake

*”Soulshine”,Gov’t Mule

*”Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”. Michael Jackson

*”Hook”, Blues Traveler

*”Blackbird”, The Beatles

*”Friends in Low Places” , Garth Brooks

*”Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show

Floating On

So the other day while getting ready for work a song I listened to all the time in high school came on my Pandora Station (Rooney Station)…”Float On” by Modest Mouse. Ever since then, I cannot get it out of my head (but why would I? It was, and still is, an amazing song!). It is such a simple message but one that can be hard to understand: that everything will be OK.

Bad things will happen to us. We are not perfect, the world is not perfect. But, we will get through it….we float on. We float on and are OK. The stream takes us to our next point and we take the previous experience and apply our lessons learned from it to the next event.

In my yoga books I am reading for my RYT, they talk extensively about letting things go. That the way to attain enlightenment, find your true purpose, learn who you are, is to take things that happen to you and realize that it isn’t the end of the world. You have two options: 1) let it get you down, take it as an offense to who you are, dwell and live life miserably. 2) acknowledge it, smile, and move on through life here on earth. The first will undoubtedly make life miserable and the second gives you joy and health.

Modest Mouse had it right just float on. Nothing is the end. You will be ok.

And we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t worry even if things end up a bit too heavy
We’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on OK
Don’t worry we’ll all float on
Even if things get heavy we’ll all float on alright
Already we’ll all float on alright
Don’t you worry we’ll all float on alright
All float on

O, listen to the music

Music is such a powerful tool. Isn’t it great when you can’t find the words to express your emotions or situation that you can turn on a song and it resonates with you. Even an instrumental song can have the same affect. The instruments can strike a chord (hah) within your soul and everything becomes at ease. Below are some of my favorite songs that help heal my soul or I put on when I am feeling overwhelmed with  things.  I like to call these recovery songs….but they are so much more than that. Some are also worship songs. Some are anthems. One works for post break up or other parts of life’s ups and downs.

These are just a few of my favorites…What are some of your favorite uplifting/recovery/anthems?

Beautiful Things, Gungor

I first heard this song at one of my dear friends wedding and became obsessed. Such a simple yet powerful song.

Let it all Out, Relient K

And today I will trust you with the confidence
Of a man who’s never known defeat
But tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
Oh, inconsistent me
Crying out for consistency


And I’ll let it be known
At times I have shown
Signs of all my weakness
But somewhere in me
There is strength

The Voice Within, Christina Aguilera

When there’s no one else
Look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend
Just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength
That will guide your way
If you will learn to begin
To trust the voice within

Paradise, Coldplay

Brave, Sara Bareillis

I even wrote about this song…click to check it out

Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys

This song can get any girl pumped up and feeling great about herself…..

I So Hate Consequences, Relient K

When I got tired of running from you
I stopped right there to catch my breath
There your words they caught my ears
You said, “I miss you son. Come home”
And my sins, they watched me leave
And in my heart I so believed
The love you felt for me was more than
The love I’d wished for all this time
And when the doors were closed
I heard no I told so’s
I said the words I knew you knew
Oh God, Oh God I needed you
God all this time I needed you, I needed you

How He Loves, David Crowder

Without a doubt one of my favorite worship songs. I first heard this song at a service at Redeemer church when I first dated my now husband…

How It Feels To Fly Alicia Keys

I am riding high
Don’t wanna come down
Hope my wings don’t fail me now
If I can touch the sky
I risk the fall
Just to know how it feels to fly

In Repair, John Mayer

While I am not a huge John Mayer fan, I appreciate his musicianship and writing. This is my top Mayer song. This song goes with a bunch of different life aspects…

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” -Billy Joel