I was recently challenged to do a 90s themed playlist for yoga at one of my studios for an entire week. Personally I was thrilled at the opportunity to change up the music... but upon teaching I think most of the students felt otherwise. One student did give me direct feedback on the change up and music and she shared that while she enjoyed the tunes, it was rather distracting for her yoga practice.
In my own yoga practice, I can listen to almost anything but honestly prefer any of the music to be almost silent if not, completely silent. There are a few genres that would bring great mental friction during my practice like metal music with vocals, upbeat bluegrass, and rap with loud drum kits.
My classes featuring the 90s music were.... weird. The room felt off, my teaching felt a little out of alignment, and overall the experience was rather distracted. I liked that this studio put effort into creating a fun and loving environment but I think it was at the expense of their students experience in all yoga cases. I feel that participation in the themed music should have been optional for instructors.
In my opinion, themed yoga classes can be really fun... but I think they should be reserved for special events only. Regular yoga programming should feature music that the instructor and students prefer for their zen experience. Musically themed classes are offered best in a workshop or series format. For example, this summer I will be teaching a series of musically themed classes - Mac Miller, Drake, Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Odesza, Norah Jones, and John Mayer are amongst the artists I will be featuring as soundscapes for my themed yoga experiences.