I recently started taking classes at YogaWorks, where I was surprised to find that music is played during many of its yoga classes. At my old studio, I had only really experienced the occasional softly played meditative song during Savasana. At YogaWorks, music is played during the entirety of the class, and depending on the pace or style of class, the song may be as upbeat as Florence + the Machine or as mellow as Radiohead.
It was surprising to hear music during my first class, but I've grown to like the background soundtrack. During challenging poses, the upbeat music helps motivate me to not quit, and during Savasana, I find that I am able to zone out and let go in a way that I wasn't able to do in the dark and silence. My opinion is definitely not universal. Several friends and colleagues feel that when music is playing during their yoga practice it's distracting and takes away from the focus on breath and inward reflection. As one person put it, "I go to yoga to get away from all the noise and chatter from the outside world." Still, the yoga-music combo persists, perhaps best typified by the growing trend of yoga nightclubs.