We are delighted to welcome Snatam Kaur back to the ashram as part of the annual Christmas and New Year Symposium.
Join one of the most inspirational singers of devotional music of the Sikh tradition as she shares her angelic voice through song in two evening satsang performances. She and her husband, Sopurkh, will also offer two afternoon workshops in which you will be able to dive deep into the practices of kirtan, releasing pent-up emotions and fostering healing on the mental, physical, and spiritual levels.
Offered as 2 satsangs and 2 afternoon workshops. (subject to change)
What you’ll learn:
What is kirtan?
What is kirtan? Kirtan is derived from the Sanskrit root meaning to call, recite, praise, or glorify. Put simply, it is the act of praising and glorifying some form of divinity. Kirtan involves joyous chanting often performed in a community environment with the accompaniment of instruments such as the harmonium, tabla, and cymbals.
The resurgence of kirtan in the 20th century in the East coincided with a renewed zeal or focus being placed on Bhakti yoga, the yoga of self-surrender and devotion. Swami Sivananda, one of India’s modern sages, did much to reignite the fire of kirtan in India by going from town to town and vigorously leading the entire town’s population into chants that lasted days. Since the mid-20th century, kirtan and the chanting of mantras has found its way to the West. Many find the chanting of mantras appealing because it doesn’t require intense focus and is often done in a collective environment that is supportive and uplifting.
What are the benefits of kirtan?
Chanting mantra has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, dependencies and many mental ailments. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation recommends the chant Saa Taa Naa Maa for improving memory, developing greater attention, concentration, and focus, and bettering the mood. Other research studies also showcase the benefit of chanting for chronic pain conditions.
The practice of kirtan or chanting mantra regularly has been shown to bring our bodies back into balance, promoting holistic wellbeing: mental, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Chanting helps us regulate our sleep, energy input and output, and, thanks to the stimulation of the vagus nerve, the “rest and digest” response of our bodies which is also responsible for regulating breathing, heart rate, muscles, digestion, circulation, and even the vocal cords. Simply put, chanting helps slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, relax different muscles and produce slow, regular, and deep respiration.
Snatam Kaur is an American kirtan singer and peace activist, who learned to sing in the Sikh musical style with her mother. One of the most popular New Age artists of our time, she has been recording music since 2000; Her best-known CDs include Shanti, Grace, and Liberation’s Door. Her music can be heard around the world in venues from yoga studios to schools to Hollywood films and in the homes of her fans worldwide. Snatam Kaur has an amazing ability to transform traditional chants into a contemporary sound that appeals to the modern ear and awakens an ancient yearning in the soul. While traveling the world on tour she also teaches yoga and meditation to children and adults alike, a part of her commitment to give people tools for a daily experience of inner peace.
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