I’ve been meaning to write an entry about Gita’s Dream, a Kirtan group led by Gita Krista Zember and her husband, Christopher. It runs out here yoga studio, BE Yoga, in Sterling, Virginia (think Dulles Airport). They hold chanting sessions at yoga studios around the DC area, including Yoga in Daily Life in Alexandria and lil omm in DC. Last year, they participated in DC Kirtan Fest; there’s more to the kirtan scene in DC than you might think. She picked up kirtan in 2007 and it’s blossomed into a root of her yoga practice and teaching. Check out the schedule of performances; there’s a couple of things almost every month.
“I now have a Yurt studio out here teaching Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Living Yoga, Reiki, Yoga for Children with special needs and a whole lot of Kirtan! All of the money earned from our kirtans is donated to girls in India rescued from sex trafficking that I go visit and work with there in Kolkata.”
Gita is trained in the Kripalu and Integral Yoga traditions, and has been influenced by other teachers. She leads yoga sessions for special children, which is definitely an under-served group.
I will add her to my DC yoga directory as soon as I can. By the way, a yurt is a portable dwelling typical of nomadic tribes of Central Asia steppes, but in the States it’s come to be an example of sustainable buildings.
CHANT 4 CHANGE, January 19, 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm, at Church of the Holy City:
Celebrate the Inauguration of Barack Obama on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with sacred activist Shiva Rea, world-renowned kirtan/chant artists Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits and 400 other conscious revolutionaries.
I suspect that this event is going to sell out very quickly. It’s a relatively small venue. You can buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets at $70 a piece. It’s for a good cause.
Thanks to Daily Cup of Yoga, I ran across a recent audio interview with Krisha Das on CBC Radio. [MLS: A shame, but the archive only goes back to 2009 now.] I’ve commented before that he’s kinda been the soundtrack of my yoga practice. The lengthy discussion centers on his spiritual practice that parallels his experience with kirtan music. It really gave new insight into his music. I’ll Krishna Das speak for himself.
I was checking out Spirit Voyage Music, a distributor of sacred music (some would call it New Age), and I realized that they are located in northern Virginia, in Purcellville. They are strong on Kundalini, but have lots of other world music styles. They also have a ticket outlet for concerts.
I am listening to Dave Stringer‘s Japa album, which I bought online. It gives me another chance to listen to Donna de Lory, who sings many of the backup and chorus vocals, just as Dave did on her last album. This type of kirtan is not for meditation, yoga practice or even more casual listening when you just want to leave the music and lyrics in the background — it is just too celebratory, too joyous to cultivate your inner stillness. Despite the lyrics being in Sanskrit and repetitive, I feel myself engaged in the music.
Krishna Das will be coming to the Washington, DC area in late May. He will bring his special interpretation of kirtan to Alexandria, VA at 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 26 at the George Washington Middle School Gymnasium, 1005 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA.
Tickets cost $20 each in advance, $25 at the door. Maureen Clyne of Prasada Yoga has more information and tickets on sale.
Kirtan is chanting as part of devotional yoga and is usually accompanied by harmoniums, tablas, drums and other instruments. Krishna Das has become the soundtrack of my yoga experience so I will try to make it to the show.
I bought Donna de Lory’s CD called The Lover and the Beloved, put out by Ajna Music [Gone out of business]. I really like it, more than all the junk on the radio these days. It’s mesmerizing. You can hear some extended sampling of the cuts at CDBaby — and also buy it there.
I’ve also bought a couple of CDs by Krishna Das who is much more traditional in his approach to kirtan chanting. He will be performing in Alexandria, VA on Thursday, May 26. More information is on his site.
Why do these artists insist on publishing their sites completely in Flash?