Immerse yourself in the transformational power of sound vibration through mantras, ragas, and voice with Karnamrita Dasi. Discover the ancient Indian classical ragas and their profound ability to harmonize and heal. Delve into the sacred language of Sanskrit and unlock its healing potential through the secrets of proper pronunciation.
Through the sweet strains of Karnamrita’s melodious voice, you will awaken to the depth and intimacy of your own voice, gaining a deeper understanding of the power of sound and its effects on the mind, body, and spirit. Join us to explore the profound impact of sound, and experience the beauty of Bhakti yoga.
Offered as 3 satsangs and 1 workshop (subject to change).
The presentations associated with this Yoga Vacation Program begin with an 8pm satsang on the first day of the program and conclude with a 90-minute noon workshop on the last day of the program. Click here to read more about the Yoga Vacation Program details and view the ashram schedule for yoga classes and meals during your stay. We suggest you arrive at least one day prior to the start of your program for the optimal experience.
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.
Karnamrita Dasi was raised on music, Sanskrit, Vedic teachings, kirtan, japa meditation, and a vegetarian lifestyle in an ashram community in West Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. She studied Indian classical music in India for 10 years and sings worldwide, offering the blessings handed down by her teachers. She has tried to incorporate the meaning of her name — karn (ear) and amrita (the nectar of sound to the ear) into her life’s purpose.
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