Many things go into creating the ambience of your studio. From indoor plants to the brightness of your studio lights, every little detail can help cultivate the right tone for a class. 

One thing that can help is music

Lucia Yess, the owner of Yess Yoga in, Minneapolis, Minnesota, allows her teachers to make their own personal decision whether or not to play music in their classes. But for her, she loves to play it. 

“Sometimes my playlist has a low earthy beat, and other times it is energetic, pitta or even spacey, vata,” said Yess. “The playlists I make are connected to my mood, the season, the type of class or theme of class.”

Yess said the benefits of playing music during class are the actual vibrations music has on human systems. “Sound is incredibly healing and can immediately draw you to a space and time,” she explained. “At Yess Yoga, we want to be someone’s ‘third space.’ We want people to remember their experience and time as a community member and music can definitely assist in that connection.”

Ginger Rosenthal, the owner of Blue Yoga, in Fremont, Nebraska, currently plays music in all of her classes. “I have new students, and I have noticed when my classes are silent, those new to class have a harder time with centering, relaxation and meditation,” she said.

When Rosenthal teaches advanced classes, she does not play music. At that point, the advanced students have done more work in regard to internal focus and comfort around silence. Thus, they can focus without it. 

The downside to playing music during class is that it can be distracting. 

Music can take students’ focus away from their breath, thoughts and awareness. Because of this, Yess doesn’t play music when she has students that are beginners so they can clearly hear her cues and instructions. 

“I also tend to not use music when I am working off site. I teach at a college in their lobby space and there is a lot of excess noise around,” said Yess. “It gets really distracting to have another sound added.”

If your studio chooses to play music during class, Yess recommends having a sound system that is easy to operate. Also, test the noise level so all participants can hear you talk wherever you may be teaching. “This is key,” said Yess. “People do not want to strain to hear your wise words. As a teacher, you need to be clearly heard.”

If your studio prefers to not play music during classes, you can still set the right tone without it. You can listen to how Rosenthal keeps the overall vibe at Blue Yoga. “We let our tone of voice and energy create the atmosphere,” she said. “What the teacher embodies while with the students has the strongest and most genuine impact of all.”