Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 23: Yoga+ 30-Day Challenge

I joined a special class with Jericho at Yoga+ and tried something totally different: Kirtan yoga. We really had no idea what we were in for, and found out when we got there there that it involved a lot of chanting and singing, totally different from the very physical yoga I had gotten used to.

Kirtan is like a magnet, inviting and begging grace to enter our hearts and our lives. It is a most precious thing, something to be cherished and practiced with total gratitude, and those who learn how to enter into it will feel God’s grace and presence as the closest of the close, the dearest of the dear - our true beloved.” - Jai Uttal

Kirtan involves call and response chanting of Sanskrit words and is a form of Bhakti – yoga of devotion; Jnana – yoga of wisdom and Mantra – yoga of sound. Kirtans are traditionally sung in a group with a chant leader calling out the phrases/mantras and then the audience repeating back.

Traditional instruments from India were used by the Kirtan Rasa Band, such as a harmonium, table, sitar, bells and cymbals and a modern day acoustic guitar. The chants were headed by His Holiness Giridhari Swami Maharaja, a Bhakti Yoga guru and Founder of the International Yoga Institute, singing the Hari Krishna mantra.

The yoga session ended with a lot of dancing, and then a lovely vegetarian dinner of vegan burgers, vegetarian somosas, and no-egg flan, which were made, compliments of Pio.

Going to yoga class (+25), meditation (+5), 7 hours of sleep minimum (+5), Drinking 3 liters of water a day (+5) = 40 points