Siri Sadhana, can you tell us more about your collaboration with Kamari and Manvir?
In love of dance and movement expression, we were invited to collaborate with our old friends and fellow UK artists- Kamari & Manvir from Akashic recordings. We danced and played on stage with them for many a year at various UK & European festivals and were delighted to join together for this project. This is now my 9th album, and am so happy to make music that inspires the dancer to move in joy, celebration and devotion.
Can you share a little more about your Mantra Dance?
I have been leading dance events called ‘Mantra Dance’ medicine for the soul, which combines the exquisite power of vibrating and toning your voice using Kundalini mantras, then accessing the freedom and joy of dance expression through the body. We warm up the vocal cords and open the resonating cavities of the body experiencing our range and vocal potential. Then dance within a sequence of movement mantra medicine, intelligently crafted and directing the body towards transformation so you can willingly be guided into a state of grace, effortless and joyous movement. Through movement routines and drawing on the richness and passion of the voice, we can create a music medicine that speaks directly to the soul and gets your cells humming.
When did you get into kundalini yoga and mantra?
My journey with Kundalini and Sacred mantra music began 17 years ago. My background was in theatre, I was an actor for many years and toured in theatre productions. This gave me a solid platform and deep appreciation for the creativity that was stirred and awoken in my very first class. My first Kundalini yoga teacher had a beautiful voice, and often chanted just with her melodic voice live, to the students in relaxation and meditation. In those early classes, I remember feeling transported, inspired and often very emotional.
Kundalini Yoga has that beautiful way to reach and touch what needs to be awoken, in a very natural way, yet it can feel earth shattering, yet humbling. It’s not unusual to hear kundalini mantra music accompanying classes, music can sustain and support us rhythmically through many things. Kundalini Mantras are foundational within the practice. The fusion of sound, Rhythm, vocalising ancient syllables through clear intention is a recipe for transformation. An activation occurs in the simulation of the chant, the more we merge with our own depth and listen through our sound vibration, we massage and heal, aligning, yet surrendering to our deeper purpose and calling.
How has it changed your life?
It has now just become a way of life. I chant most days, whether it’s preparing for a concert or chanting in a class, workshop or training. I get invited to many events and festivals to perform. During the lockdown, I invested in more sound equipment and then did many more live online events in the UK, Germany, Taiwan, Paris, France, Spain, Menorca, USA.
Last summer in lockdown, London was so amazingly quiet. Me and my colleague did some live music sunrise events in panoramic places in London and on the coast like the Millennium Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral, The Thames at London Bridge, Primrose Hill view of London, Seven Sisters cliffs. My Life is full of music and mantra, which feels like a great blessing. Sacred music changes you, you are called to connect beyond the mundane and align into the greater potential of who you are.
What does your practice look like now?
I have been practicing Kirtan Kriya for over year, mainly because I am guiding and accompanying my friends in this. One of my friends has been diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimer’s. Kirtan Kriya as a meditation works with mantra, and (mudra) hand positions-synchronizing finger pulses in sync with the chant. This increases stimulation in regions of the brain that are central to memory. The specific fingertip position in conjunction with chanting the syllables SA TA NA MA enhance blood flow in the motor-sensory part of the brain. There have been research studies showing that practicing Kirtan kriya even for just 12 minutes a day, can help reduce stress levels and increase stimulation in areas of the brain that are central to memory. From the Eastern perspective, the placement of the tongue on the roof of the mouth in conjunction with making the syllables, stimulates 84 acupuncture points on the upper palate. This causes a beneficial bio-chemical transformation in the brain.
Fave quote? “What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?”
You in a Tweet… ‘Passion and productivity float my boat’!
Book? ‘The Prophet’-so simple, yet deeply profound
Place? Mali desert-West Africa
Teacher (yoga or otherwise)? The Late Sobonfu Somé
Kundalini yoga song/artist? Gurudass Kaur