Kirtan is a form of call-and-response singing or chanting in a group.  A mantra is chanted back to a lead singer who accompanies him or herself with traditional instruments, like the harmonium.  It is a beautiful form of pranayama and sound meditation.  It allows us to practice mindfulness, be in the present moment, release and unblock stagnant energy, and simply chant to our heart’s desire.  We are invited to leave the worries of the mind behind, and feel and express ourselves from the heart.

It is originally from India and is practiced as a form of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, the yoga of love.

We are very lucky to be able to offer this practice in our studio.  The yoga of sound has been close to my heart since childhood.

Meet Maya.

Maya loves sound.

She sings with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Choir and will be guiding us through our first KIRTAN event here in our studio.  Maya has lived in India for a few years.  There, she has been introduced to Vedic Mantra Chanting and has been taught to play the harmonium.  Here in Australia, she combines these skills and the love of singing, to bring her Kirtan to a few Aged Care Facilities in Melbourne.  I have met Maya on Christmas day, and after singing a few tunes together we agreed to introducing Kirtan to The Art of Balance community.

Where, when and how?

All you have to do is walk through this door, take a seat and enjoy exploring your voice.  No singing, nor yoga or meditation experience is required.  We have decided to chant the Gayatri Mantra, which expresses gratitude to the divine and the life-giving sun.  The intention of opening ourselves up to new experiences and to connecting to our hearts is more important than the meaning of the words.

The event will include chanting and a twenty-minute meditation other than sound.

When:                      Friday, 14th February.

Time:                      7pm to 830pm.

Location:               The Art of Balance – Yoga & Massage, 40 Woolston Drive, Frankston South.

Cost:                      $30 per person; $50 per family/couple (2 or more ppl).

Everybody is welcome.  Please book via sign-in sheet in the studio or contact me on bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

This is for you, and for us as a community.  I will learn to play the harmonium myself and it is my innate wish to hold regular Kirtan events at our studio.  It will be a trial to hear and feel how it resonates with us.

Artists like Deva Primal, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das and Sacred Earth have commercialised the ancient art of Kirtan.  Listen here to Deva Premal chanting the Gayatri Mantra.  She has a beautiful voice, I think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQjHSIHPJfw

Om shanti. Peace always.