A few months ago I decided to make a few changes to my daily habits. My first change was to write in a gratitude journal every night, listing one thing I’m grateful for. My second change was to start each morning off with a five to ten minute meditation. My third change was to stretch every morning directly after meditating. The first change has by far been the easiest one to maintain. I haven’t missed a single day. The second change, meditating every morning, was difficult to stick with in the beginning. I missed a few days here and there, but now that I’m getting the hang of it, it’s pretty rare for me to miss a morning meditation. The little bit of effort it takes to start a morning meditation is more than worth it — if you can get over that initial resistance, you’ll reap the rewards for the rest of the day. The benefits of having a focused, peaceful mind cannot be overstated. And finally, daily stretching, the third change, has been the one that has given me the most trouble.
I think it’s because I got the idea in my head that when I was stretching I had to do it one in a quiet place. These conditions worked for meditation, but not for stretching. Stretching always felt like a chore. Then I realized, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything any certain way… but as long as I am going to do something, I mind as well do it in a way that works.” For me, stretching in silence does not work. I get too bored and quit. However, stretching in the company of delightful tuneage does work. I surround myself with soundwaves that feel revitalizing and refreshing, and sometimes a half an hour will slip by in what feels like two minutes.
If you include stretching as part of your exercise routine (and you should!), listen to these songs to soothe your soul as you soothe your muscles.
Date Palms – Yuba Reprise
Oh man, how I love this gorgeous, ambient instrumental track. It makes me feel like I’m looking out at a wide open desert just as the sun announces the beginning of a new day. Its dreamy minimalism has a spiritually cleansing, meditative quality about it, and is nothing short of musical bliss.
Sanctuary feat. Abra – HYDRABADD
This is a trippy song. Trippy in the sense that after the first listen you’ll fall head over heels in love with it. After enticing you with a slow seductive groove, the beat comes in and hits you over the head with its mind-numbing awesomeness.
Glass Vaults – Ancient Gates
Magical, that’s what this mini-masterpiece is. Post-ambient, emotive, and it somehow manages to be sunny and glacial at once. It’s one of those gems that haunts with you its beauty long after you’ve stopped listening to it. Glass Vaults is giving away “Ancient Gates” for free on Bandcamp and you’d be a huge dumbface not to download it.
Germany Germany – Decathect
This shimmering little nugget, set against slow-groove synthiness, injects your eardrums with pure electro-pop ecstasy. It’s wonderfully produced, infectious, and Drew Harris’ sweet repetition of “I’ll be there” will make you glow from the inside out.
Still Corners – Future Age
“Future Age” is a massively enjoyable song. It starts out with the words, “Swim in the sea of love, and fly with the white doves,” which is exactly what listening to this track does to your heart. I can’t believe this group isn’t better known, and actually, I just found out about them myself. But if their other songs are anything like “Future Age,” then I think it’s safe to say Still Corners is going to soon become one of my new favorite bands.