I’ve been going a little crazy over Kirtan style music recently. When I was training at the Baptiste Institute, there was no music during practice at all. I understand- for some it can be distracting and take away from their experience going inward. I was going a little bit insane. For me, music can only ADD to my yoga experience, it gets me out of my head and into my breath. Making and listening to music is such a natural instinct of being human, it awakens some powerful, joyful emotions in us that nothing else can.
Music is so powerful. I’ll never forget the song that played at my grandfather’s funeral, the song that played during my first middle school slow dance, or any of the words to the songs in The Lion King. There is nothing I love more than flowing through my Sun A’s and B’s with a nice beat vibrating through my being. I’ll never forget the Led Zeppelin theme class I took at Urban Yoga Spa, when our practice was finished with a harmonium lullaby at Brooklyn Yoga School, or the Go W/ The Flow music based yoga tour in Seattle.
A little bit about Kirtan & Sanskrit. Kirtan music is a Sanskrit chanting/repeating style mantras in song. Sanskrit is the oldest language known to man. It’s based on vibrations, the root sounds. A Sanskrit word is not a word chosen to name something, but an actual reflection of the inherent ‘sound’ of that object, concept or phenomena. Perfect pronunciation of Sanskrit words can replicate the exact nature or essence, of that which it is referring to. So what? you say, I don’t know what they’re saying anyways. I think of it like an orchestra. You hear the violins, and even though they’re not speaking words or a language you understand, it still feels very emotionally charged and registers as something beautiful.
For teachers: In my class, I play the ‘Omstrimental’ versions of MC Yogi songs, which include the chants and music with no other words, it’s perfect. You can find all of his songs wordless on iTunes.
I will write very soon all about Sanskrit Mantras, but for now I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ‘remixed’ Kirtan songs. I’m apparently the last Yogi to hop on the Krishna Das bandwagon, but now I can’t get enough of him.