We are in a unique moment right now to slow down and live our lives with more intention. As many of us are home bound, each day is an opportunity to find ways to curate your environment and your day into one that is full of beauty, joy and peace.
Each morning when I wake up, I light all the candles I have, open the drapes to let the light in every window and clean up and tidy every surface. At least once a day I make a nice meal and artfully present it to my family (have you used your “good” china yet? I recommend it). The most important ingredient of our day is music. We are never NOT playing music in my house. In the morning, as we are having our coffee we listen to quiet, ambient tunes (Chill Vibes ) that ease us into the day. During our work hours, we may listen to an album in its entirety or one of my favorite playlists full of UK artists I love. In the evenings we get a little rowdy, putting on my 80s Sculpt playlist and we have a full–on dance party in the kitchen while we prepare our dinner.
Here’s the science behind WHY we should be listening to music all day. In a study published in February 2019, scientists determined that dopamine, the “feel good” neurochemical we get when we experience pleasure or reward, is released in the brain when listening to music you love. The study concluded that the levels of dopamine associated with music can cause critical shifts in your ability to feel and experience pleasure. We’ve all experienced this before: seeing our favorite artist live, hearing that one song in the car that makes you turn it UP and roll down the windows, in Savasana when the instructor plays a song that makes your heart swell and brings a smile to your face.
Over the years that I have been teaching yoga, crafting playlists for my classes has been one of my favorite parts of the job. I love finding songs that evoke emotion or bring the energy up at just the right moments in a flow. At The Hot Room, we are lucky to have lots of instructors with an amazing taste in music and sense of timing for what songs work best for the energy in the room. I love learning about new artists and sharing music I love with my co-workers.
Since creating the Virtual Studio, many instructors have been sharing their playlists on The Hot Room’s Spotify account. For a little lift in the morning, I’ve been playing the Pura Vida Retreat playlist I created for our Costa Rican retreat last February. For a laid-back afternoon, I love Libby’s Lunchtime Yin . For our evening dance parties, I am loving Kylie’s HIIT Pilates and Lukas’ 90s Sculpt . There are SO many great playlists from our instructors and staff-check it out for yourself and follow The Hot Room on Spotify.
What are you listening to? I’d love to hear a new artist or a suggestion for a playlist! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow me on Spotify, I’d love to see what ingredients you are adding to your day!
Erin Polley is the Manager of External Engagement & Global Wellness Retreats, and Instructor at The Hot Room. She proudly serves as a Brand Ambassador for Manduka, a maker of yoga gear and apparel. Her love for her yoga community runs deep and she enjoys creating opportunities for people to connect with one another on and off the mat. Follow Erin on instagram @ms.polley.