Understanding Kirtan (Nada) Yoga

Understanding Kirtan (Nada) Yoga
29 January, 2014

Life is too fast and sometimes our busy day-to-day activities prevent us from catching a calm breath, smelling the roses, and reflecting about life.  There is a point in our life where we feel like we need to do something to break away from our daily stressful life.  Everyone has an untapped distinctive potential and will only be realized and recognized when one tries to access and explore a deeper level of consciousness within ourselves.

For those who are ready to begin their journey to a stress and anxiety-free living, Kirtan Yoga is recommended.  We all know that yoga exercises and postures are performed to relax and strengthen the body and clear the mind from stress.  One may also be hearing about the word mantra which is a form of sound vibrations used in the meditation process.  It also helps in revitalizing and providing positive energies for the mind. 

Kirtan originated from India which can be traced back 2,500 years ago.  It is a variety of devotional chanting (written in Sanskrit language) where those who participate sings the sacred mantras and the names of the Hindu gods and goddesses (Kali, Rama, Shiva, Krishna, Ram, Lakshmi and Durga).  This creates a livelier form of Yoga exercise where chanting is accompanied by classical Indian instruments.  These instruments include the drums (including Indian tablas), harmonium (a freestanding keyboard that sounds like an accordion), finger and bells cymbals.

This practice is what they typically refer to as a call-and-response style of singing involving the audience and encouraging everyone to join in.  Kirtan begins with the leader singing a line of a chant which is answered with a response from the guests or audience. 


The traditional practice of Kirtan can be compared to a group singing.  The group   is composed of a chant leader (“kirtan walla”) and the audience.  The chant leader sings out words or phrases of words and the audience echoes it back.  This gathering usually lasts from 10 to 30 minutes of periodic silence in between songs.  Unlike any musical performance, applause is never applied and the chant leader can modify the speed and length of chant.    It is an ancient tradition that has been known as an art of relaxing the mind, unlocking the heart, and awakening & connecting the spiritual self to the Divine consciousness.    

Kirtan offers a better form of Yoga for those who gets bored, who have little interest, or for individuals who find it difficult in concentrating during the meditation process.  The style is different but the benefits and effects of Kirtan Yoga is basically the same.  It gives one the opportunity to find the inner path, explore, and have a taste beyond the body and mind’s realm consciousness through a direct experience of Kirtan Yoga.

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