There's nothing like the perfect power song to get you pumped up for an intense workout. So why not apply the same musical motivation to your yoga practice? That's exactly what certified yoga instructor Karen Kassover did, and it eventually led to the creation of her popular "Rockin' Vinyaysa" class at Reebok Sports Club/NY. With artists like Jay-Z, Fun., and Florence & The Machines serenading you through your downward dogs and warrior poses, Kassover's class puts a seriously modern spin on the ancient practice. "But if yoga is supposed to be about quieting your mind, isn't the music distracting?" you might ask. To the contrary, Kassover says. "I also found [the music] helps people get out of their own heads."
Kassover aims to help all of her clients detach from the stresses of the corporate world that are all too familiar to her. Upon graduating from college, she spent seven years working in equity sales and trading at Goldman Sachs. During her time in "the grind," she found that she was "constantly running to yoga class from work." So it wasn't too surprising when, in 2001, she changed career paths and got certified by YogaWorks.
Dedicating nearly a decade of her life to a career in finance wasn't a waste. Kassover's experience extends to her practice and helps her relate to her clients today. "A lot of my private clients are actually former Wall Street-ers or from that corporate world. I understand when my client needs to wear her four-inch heels, and I'm not going to scold her for that!" she says. This realistic approach to working out is evident in all of Kassover's classes. She knows that doing a workout you truly enjoy that fits into your life will bring you back again and again, which is why her classes are always exciting, with new music that reflects the changing seasons. (In the winter, she'll mix a holiday playlist, and the music is themed around love when Valentine's Day is near.)
"If you play a very strong song, the poses become stronger. If you play a relaxing song at the end, it helps you relax. The music really helps the practice," Kassover says. To help you get started on your own Rockin' Vinyasa series, Kassover designed the following playlist to go along with this yoga flow. Add these tracks to your iPod and then check out the detailed sequence here.