Finding Your Voice
Music is the yoga of sound. Singing has a benign effect on the physical and subtle bodies. Singing is an excellent method of soothing the nerves. Singing directs the emotions to a positive goal. Devotional singing can be sung in any language. Kirtan melts the heart, fills the mind with purity and generates harmony and divine love. He who chants the name of God forgets the body and the world. Sound, made up of vibrations, is energy. A Sanskrit mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure. Mantra chanting is the most joyful technique towards connecting with God. The various musical notes have their own corresponding subtle channels (nadis) in the energy centers (chakras). Music vibrates these channels, purifies them and awakens the spiritual and psychic power dormant in them.
Each of these brilliant claims by Swami Sivananda perfectly describes Jyoti’s Finding Your Voice programme. Course participants will :
- Learn to breathe, move, sing and listen in new ways
- activate and become friends with each of the seven chakras through humming and singing, seed mantras, Indian Ragas, beautiful chants and easy nurturing songs
- have the opportunity to sing with the entire group and to experiment with singing and leading chants in small groups
- make deep and lovely connections with each other.
As fear gives way to courage and the singer gives way to the witness, participants will discover why singing Kirtan, and even leading Kirtan, is so very uplifting and rewarding.
Music has been a formative part of my daily life from the day I was born. I spent long hours practicing piano and flute, and by night, I loved to hear the sound of my parents gathering friends for a singalong, or playing banjo-piano duets late into the night.
A sense of the power of sound stayed with me as I grew older. Often I felt as if I was being led to use sound, vibration and song to create a healing environment. My own childhood included a backdrop of bullying and constant criticism, but this had a surprising effect; I developed a kind of immunity to that inner voice that says “No you can’t”. I talked my startled parents into taking me each week to a hospital, where I played guitar and sang to children who were suffering from injuries or life-threatening diseases. I could see in their faces that sound, vibration and music had a distinct power to soothe, nurture and heal.
Barely out of my teens, I got a job as activity coordinator in a local nursing home. I noticed that even the most agitated residents could be engaged and transformed, by playing music in relationship to their breathing. They would settle down and sink peacefully into a much-needed deep sleep. . I also noticed a profound letting-go of tension and stress in myself. One Saturday night, on the other hand, a polka band got them moving and the years fell away – they rose up and danced, even some we didn’t know could walk!
The right sound, phrase music, at the right time, is a gift from God that connects you deeply to your true self and to the source of your breath, where everything softens as you let go of tensions and resistance that are impeding the healing process. I experienced something similar myself when my mother took me to a transcendental meditation class in my teens, and then, several years later, through the powerful practices and teachings of Sivananda Yoga. I gained a classical training in music, but this was just a means to an end; what really interested me was the journey through sound and vibration that soothes connects and heals. I joined the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) and became a Certified Music Practitioner, connecting with a body of theory and knowledge that validated my experiences. I’m employed by The University of Michigan, bringing bedside music to patients undergoing treatment at University Medicine.
Jyoti (Jody Tull) is a certified therapeutic yoga instructor and Certified Music Practitioner who combines the healing power of music with the ancient healing power of yoga. She received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Columbia University, and has 20+ years of international therapeutic music making and yoga teaching. Her compositions have been performed by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. She leads retreats and Finding Your Voice workshops in Europe, India, the Bahamas, Canada and the United States.
It’s been 7 months and I still utilize the techniques I learned in Jyoti’s Finding Your Voice Workshop. She taught us so much about the connection between our energy bodies and sound (specifically our own voices) and how the internal and external vibrations we create stimulate certain chakras, emotions, and qualities. Like most things in life I tend to be cynical and questioning and didn’t know what to expect at the beginning of the workshop. I was pleasantly surprised and even brought to tears during my time with Jyoti. For the first time, I was able to sing from my energy center, feeling the vibrations in the root of my being. It changed my experience in Kirtan and allowed my chanting to become more meditative and focused. On top of the priceless information we learned during our three days with Jyoti, it was being in her presence that was the real gift. Her lively energy is as bright as the sun and she lights up the world wherever she goes. She fosters an environment where one can be vulnerable and in doing so, learn so much about oneself and the importance of self-love and self-discovery through our own voice. Thank you so much Jyoti, and can’t wait to meet again.
The Ashram offers five simple and functional types of accommodation. There are no single rooms.
- Vaikuntam Rooms: Shared AC twin rooms with private bathroom (hot water), kettle and fridge
- Kailash Rooms: Shared non-AC twin rooms with private bathroom (hot water)
- Vishnu Rooms: Shared non-AC twin rooms with common bathrooms (cold water only)
- Dormitory: separate for men and women. Dormitories contain up to 32 beds with two-bedded cubicles. Limited solar heated water is available.
- Tent space: You are requested to bring your own tent, mattress, bed sheet and pillow. Shared tent area bathrooms are with cold water only.
Please note: Couples are not permitted to share twin rooms during Teachers’ Training Courses, Advanced Teachers’ Training Course, and the Sadhana Intensive Course.
For all accommodation mosquito net is provided.