What is Kirtan and why should you make it part of your yoga practice?

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We are so fortunate at Forever Yoga to have International Kirtan artist Girish coming to visit us again at the studio in September! If you haven’t experienced a kirtan before or you’re wondering what it’s all about and why it’s such an amazing addition to your yoga practice, keep reading!

What is Kirtan?

Kirtan is a form of live music that often involves Sanskrit mantras. Each artist puts their own sound and creativity into the music, so it can be quite different from person to person or group to group. They may use different instruments from what you might see in a typical rock band to more traditional instruments like harmonium and drums or sitars. Beyond the music, a key element of Kirtan is that it is usually in Call and Response format. In other words, the leader of the group will sing a line, and then the audience will sing it back them. We all get to participate when we go to a Kirtan!

What are the benefits of Kirtan?

Vibration. Sanskrit is the science of vibration. When we chant Sanskrit sounds, we receive physical and energetic benefits. Kirtan makes that all the sweeter by, as Krishna Das often says, giving us something that makes taking the “Medicine” (the Sanskrit mantra itself) easier to “swallow”. Music just makes everything sweeter. Putting words to music has also been shown to make retention and recall better. That’s why you can still remember every word of your favorite song from when you were a teenager. Want to really learn a mantra? Do it through Kirtan!

Stress Relief. Singing has been scientifically shown to relieve tension and relax the body. But what if you feel like you don’t have a great singing voice? No one cares what you sound like! It’s just like when we’re in a yoga class, the only people that care about your down dog is you and your teacher! Everyone is having their own experience and if they’re really paying attention, they aren’t at all concerned with what you sound like. We’re all in this together. And if you really don’t feel comfortable singing, just being in the room with the sound and the others participating can bring you huge benefits.

Group Energy. Speaking of the others in the room, group energy is so important in so many of our practices. If you’ve ever done a yoga video at home, you know that it’s just not the same as it is when you do yoga in a class setting. When everyone is moving and breathing together, there’s something special that happens. The same thing is true in Kirtan. It’s just like when you go to see your favorite musical group live. Sharing that experience with others provides a kind of magic that you just can’t get when singing alone in the shower!

A sweet form of meditation. You know how you feel when your favorite song comes on the radio (or the Alexa or whatever it is you play music through these days)? Kirtan can give you that feeling in an even more beneficial way. The music we play in classes is often recorded versions of Kirtan. Just like so many other yogic practices, kirtan allows you to release stress, tension and anxiety in a way that is far more beneficial than sitting in front of the TV on a Friday night. Instead of simply distracting you, it actually draws you in to more conscious relaxation. How does it do that? Kirtan is a form of meditation practice! Really! As you chant along with a room full of friends your mind will wander, but it will wander a little less due to the group energy. When you notice you’ve wandered, you just come back to the chant. It’s that simple! You may find that this is the most fun meditation you’ve ever done!

I hope you’ll join us for our Kirtan with Girish this month or another Kirtan in the future. You won’t be sorry, I promise!

Bonus: My kitty who I named Kirtan because she loves to sing! :-)

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Cats on Mats Round Up!

We had an amazing time with our Cats on Mats event on May 6th! The kitties loved being able to run and play after being in cages for so long and we loved being a part of their antics. Our practice not only uplifted their lives but future residents of Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption. We raised an awesome $575 to help build them a new home! I'm so happy that all the kitties that got to play with us that day were going to new loving homes the very next day. :-) As I said during the class, we wish we didn't have to do a class like this. We wish that there were no homeless animals. But until that day we will do what we can to help.

Here are a few pictures of the event that we just loved!

Thank you to everyone who participated and donated. We will definitely be doing this again in the future!

Yin Yoga and Crystal Bowls coming March 6th!

We are so looking forward to our next #Yinyoga and Crystal bowls class coming up on March 6th! Please join us! Register now! #foreveryoganh #Wilton #NH #newhampshire #Yoga #soundbath #sound #healing #relax #relaxation

Essential Oils Workshop next week!

More and more I find that when I have a headache, stomach ache, burn, etc. etc. instead of reaching for chemical or engineered remedies from the medicine cabinet I reach for my essential oils! Those that have already taken this workshop are experiencing some dramatic changes in their health and wellness. I hope you'll join us and find out for  yourself just how powerful these oils can be! ~ Jessica

Natural Remedies and Green Living with Young Living Essential Oils

Tuesday February 4th, 6:30-8:30pm

Just $10!

Come learn to live more chemical-free and create a healthy, portable and cross-functional first aid kit using nature’s first medicine – essential oils. You will learn how you can support your health and that of those you love. We will discuss using essential oils for:

•Air purification and neutralizing odors •First aid (burns, sore throat, cuts, muscle ache, headaches and more) •Sleep problems and relaxation •Cold and flu prevention and treatment •Digestive problems •Pest control •Cleaning and aromatherapy •Anxiety and mood problems •Pet care •Cooking and more….

Workshop includes a brief description of the history of essential oils, their medicinal and therapeutic properties, and hands-on experience with 9 essentials oils. You’ll also receive a handout of ways to use these 9 oils each day in your home and for your health.

Pre-registration is required.

 CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE EVENT PAGE AND REGISTER!

Our next event! Reiki and Restorative Yoga!

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An evening of Reiki and Restorative Yogawith Gina House & Jessica M. Lang Wright

Tuesday January 21st, 7-9pm, Cost: $30 Advanced Registration Required! Space is limited!

Join us for a luscious evening that will relax and restore you! Jessica will guide you into Restorative yoga postures that will gently open your body, using of a variety of props to support you, allowing tension and stress to drain and release from your body. As you hold these fully supported delicious postures, Gina will administer the loving healing energy of Reiki to individuals as well as the group, further enhancing the relaxation and deep healing of the practice. You will leave this evening feeling incredibly relaxed, deeply healed and ready for a peaceful night of sleep!

READ MORE HERE!

 

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.