Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make a Joyful Noise

For years my yoga teachers have recommended chanting. I own some kirtan CDs, I've attended kirtan sessions at the ashram where I received my yoga training, and I have gone to hear Bhakti Shakti at Studio Be in Boulder. I've always found kirtan enjoyable and beneficial, but my participation has been inconsistent. Chanting alone at home felt dry, and I didn't enjoy hearing the longely sound of my voice.

My family gave me an IPad for my birthday and an ITunes gift card I used to download music for my yoga classes. I've taken to bringing my IPad into my meditation room and chanting along with some of the kirtan.

The effects have been immediate. Hours after I've chanted, the rhythms are still going through my head, and sometimes I burst spontaneously into song as I go about my work! My silent meditations have become deeper and more peaceful. I like to think that's because the kirtan has softened me up that much more.

I especially love Jai Uttal's "Ganesha Sharanam." A small child begins the chant, and I smile every time I hear his sweet little voice. Even a grinch would hear that voice and smile and sing and feel her heart growing nine sizes too big.

Besides Jai Uttal, I also like Deva Premal and Krishna Das. Don't be intimidated by the Sanskrit. If you buy kirtan CDs, the lyrics are printed phonetically on the sleeve. If you use ITunes, there are online kirtan lyrics.

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