Meditation for Going on an Instant Self-Retreat

Music can help you escape to anywhere, anytime. Here’s how to slip off and away, no airfare required.


If you want to rein in the mind, music can be the catalyst. Wherever you want to go (emotionally, spiritually, mentally), the right tunes can establish a mood that takes you there. It is the great transporter.

Here’s a process for finding a soundscape to transport you:

  • Close your eyes
  • Listen to your breath
  • Imagine yourself in that place you want to be: if it’s on a boat, at a BBQ, under a starry sky.
  • See yourself and imagine the people that would be with you. The key is to really just let your mind go to that place.
  • Let yourself begin to paint the space with music. Be intuitive about it: What’s naturally playing in the background of your scene?
  • Open your eyes and get to work sourcing music.
  • Listen to the music and then play out the scene again in your mind. How do they match? Does the music help you get there quickly and vividly?
  • Make a note of what works. Whenever you want to go on a little self retreat, you now have a some musical itineraries you can tap into.

One of my favorite things in the world is to be on a boat with a few friends, so when I want to tap into that feeling, I take some time and imagine the sway of water underneath and the wind in our hair, dropping anchor and that groovy, sunny vibe. Lots of times this leads me to a sweet Hawaiian concept. My husband plays the ukulele and we are surfers, so something along the lines of Hawaiian Folk Radio takes me right into the ocean.

Then there are the times I want to become a superhero, when I need to harness that great strength. My life is centered around teaching and nurturing, being a strong woman, mother, wife, and yoga teacher. In particular when you have little ones, there is less time to gear up, so I find that music is a shortcut to empowerment. It is the quick catalyst into your Hanuman, the great monkey god who forgets his powers only to remember them when he is called upon. I am in my car a lot so when I need a dose of amazing nothing does it quick like the World of Amy Winehouse Radio.

Another big part of my family’s daily life is our house jams. We have regular dance parties and it is essential to generate the right mood. Music has that magical quality: it’s like the interior designer to the stars. There is something about reggae that makes everything seem like it is going to be OK, so we often head straight for Sunshine Reggae Radio. It helps us to unwind and relax. There are also times when we want to get our groove on, bounce, bop, and shake our tush. Truly that’s always the best, when we all drop into the music, let go, and get sweaty. For this type a thing we go for something featuring the Black Eyed Peas like Every Summer Dance Party Radio.

What are your go-to musical soundscapes?
Where do they take you?

dawnDawn Bianca Feinberg, BCMT and co-creator of YogArt (Miami, FL), is a certified Jivamukti teacher and a licensed movement therapist.  Dawn’s teaching style combines the breath-based essence of Ashtanga yoga with the evolving freedom of Jivamukti yoga as well as the discipline and insight gleaned from her daily Mysore practice.  Creative, uplifting and physically challenging, Dawn’s classes harmonize the body, energize the spirit and empower the mind.  Widely recognized as one of the most charismatic and respected yoga teachers in South Florida, Dawn also leads many Jivamukti workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings around the world. When Dawn isn’t studying, teaching or practicing yoga and kirtan, she loves to catch waves and hang with her beautiful children and husband Danny.