Kirtan with Irene Soléa

I look forward to the fourth Friday of the month, every single month. It’s marked on my schedule every month to keep me from accidentally scheduling something else. It’s one of the days that recharges me and gets me ready for the rest of the month.

Except, of course, for March, when my anticipated event was held last night, on April 1st instead. It’s ok, though… it means April will hold TWO kirtans at South Boston Yoga with Irene Soléa Antonellis.

Kirtan is devotional singing, usually in Sanskrit. We all get together and sing, sometimes call and response, sometimes all together, and it’s easy to pick up the words even if you’ve never been exposed to Sanskrit before. It’s a form of meditation, prayer, self-care, and it’s incredibly powerful. Especially when led by someone like Irene; her voice draws in the whole crowd and invites us to sing. She is welcoming, calm, sweet. The musicians who play with her are clearly as in love with the music and the atmosphere as Irene is, and together they create so much energy that no one leaves that night without having been touched.

I was first exposed to chanting three years ago, and it’s since become an integral part of my personal meditation and a gift to be able to share during the meditations I lead. I am so grateful to Irene and to everyone at South Boston Yoga for creating a space where upwards of thirty people come together every month to share this profound practice.

The next kirtan at SBY will be held on Earth Day, Friday April 22nd, and I hope you’ll mark it on your calendars because they’ll be celebrating Earth Day in a big way! There will be live performances of traditional Indian dancing, Deva Das will be performing a special guest set, and Irene is getting ready to release her new CD, so we’ll all get a special preview of some of the songs on the much-anticipated album.

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~ by Carmen Celeste Thurston on April 2, 2011.

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