Beyond Asana Blog
My weekly blog is a forum for contemplative inquiry into the intersection of yoga practice, traditional teachings, and real life.
In the second installment of my interview with Shantala, Benjy and Heather share their perspective on how kirtan has developed in the context of Western yoga culture and some of the important questions and challenges facing the evolution of the Western Bhakti movement. We're looking forward to welcoming them back to Shri Yoga this Monday, October 19.
BARRIE: Just as asana practice has evolved to meet the needs of Western students, how has kirtan developed? What are some of the up sides and down sides of this evolution from your perspective?
BENJY & HEATHER: Over the last fifty years or so, there has been a wave of yoga practices – centering especially around...
Benjy and Heather Wertheimer, aka Shantala have been leading kirtan for the past 15 years. They are known for sharing their love of sacred chanting with beauty, passion and reverence. Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal. In summer 2008, they were named as one of the top “Wallahs to Watch” by Yoga + Joyful Living.
In the first part of this thoughtful interview, Benjy and Heather discuss the power of kirtan, explain how chanting supports asana practice and offer tips for yoga teachers to incorporate music into their classes. We're looking forward to...
How about including your body?
It’s your vehicle, your instrument, the house of your spirit, the sacred vessel of consciousness and the living, breathing miracle of your existence on this earth.
Amidst the aches and pains you might be experiencing, think of the thousands of things that go right to make it possible for you to get out of bed in the morning.
For a moment, set aside your judgments and complaints about all the ways it doesn’t live up to your expectations for it, and thank your body for its immense and unceasing efforts in service to all you do.
Then, if you wish to go a step further, consider who is doing the thanking.