Offered by Viknisvari (Vicky) Willis
Welcome to Trailside’s first Kirtan workshop! Kirtan is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘eulogy’ or ‘praise’. It is a form of call-and-response chanting involving mantras* or hymns. Kirtan itself is not a religion, although it has been used as a devotional practice within the Hindu tradition for centuries because it is such a potent way to connect to Divine Love. In yoga tradition, Chanting or Kirtan are simply a practice for deepening the reunion with our inner Self. Both practices come from the Bhakti Yoga tradition, often defined as the yoga of devotion. Chanting during a yoga practice deepens the concentration and devotion, calms the mind, and improves the awareness. Kirtan is one of the most ancient spiritual practices and a part of most religions and spiritual paths. Ancient chants contain transformative power and healing energy. By singing these mantras we join a stream of consciousness and devotion that has been flowing for centuries" -Jai Uttal.
I am a CVYT/RYT500 certified yoga teacher. I have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands. I have been practicing yoga, especially Bhakti Yoga, since the age of five. In the summer of 2017, I went to Sivananda Ashram in Kerala India, to deepen my yoga practice and to explore my roots in India. During my stay at the ashram we did a lot of chanting and that rekindled my passions to start chanting. I am very grateful to my loving family, first chanting guru Late Ms Parameswari, my karnatic music teacher Ms Gautami and friends from my native Malaysia, and my beautiful yogi friends from Arkansas for teaching and guiding me to chant. I believe chanting is the best way to bring people together and connect with the Divine Light within you.
Some of the Benefits of Chanting / Kirtan
Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Detoxifies Body
Improves Functioning of Heart and Digestive System
Healing, removes blockages and purifies the body
Ensures Sound Sleep
Releases Neuroses and Boost Immunity
Improves Reasoning Ability, Reduces Negativity and Increases Radiance