Music is part of a profound and vibratory yoga, Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound. Most have experienced music's power to elevate mood, tune us into our emotions, release anxiety and restore our sense of connection with each other and with life. When we listen to music created with intention, the spaces within our bodies, minds and hearts realign with it and we are literally re-harmonized! This is a source of healing that makes us feel incredibly good!
Among our favourite experiences in this life is making and sharing music with beloved friends!
For almost two decades now, we have had the pleasure of sharing our Bhakti (i.e., yoga of devotion) and Nada yoga practices as part of regular yoga classes as well as at festivals, conferences and with yoga centres and communities abroad. It has been such a privilege to tour across Canada and the United States sharing our passion for yoga and mantra chanting.
"John and Michelle! I LOVE the meditations, yoga nidra and sound healing, listening to you play instruments and chant and the amazing Kirtans!"
Kirtan with Michelle & John
One of our favourite practices is hosting commUNITY Kirtans (call and response chanting of mantras)! During this ancient ecstatic and devotional practice of sacred sound we dissolve into the heart of Universal bliss and Oneness. Accompanied by live music, we chant Sanskrit mantras, inviting them to penetrate deeply into our cells and into our hearts creating a miraculous vibrational massage. Repetitively chanting the names of the Divine reveals our true nature, frees our minds from thought, and reconnects with our Source of Being.
"What an amazing first Kirtan experience! I feel such gratitude for being there. Thank you for being so warm, accepting and welcoming. I loved the instruments and chanting!"
Om Mata Kali. A chant to the feminine energy, the Divine Mother, expressing deep gratitude for her fierce love for all of Creation - the full spectrum of expression, light and shadow.
Kirtan is an ancient practice of call-and-response chanting. It merges music, singing, mantra, yoga, community, and meditation to create an ecstatic and “vibrational” yoga that offers a way of reconnecting with our hearts, Divine Universal Consciousness, and each other.
During Kirtan the musicians and singers create the experience together—voices and instruments merging to become one beautiful sound. It is one of the simplest, most powerful and joyful ways to meditate as we ride waves of melodies, vibrations and rhythms into silence and inner stillness. Kirtan welcomes us to bring all parts of ourselves – the full spectrum of our feelings and experiences – surrendering them all into the practice.
Kirtan began in India as a spiritual practice and as an essential part of Bhakti Yoga – the yoga of devotion to the Divine. Because of this, many of the songs are sung in Sanskrit and contain the Names of Divine energies like “Shiva” and “Durgha”. One of the benefits of chanting in Sanskrit is that it frees our minds from focusing on words in our spoken language and invites us to move deeper within. Kirtan itself is non-denominational and everyone can experience its profound benefits. When we chant, we connect to the transformative energies that are alive within us – the truths and essences of who we truly are. Over the last decade Kirtan has blossomed across North America and it continues to evolve as artists offer chants through almost every musical genre from folk to rap, appealing to the ears and hearts of Western audiences.
As a form of yoga and meditation, chanting offers a host of benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. It is a highly effective form of Pranayama (regulated breath practice), which strengthens the respiratory system and increases the flow of energy (Prana) throughout the subtle body. Overworked nervous systems are re-harmonized and the immune system receives a boost. Chanting can dissolve anxiety and worry and restore a sense of deep inner peace. For many, it provides inspiration for growth and self-realization. Chanting together at Kirtan is like a balm for the heart, filling each moment with love and connection. The effects of this can be felt for days as a greater sense of ease, joy and aliveness.
Kirtan is an invitation to dissolve into the heart of life together. There are no experts; the practice is the greatest teacher, guiding us home to ourselves.
A Taste of a Live Kirtan Experience
SURYACHANDRA LIVE KIRTAN (2022)! This was truly one of the most vibrant and joyful Kirtans we have experienced! We packed Aumbience Yoga (Nova Scotia) and literally raised the roof with the power and devotion of our combined voices! Enjoy the live recording - may it nourish your heart and soul!
SURYACHANDRA LIVE KIRTAN (2021)! After two years of not being able to meet and chant as a community, we gathered at Aumbience Yoga in Nova Scotia - a gorgeous and sacred space created by our dear friend, Michelle Robinson - and shared a heart-firing and vibrant Kirtan re-union on September 30, 2021, the first official day dedicated to Truth & Reconciliation. There were only 20 guests permitted due to public health policies and we chanted our hearts out, sending loving and healing energy out to the whole world. We are pleased to share the live recording. When you need to be reminded of the love that you are and that is the All & Everything behind existence, have a listen!
Why We Love to Chant!
In the three short videos below, we describe why we love to chant and share a bit about the many blessings it has brought into our lives. "Come on out and give it a try!"
Yoga Nidra, Reiki & Sound Healing
We have studied and guided people through experiences with the healing vibrations of sound for over a decade and a half. Our practice includes and embraces Eastern Nada and Bhakti Yogas (the yogas of sound and devotion), and sacred sound through vocal mantras, chanting, live instrumentation, and the Reiki Kotodama (the sacred sounds of Reiki). As Yogi's, Reiki Masters, and Bhaktas, our practice offers an artful and unique blend of these healing modalities as an expression of devotion, for the greatest highest good, and for the well-being and benefit of all.
We are delighted to be part of the SuryaChandra with our beloved friends Maryz & Vidhu! SuryaChandra (the Sun and the Moon) is a spiritual music ensemble that explores the healing power of sound through the practice of yogic chants. Individual members of SuryaChandra have 30 years of experience leading Kirtan (call-and-response mantra chanting), a beautiful way of connecting with the Universal. We also offer Hatha Yoga and Sound Healing workshops accompanied by live music. The group is based in Nova Scotia and has been touring in various parts of North America and in Asia since 2012. We have had the honour of sharing our practice at Bhaktifest in California, the Montreal Chant Festival, the Ananda Festival (Burlington, ON), and Bhakti in the Woods (Ladysmith, QB).
Among the musical instruments played by SuryaChandra are the Indian sitar, dilruba and harmonium, the Arabian oud and doumbek, the Paraguayan harp, the guitar, the Navajo drone flute and the Celtic bouzouki. For more information about SuryaChandra and to hear (and purchase!) our music, listen below or visit: www.suryachandra.net.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: a prayer for the peace and happiness of all beings. Original melody by Maryz of SuryaChandra from the Album, Namaskar.
Listen and Purchase!
Gentle Warrior Sacred Song Ceremonies with JONT
We feel so honoured to share Gentle Warrior Sacred Song Ceremonies and the musical magic of our beloved friend Jont.
These are magical, intimate gatherings bursting with healing and celebration, weaving together a divine blend of heart-melting acoustic songs, sacred sound, devotional mantras, poems, stories and meditation journeys, into the rich container of a sacred cacao ceremony.
The experiences have been amazing and people have simply LOVED them!
"A beautiful night listening to Jont. It was a sacred concert, full of love, music, honesty, and dark chocolate (cacao). Thank you Michelle & John for your generous and loving hosting, and for your centering and uplifting music."
"Last night was the sweetest kind of sweet, I loved, loved, loved it! Thank you for my happiness!"
"Such deep gratitude for these evenings. Still vibrating! THANK YOU all for this night of connection, celebration, honoring and devotion, for the essence of happiness and family. And the special light beings who bring us together in this way of love light truth. Jont, Michelle & John we love you so much."
For more information about the song ceremonies, visit Jont's website by clicking HERE
Jont, originally from the UK, has been singing and playing music for over 20 years. His musical energy is radiant and contagious, stirring the heart and soul, and touching into that place within us that longs for what’s true, joyful and divine. We have rarely heard music that has moved and inspired us so deeply…and it is why we are called to share it!