If you’ve ever taken a Yoga class, you have likely heard some Yoga Mantras playing in the background. From the outside, Kirtan looks like chanting where one person calls out a sacred Mantra or affirmation and the group sings, chants or speaks it back in return. Kirtan can be practiced with or without musical instruments. The Mantras can be in English, Sanskrit, or any other language that resonates with the chanter.
A deeper look at Kirtan reveals its meditational benefits. The repetition of this participatory call and response musical creation brings us into the present moment with each recitation. It allows us to practice calming the “monkey mind” or endless loops of thoughts from the past or future we tend to fill our minds with, and coming back to the Mantra.
Sometimes the Mantras include names of ancient Deities. These Deities are not outward or external concepts. They represent qualities or states of mind that exist within us that we wish to invoke. In this way, the Mantras become dedications to our True Selves and loving who we really are. Not idol worship ... IDEAL worship.
Kirtan can be an active, boisterous, lively experience, or a calm, slow sound bath. Either way, Kirtan allows us to come together as a group and feel the uplifting resonance and vibration that music and singing has to offer. No experience is required and you don’t need a singing voice. Kirtan is just as powerful for those who express outward by chanting aloud as those who go inward, silently reciting the Mantra in their mind.
Shell and her husband Anton were drawn to chanting for many years before their first spiritual journey to India where they often practiced Kirtan in groups at ashrams and in magical locations like on the banks of the Ganges River. They had a realization during this pilgrimage that they had to bring the practice to others to share the energy and sense of inner calm and joy it can cultivate. Shell plays harmonium and leads the chanting while Anton provides grounding for the group through drumming. They are passionate about explaining the mantras, relating the principles to our western lives and telling stories about their journey.
Contact Shell to book a private Kirtan or for more information.