Every first Friday of the month at 7pm we gather together as a yoga community at different venues throughout the northern suburbs of Wollongong. After about an hour of kirtan we share supper together.
Kirtan is the singing of mantras with melody and rhythm. Kirtan is a practice of the heart and an opportunity to switch off the head. It is an aspect of the branches of yoga known as Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound and vibration and Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion. (This does not mean that one has to be a devotional type to benefit from kirtan, just as one does not have to be an athlete to benefit from the asanas.)
Singing kirtan does not require a good voice, devotion or a musical nature. What matters is that you chant from the heart and listen to the words of the kirtan and repeat them after the kirtanist. Let go of the intellect, let go of any musical preconceptions, let go of shoulds and what does it mean.
One person at a time will lead a kirtan singing a few lines and then the rest of the group repeats the words. Various musical instruments are used such as the harmonium, drums and percussion. The kirtan usually starts slowly, builds up the pace and finishes slowly.
The benefits of kirtan are many:
- helps to concentrate the mind, which increases stillness
- releases mental and emotional tensions
- soothing , healing, uplifting effect
- the vibrations have a positive effect on the nervous system
- creates a more subtle awareness
- brings about a state of tranquillity and relaxation
- strengthens the lungs through the control and regulation of the breath
- purifies the chakras and the higher areas of the brain
- repetition switches off the intellect and gives our mind a rest
- clears the mind of dullness, disharmony and despair
The primary language used will be Sanskrit, the mother of all Indo-European languages and believed to be the oldest on earth. Sanskrit is based on the vibrations produced by the various combinations of sounds.
“Kirtan is not just an emotional outburst. Rather kirtan becomes the means by which we dive deep into our emotions and experience our inner expansiveness.” Swami Niranjan
“ Music melts the heart of even the stonehearted man. If there is anything in this world which can change the heart of man in a very quick time, that is music and dance.” Swami Sivananda
No cost and everyone welcome, including children.