What is Kirtan?

ORIGINS OF kIRTAN

Kirtan or Kirtana (Sanskrit: कीर्तन; IAST: Kīrtana) is a Sanskrit word that means "narrating, reciting, telling, describing" of an idea or story. 


Kirtan, also called Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion), is an ancient practice that stems from India and is practiced regularly in Hinduism. The call and response nature of Kirtan involves both performers and audience, setting a unique and sacred space that quiets the mind, reduces stress, and awakens your spirit within. Kirtan is open to all people, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs, and has spread like wildfire in the west since the 60's. Western artists such as Deva Premal, Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, David Newman, Sean Johnson, Ragani, and many others have artistically welded these two worlds (east and west) together in perfect synergy, and we're grateful for them bringing their unique and beautiful essences to this world.  Kirtan helps create new grooves in the mind, as its repetitive nature draws you in and creates a blanket of warmth all over your body and spirit! I recommend everybody try it at least once...but, I almost guarantee you'll want it more than once! 

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My Musical Roots

MY STORY

I like to say that music is in my blood. Even though my parents were never musicians, since I was a little girl I've always looked for any instrument I could get my hands on. First was a toy accordion, a little guitar, and finally a real violin when I turned ten. I took private lessons and got to engage my love of music at my school, the Minnesota Waldorf School.  As my passion grew, I progressed to studying intensely as a classical violinist for 8 years at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN. I played with the Minnesota Youth Symphonies for 7  years and competed with chamber quartets throughout high school. In the later part of high school I started to feel the passion was being outweighed by the stress and competition, and decided against music school. I wanted to play music from my heart without rules. I studied Irish fiddling and bluegrass briefly until I realized I needed something different entirely. That's when I discovered Kirtan. 


I discovered Kirtan while at my cabin in the winter of 2012, working on my first book Teachings from God. As I started meditating and channeling the words, my radio started playing what I can only describe as the most enchanting, heart awakening music I had ever heard and felt. I had to open my eyes to see what it was,  discovering Ragani. I quickly became obsessed with the music and made it my first priority to see her live. After attending my first live Kirtan in 2016, I fell in love with it even more (if that was even possible!) I knew then and there that this is what I wanted to do going forward. This was the musical awakening I had been looking for! I bought a harmonium and haven't stopped singing since! Now I have begun playing at festivals in the midwest and plan to continue growing my love for Kirtan and expanding my venues. I played two Kirtan music festivals over the summer of 2018 which was an incredible experience for me, and had the honor of meeting some of my favorite chant artists. Now I am leading Kirtan monthly in my hometown of Stillwater MN, which has been flourishing wonderfully! 

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Live Kirtan

Soul Family Reunion 2018 in Waupaca, WI

Midwest Yoga & Kirtan Fest 2018 in Jefferson, WI