Wild Daisy Yoga is incredibly excited to host monthly Kirtan gatherings with Dana and Ken. If you have never heard of Kirtan, it is is a meditational and devotional chanting experience. Traditionally, a Kirtan leader will sing through the chant, or a line in the chant, and then the participants/audience will sing the chant back to the leader. It is a truly beautiful experience and anyone can join! And no, you do NOT need to be a gifted singer, all voices are encouraged and welcomed!
Our kirtans are a time of chanting, poetry readings, and sharing the light in the form of "arti - a ceremony of lights" by a community of like-minded people. Most of the chants are in an ancient language, Sanskrit. The intention of Sanskrit mantra chanting (kirtan) is to merge the chant leaders and participants, firstly chanting or singing together, which then becomes silence. From a linguistic perspective, Sanskrit is the mother tongue of many modern languages. The mantras are primarily recitations of names given to the divine in the Hindi tradition. But perhaps the true understanding of the mantras can be found in the sense of unity, well-being, and timelessness that they elicit. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart.
The Kirtan gatherings will all be by donation, with ALL of the proceeds going to South Okanagan Yoga Academy (SOYA)'s scholarship fund to help bring yoga to marginalized communities. You may choose your amount to donate online when you register or bring cash to the event.
Dana, a retired physiotherapist, is a lifelong student. Her education and training include 200hr and 300 hr YTT, an Interfaith Certificate in Applied Spiritual Counselling, the 2 year Living School Program at theCentre for Action and Contemplation, Trauma-Informed Yoga Training, Yin Yoga certification, Pain CareYoga and Advanced Pain Care Yoga certification and she has completed a 360 hour mentorship in PainScience with Neil Pearson. She is also a Pain Care Aware Trainer, teaching yoga teachers how to make their classes accessible to all.
In addition to teaching yoga and pain science education, she leads spiritual practices workshops/retreats, and community-based recovery classes. She and her husband, Ken are avid chanters and love to lead Kirtans. Dana hopes her passion to be of service, her compassionate heart and her knowledge of the body, along with her experience as someone who has lived with chronic pain, survived cancer, and her lifelong quest for the “holy grail” will offer a supportive, compassionate and joyful yoga experience.
The first time I went to a chant, I thought I arrived on another planet, people sitting cross-legged on a yoga studio floor, singing together in the strangest language I had ever heard. I must have felt something because I went the next week, the week after and this went on nearly every Friday for about 7 years. This was a far cry from my choir days at a Catholic school and the deities of the Hindu faith did not quite align with my earlier beliefs. But once I understood that the names in the chants were different aspects of one God, it all came together.
The important thing about chanting for me was that it was about music and this form of music resonated within me and calmed my mind after busy work weeks in Vancouver. After acquiring a harmonium, I began to learn chants. These chants were not written down in a music form, so I had to listen to them, figure out the melody and chords, write them down and learn to play them on my harmonium.
A breakthrough came when Dana and I went to Dave Stringer’s Flight School, a kirtan chant leader training school. A “Wallah”, a leader of kirtan chants, began to take form, to take flight! Dana was, and is, a tremendous supporter and asset to me, learning to play a djembe drum, and became my co-leader and partner in leading kirtans.