WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

 

Nad Yoga and Ancient Vocal Practices -  Level 1

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A workshop that introduces the participants to some ancestral Nad Yoga practices from the Dhrupad tradition - Classical Indian sacred singing form.

In this workshop I cover:

  • A general overview of Nad Yoga.
  • Some vocal meditation/practices which focus on rooting, aligning and opening  the voice. Nad Yoga vocal practices are holistic by nature. As we work on the voice, the practice reverberates into the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual layers of the system as well.
  • Sharing of personal experiences/stories related to these practices. These simple stories give a great context for the practices being exposed, and further inspire the participants.
  • Application of the techniques learnt through singing a simple Sanskrit chant.

The goal in practicing these exercises is to align the body, mind and spirit through the practice of Nad Yoga (vocal and listening practices); to liberate and activate certain parts of ourselves which might have been forgotten or neglected; to discover the miracle and joy of singing from this space of deep connection with our Being.

This workshop is intended to:

  • All yogis interested in exploring a vibratory and subtler sphere in their personal practices. Voice is a powerful guide in the path of inner alignment, it can help us become aware of unconscious layers of tension as well as assist us in releasing them.
  • People who have not explored their voices yet, or who have a blockage with singing. The practices exposed in this workshop are very accessible and gentle.
  • People who already sing, or who use their voice in their profession:  amateurs/professional singers, teachers, etc. This workshop can ad a ‘yogic’ touch to their singing/speaking practice, and help further activate their voice.

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Nad Yoga and Ancient Vocal Practices - Level 2

After having participated in the “Nad Yoga and Ancient Vocal Practices - level 1” workshop, students often ask for another workshop. In the second level I expose the following subjects:

  • Exploration and activation of different physical and subtle resonators throughout the body via vocal meditations (working with voice & consciousness together is a key aspect in this practice).
  • Introduction to deep listening - based on the body as a whole and not only on the ears. These practices are done with the help of the tanpoura, the Indian string instrument considered as the base of the whole Classical Indian musical system.
  • An overview of ragas, the mystical Indian scales. Learning of one specific raga.
  • Applying the learnt techniques via the exploration of a chant from the Dhrupad tradition, of  beginners / intermediate complexity (adaptable to the group’s level).

The goal in these exercises is to align the body, mind and spirit through the practice of Nad Yoga (vocal and listening practices); to liberate and activate certain parts of ourselves which might have been forgotten or neglected; to discover the miracle and joy of singing from this space of deep connection with our Being.

This workshop is intended to:

  • People who have not explored their voices yet, or who have a blockage with singing. The practices exposed in this workshop, even though slightly more complex, can be adapted individually throughout the workshop, and can benefit these participants greatly as well.
  • All yogis interested in further  exploring this vibratory and subtler sphere in their personal practices.
  • People who already sing, or who use their voices in their profession:  amateurs/professional singers, teachers, etc. This workshop will take them further into this ‘yogic’ singing approach, and help further activate their voice.

* Note: The level 2 workshop is based on the material covered on level 1. Therefore, completion of level 1 is required for enrolling the level 2 workshop. If the student missed the level 1 workshop, he or she might take one individual session with me, in which the basic principles of the level 1 class can be taught.


Explore the OM

In this workshop we explore the mantra Om and learn how to deepen our practice with it. We approach it under 4 different perspectives:

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  • A theoretical part, in which the origins, some of  the uses and meaning of Om are exposed.
  • A vibratory part, in which the participants are guided into different meditations / body resonating explorations with the use of this mantra.
  • A listening part, which includes practices of deep listening, and the exploration of subtle harmonic fields. Deep listening practices are great for quietening the mind.
  • A technical part, in which vocal, muscular and spine alignement are explored, so as to open our systems to receive the vibrations of this vocal practice even deeper.

This workshop suits all yogis interested in deepening this practice as well as singers of all levels.


A Dhrupad Approach to Kirtan and Other Sacred Chanting Practices

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This workshop is dedicated to kirtan singers and people who are interested in this subject. The workshop covers subjects of Yoga of Sound,  while also exploring vocal technique.

In India, singers of many different musical traditions will come to study Dhrupad vocal technique, in order to apply it to their respective singing. Dhrupad is not only the most ancient classical Indian singing form, but also the most rigourous and profound when it comes to vocal technique and yogic vocal practices. It is, in a way, a main reference in the domain of sacred chants and can be of incredible value to anyone on a kirtan /sacred chanting path.

In this workshop we cover:

  • A short introduction to some of the main forms of sacred chant in India.
  • A short introduction to Sanskrit, the sacred language of ancient India.
  • Some vocal meditations/practices from the Dhrupad tradition, that can enrich the sacred chant experience from a “yoga of sound” perspective.
  • Technical exercises to enrich the singing skills of the participants.
  • Practice of 3 different devotional chants in which we apply the techniques learnt.

This workshop suits all yogis interested in deepening this practice as well as singers of all levels.


Introduction to Classical Indian Music

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A workshop dedicated to people who are interested in the rudiments of Classical Indian music, be it singing or instrumental.

Subjects covered:

  • Introduction to sargam (the Indian note system).
  • Introduction to the different branches of Classical Indian Music (Hindustani and Carnatic) and emphasis on Dhrupad (from the Hindustani tradition)
  • Introduction to different ragas, and the whole raga theory.
  • Introduction to micro-tuning.
  • introduction to the concept of musical sadhana (spiritual practice).
  • Introduction to classical Indian instruments and some of the great musicians of Classical Indian Music - guided listening sessions.

The concepts exposed in this workshop are general in nature, and no specific instrument is required. Participants are encouraged to either bring their own instruments or use their voices.

The length of this workshop can vary. A short introduction takes a minimum of 2 hours. Since classical Indian music is a vast subject, longer/periodic workshops are also possible.


Retreat Collaborations

I have participated in yoga retreats in QC and abroad, adding a  sacred sound touch to the sejour. The feedback from the participants are often pointing to the fact that the musical activities helped them dive deeper into a meditative, joyful, sacred space.

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I can bring sound and music to retreats through the following activities:

  • Morning kharaj meditations - an ancient sound meditation,  traditionally done first thing in the morning, in which the mantra Om is chanted in a special guided way. An excellent way to start the day, and a great short practice to be cultivated over the whole period of the retreat.
  • Daily short Nad Yoga explorations (30-60m sessions), based on the exercises described in the workshops above. Adaptable to each group’s level and interest.
  • Chanting, in the form of  devotional kirtan.
  • Meditative concert.
  • Individual sessions throughout the retreat.
  • Music accompaniment for the yin restorative classes.