High Energy African Music From Angelique Kidjo

If you have never experienced the dynamic music of Angelique Kidjo, a woman dubbed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time magazine, then you are in for an uplifting treat.

She blends tribal rhythms with pop, Latin, jazz, and zouk influences. The result is often pure, unbridled joy.

Check out her album, “Spirit Rising” on Spotify. (Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)

Check out her cover version of the Rolling Stones classic, “Gimme Shelter” for an injection of high energy followed by nice cool down tunes, “Malaika” and a haunting cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime.”

Another reason to become a Kidjo fan is she is UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and campaigns for improvements for women’s health and girls’ education in Africa.

The beauty in her spirit and soul definitely shines through in her music.

Posted on Jan 29, 2014

When Yoga Is Your Workout

“When Yoga Is Your Workout…”

I am someone whose definition of a “great workout” is one that challenges me and makes me sweat.

challenge-changeIn the past, I have dismissed yoga as “not really a workout.” Yes, there are times that yoga definitely challenges me. (I’m still working on my handstand and peacock pose.) And yes, there have times that yoga has made me work up a sweat (and I haven’t even taken Hot Yoga yet!)

But because I get my cardio workout in other ways, I usually like my yoga classes to be a little more relaxing. Yin style yoga, where you hold poses for 2-5 minutes each, is one of my favorites.

I know other people who swear that Bikram Yoga has changed their lives. And my husband lost over 20 pounds mostly due to a consistent program of Vinyasa Yoga.

With all that in mind, here are a couple of my favorite Spotify playlists for yoga enthusiasts. Some of these songs could also be great for cool downs.

Playlist #1, “Yoga Spot – Indian Mistic”: Listen to this one if you appreciate the Mind/Body aspect of yoga and enjoy more instrumental tunes, many inspired by the music of India.

Playlist #2, “Yoga Vinyasa Flow”: Listen to this one if you enjoy yoga flow classes and generally like the music to have words that you can mentally sing along to…

Namaste.

(Don’t have a Spotify account? Sign up for a free account here.)

Posted on Oct 21, 2013

One, Two, Three, Four by Lee Hi

Sure you might not know all the words, but there’s something catchy about this little tune by a 17-year old singer from Korea, Lee Hi. It’s called “One, Two, Three, Four” and her video currently has more than 6.5 million views on YouTube.

Is she the heir to Korea’s Psy whose “Gangnam Style” video has now topped over 1.7 BILLION views?

Whether her video becomes a viral sensation and her single cracks the charts on iTunes remains to be seen, but  it’s a catchy little tune with a nice groove for a warm up or cool down.

I love looking for new artists and sometimes playing songs that aren’t mainstream but that make people say, “Hey, what was the third song you played? That was awesome!”

Posted on Oct 6, 2013

Halloween Playlist

Do you love the holidays? Even if you don’t chances are that your students do!

Use the holidays for inspiration to pick out music that will both crack up your members and infuse some new life in your routines.

Halloween has long inspired singers and songwriters to compose songs that can be chilling, campy, fun, or just plain perverse.

The “Ultimate Halloween Playlist” on Spotify has an incredible selection:

And in my classes, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a must:

Have fun with it!

And start to anticipate the next great holiday. Christmas is just around the corner…

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Posted on Oct 4, 2013

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