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Written by Karen Neunzig, Karen Neunzig, & Felicia M. Tomasko, RN   

The Chopra Center is known for their integration of educational offerings within rejuvenative programs. Of these, meditation is one of the core teachings and Davidji the lead instructor – in fact, one of the Center’s most beloved teachers. His CD of guided meditations titled, Fill What is Empty, Empty What is Full takes you on a journey deep within your heart. The seventy minutes of rejuvenation
allows the listener to tap into their natural, most authentic self through deep breathing and soothing mind expansion.

In the second track titled “Flow of Love,” Davidji quotes mystical poet William Blake who describes the process as “cleansing the doors of perception.” If you feel that your doors of perception could use some purification, this guided meditation was made just for you. Whether you are on a quest for your dharma or in need of empowerment, practice can help you feel your life outside of meditation start to change.

Each of the meditations is designed to give you the strength to overcome life’s many obstacles. They include a peace meditation, awakening, gratitude and abundance meditations, opening to change meditation, a stepping forward meditation and emotional, physical, and energy healing meditations (including a progressive “Open Your Chakras” guided journey).

With his easy voice creating an ideal environment for mental clarity, Davidji asks a series of stimulating questions challenging us to think with our pure, unadulterated hearts. The query that lingered in my mind for days was “What are three things you would do if you knew you could not fail?” Choosing only three was a challenge.

With the help of his mentors, Deepak Chopra and David Simon (cofounders of The Chopra Center of Wellbeing), Davidji has made a true impact on the world. Find out more these about these guided meditations at: davidji.com and the Chopra Center’s residential or travel retreats and meditation instruction at: chopra.com.

–– Reviewed by Karen Neunzig

Light Inside You: Kirtan Vibrations

Light Inside You: Kirtan Vibrations

Govindas and Radha’s third release, Light Inside You: Kirtan Vibrations, is a gorgeous expression of the devotional practice the husband and wife teach at their studio, Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica. Recorded in Bombay, the couple assembled a cast of talented classical Indian musicians. Bhupal Panshikar’s sitar adds a funky yet classical feel and Milind Sheorey’s mesmerizing flute weaves entrancingly through each track providing a throughline advancing the narrative in the direction of the divine.

Govindas and Radha’s evolution as chant artists is apparent in the healing effect of the reverent interplay of the masculine and feminine, merging into a divine union of mantra elevating personal love to universal love. This is well expressed in “Hare Krishna/Radhe;” Radha’s gorgeous vocals begin by softly intoning the Maha Mantra, while the sitar and flute provide a gentle backdrop as the chant builds in intensity. Govindas’s emotive voice then takes the lead while Radha responds soulfully. Stoked by Amit Choubey’s tabla, the musical climax features the lovers harmonizing and drifting off in gorgeous blissful notes.

Radha shines in “Nataraj” and Govindas brings in loving harmonies while Milind Sheorey’s flute swirls evocatively around the stripped-down guitar and kartal. “OM Narayani” features the sweetly funky sounds of classical sitar and the duos’ voices chanting softly together. Drifting into the river of sound, the entrancing and ecstatic backing vocals by classical Indian singer Bhupal Panshikar adds depth and a rich context.

Wonderful to listen to at home or in the car, this CD works well for asana practice too. Light Inside You beckons us to open our hearts and shine through sacred song. It is a radiant embodiment of Govindas and Radha’s Bhakti Yoga. bhaktiyogashala.com

–– Reviewed by Sarah Garney, who shares the nectar through holographic repatterning®,theta healing, massage, raw foods, bhakti music consulting and social media managing: twitter.com/bhaktibabe

The union of music and Yoga is only growing stronger, if the current proliferation of Yoga compilations is any indication. Now the world music wizards at Putumayo have collaborated with talented kirtan wallah Sean Johnson who helped curate this collection. This selection offers over seventy minutes of sacred sound that tends toward the chill with an undercurrent of the groovy and a throughline of the gorgeously lyrical. True to the Putumayo catalog, the Yoga music here hails from around the globe along with a representation of artists many LA YOGA readers will find familiar.

World fusion group The Lucknow Project opens with a beautiful rendition of “Ghungate Ke,” before Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band’s evocative “Om Hari Om/Sharanam Ganesha,” featuring Gwendolyn’s haunting percussive rhythms. Devotional tracks from Shantala, Wah!, Ben Leinbach and Geoffrey Gordon, Karnamrita Dasi, Krishna Das and Gaura Vani and As Kindred Spirits are all found here. Excellent selections were made from these artists’ catalogs; “Devaki” shows off Karnamrita Dasi’s vocals and “Moods of Kirtan (Siksastakam)” is my favorite series of moments from Gaura Vani’s album Ten Million Moons.

I loved being introduced to new voices, including: the Costa Rican group Amounsulu who combines the strings of a sitar with the sounds of glass bottles, Senegalese singer Ablaye Cissko whose collaboration with German trumpeter Volker Goetze produced a surprisingly sweet synthesis in “Sira,” the resonant voice of Bhutanese monk Lama Gyurme accompanied by French pianist Jean-Philippe Rykiel on “Offering Chant” as well as Swedish teacher and singer Yogini, whose “Bliss” closed the album.

This devotional and well-curated collection kept me uplifting company during a traffic jam, morning meditation and afternoon practice and I recommend it for all music lovers wanting to infuse some new sounds into their practice or their day. Putumayo.com

–– Reviewed by Felicia M. Tomasko, RN

CD Giveaways

LA YOGA was gifted with some CDs to distribute free to a few lucky readers. Write us at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell us why you’d like to win one of the following CDs.

Girish
Diamonds in the Sun

Girish: Diamonds In The Sun

Girish pours forth the sweetness on his third release Diamonds in the Sun, a delicious blend of flavors that will quench your spiritual thirst and fill your hungry heart. Girish delivers with his soothing voice, collection of world instruments and cameo cast of dream team players such as the ‘soul-full’ CC White, Donna De Lory, Marti Walker, Hans Christian, Benjy Wertheimer and Ian ‘the Octopus’ Walker. (Reviewed by Michael Reidinger in the May, 2010 issue of LA YOGA.) Diamonds in the Sun is a sweet and joyful addition to any yogi’s music collection

Govindas and Radha
Light Inside You: Kirtan Vibrations

This devotional duo knows how to share the love, inside their studio, Bhakti Yoga Shala, as well as in song. They’ll be performing at Bhakti Fest this year on the main stage on Friday. Why do you want to listen to this CD wherever you are?

Compilation: Various Artists
Putumayo Presents Yoga

A number of kirtan wallahs featured on this compilation CD will be performing at Bhakti Fest (including Shantala, Wah!, Krisnha Das, Sean Johnson, Gaura Vani and others). Like other Putumayo releases, this recording features hidden musical treasures from far-flung corners of the globe. This recording has been providing LA YOGA’s editor Felicia Tomasko with inspiration during our deadline and production week. Write her an email and tell her why you’d like to add this album to your Yoga playlist.

 

 
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