Franti Flows: The Intersection of Music and Yoga

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Michael Franti’s personal practice.

Michael Franti is a regular presenter at Wanderlust Festivals. We sat down with Michael to learn how yoga has influenced his music—and vice versa. 

Classes with music and yogi dance parties are just two of many experiences that await you at a festival this year. Find out more | 2016 lineup | Buy tickets  

When did you begin your yoga practice? How has it changed or influenced your life?
I started yoga the day after 9/11 at a time of social, political, and global unrest. After being bombarded with the news at that time, I needed a way to ground myself and find a way to infuse peace and hope into this new reality that we were all experiencing. Yoga was and continues to be a source of grounding for me, a way to connect to who I am at the core. As long as I can get on my mat I know I can find the same sense of peace and hope as I did that first day. This a powerful thing to know.

Some people hesitate beginning a yoga practice because they believe they’re not “flexible enough,” or that they don’t have enough time. What would you say to these people to encourage them? 
I read once that for people to hesitate starting yoga because they aren’t flexible enough is like saying they can’t shower because you are too dirty. Flexibility will come with the more yoga you do, but yoga will serve you in bigger ways that will far exceed your fear of flexibility. It truly does allow your soul to shine… And eventually you will be able to touch your toes.

Do you believe that yoga offers something for everyone? How so?
Absolutely. The only thing you need to have when you get on your yoga mat is an intention and understanding that you’re trying to move something. Maybe it’s just moving your mood from stressed out to happy, an intention of making big changes in your life, or even in the world. Then, within an hour or so—however long the practice is—you start to realize how much power you have inside to truly change things, and all it takes is a little movement and breath. That understanding is a gift everyone deserves. And walking away sweaty and thankful for a great workout is pretty cool too.

Are there similarities in the message of your music and your personal practice? Does one inspire the other?
They definitely work in conjunction with each other and I’d like to think that the soul we put into all of our songs is a soul that is better tapped into because of the grounding and stillness that comes from my yoga practice. The natural state of joy that we are all always working towards can be found on your yoga mat, and it is often in this place that some of our deepest, more vulnerable, or most uplifting lyrics come to the surface.

As a musician, how does music complement your practice? Do you have a favorite soundtrack or type of music that you listen to when you practice? 
Music is magic; tiny vibrations that massage our ear drums. We can’t see, touch, taste or smell it, yet like no other art form it has the ability to pull out emotions in us so powerful that we will pack stadiums with our hands in the air, sit alone at a beach, fall in love, lead social revolutions, and be moved through tears of elation, joy or sorrow. My music choices are my medicine and I reach for songs in accord with how I’m feeling in the moment or to help me shift my energy when I need a lift. Sometimes I practice yoga in silence, but most of the time I play songs that are inspiring both musically and lyrically. I find that music can allow me to go deeper into my personal emotional space and at the same time unify a whole yoga class around feelings or an intention.

With that in mind, we worked hard on our new single, “Once A Day” Love Life Remix to make it a positive, uplifting song that emits frequencies that coincide with joy and loving life. We want our music to leave people feeling energetically refreshed, similar to how it feels to walk out of a yoga class.

franti bioMusician, filmmaker, humanitarian, Michael Franti, is recognized as a pioneering force using music as a vehicle for positive change as well as his unforgettable, high energy shows with his band, Spearhead. Franti has a brand new single, “Once A Day” the energetic new song from upcoming debut album on Fantasy Records. “Once A Day” was produced by Supa Dups (Eminem, Damian Marley, Bruno Mars) and features special guest Sonna Rele. With lyrics such as “I heard the purpose of life is to live a life full of purpose” and “So just believe in yourself , don’t let nobody bein’ negative, tell you what to do,” this new song has the same feel-good, inspiring vibe as “Say Hey (I Love You),” his 2x platinum hit single.