5 Classic Indian Music Albums for Relaxation and Meditation

Classic Indian music being performed onstage.

Pablo BD from Buenos Aires, Argentina/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Indian classical music has no parallel. Listen to it, and you’re bound to get a dose of sound that can do wonders to your senses, especially if it's accompanying yoga or meditation. This is a great way to soothe your nerves at the end of a hard day’s work, to help you meditate or even fall asleep. There are several albums that blend ancient chants and modern orchestration to create the best of both worlds.

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Chants of India

Ravi Shankar, the Indian composer and sitar player with his instrument.

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What can you expect when Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro himself, lays his fingers on the sacred chants from Hindu scriptures and transforms them into music for Western ears? A captivating classic, this collection of mantras and prayers from the Vedas and Upanishads, accompanied by flute, tamboura, and sitar, was produced by the late George Harrison. This album is gentle and relaxing.

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Chanting the Chakras: Roots of Awakening

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Acclaimed composer Layne Raymond combines drumming and chanting to evoke a sense of spiritual well-being in the Indian tradition of nada yoga (sound yoga) that helps you travel inward and rejuvenate. Redmond is accompanied by Steve Gorn on the bamboo flute and Amitava Chatterjee on the sitar, among other musicians. This album includes a 24-page booklet explaining the chants.

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Love Is Space

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Deva Premal from Germany and Miten from England met and fell in love in India, where they had gone to study its musical heritage. Their compositions promise you a journey into the spacious realm of chants, with music ideal for yoga, meditation, or even slow dance. The ancient mantras, the beautiful rhythms, and the soulful songs will calm your senses.

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Jiva Mukti

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This album from Nada Shakti and Bruce BecVar is another sonic healer comprising mystical chants and mantras of India and Tibet. The music is escorted by an exotic array of instruments (harp, guitar, keyboards, bells, dumbek, and tabla). This album is more than just a series of soothing melodies. Play it on and on, for you can hardly get bored. The music is vibrant, hypnotic, and has a sacred aura to it.

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Devotion: Rasa

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In this album inspired by ancient India’s Vedic culture, singer Kim Waters and musician Hans Christian collaborate to present sacred Sanskrit chants and Bengali devotional songs and kirtans to the accompaniment of sarangi and sitar. Kim Waters’ haunting vocalization strikes an even balance with Hans’ instruments and evokes a mystical mood.