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Singing has woven a thread though Marnie's life since childhood. She has been attending kirtan events in her local community for 15 years and in recent years she took up the opportunity to learn to lead kirtan. It brings a profound sense of "home" when she sinks into the place of openness that aligning the heart and voice allows. Marnie's kirtan influences include the joyous Mooji Sangha bhajans, and she is strongly rhythm focused, bringing the heartbeat of drums to her sharings.

Kirtan (keer-tan) is the yoga of sound, and allows the voice to take us to a place of meditation, joy, upliftment and freedom. It is a practice for everyone; you don’t need to be a singer or have any particular beliefs to come to kirtan, as the vibrations have the potential to work on a deep cellular level to all who are present.

Kirtan comes from the Bhakti path of yoga. Yoga is union, and Bhakti is the path of the heart, so Kirtan is a practice of coming together in the space of the heart.

It originated in 6th and 7th century rural India, where everyday people were inspired to repeat inspirational, heart-felt words from local poets’ work set to beautiful melodies. The repetitive nature of this took people into soothing states, soon there would have been drums and people clapping along in joy, and there kirtan was born!

During a session the Sangham (those who have come together to practice) are invited to sit and sing simple Sanskrit words (usually just 2-5 words) in easy melodies, repeated back to the leader . This is accompanied by a harmonium, a beautiful Indian acoustic instrument with a very mellow tone. The hypnotic rhythm builds over several minutes (with the accompaniment of gentle African djembe and Indian dolac drums and percussion) to allow the group to find the wonderful feeling of singing as one. The rhythm then slows and we come to silence, and rest in the stillness after the sound.

Many people find medicinal affects accompany this practice. Some people can find their hearts opening in joy, people can feel soothed and relaxed, some can even feel like dancing!

Kirtan can still a busy mind and be a beautiful break from everyday life; a wonderful gift to give yourself. We hope you can join us soon at the amazing Wellbeing Centre, with it’s wood burner, cosy atmosphere and surrounding countryside,

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