Kirtan translates to "a telling" or "praise." The limitless attributes of God are enumerated through mantra. Eliciting the myriad of expressions of God overtly invites high vibrational tendencies such as abundance, patience, compassion, ease, grace, understanding, generosity, collaboration, and bliss. Combining the utterance of the attributes of God with the playing of music unites the expression in the language of creation. Vibration upon vibration echoes into eternity, landing intention into the lap of all that is.
Because music is a creation of vibration, it is all of us (since we are all vibration). When we sing off key it is most often due to the fact that we are not listening carefully to the music. Sometimes it is necessary to listen to a melody repeatedly before learning it properly to sing it. There is a tiny percentage of the planet which is actually tone deaf. The rest of us, well, we're basically not trying hard enough. If you love to sing, but fear the criticism of your voice, I encourage you to memorize a song, note for note. You will, most likely, surprise yourself when you put in the work, pay close attention, and use the wholeness of your mind.
I love that my Sanskrit teacher, Manorama, calls Sanskrit the luminous language. In my twenties I came to the conclusion that our language was embedded in our culture, was embedded in hatred, domination, lies, violence, and ultimately fear, and therefore we needed to create structural change by retooling language. Singer Tracy Chapman apparently felt the same way and released "New Beginning" in which she literally called for new signs, symbols and language. And yet, here was this realized, liturgical, luminous language which has mathematical resonance already waiting for our study and use. Sanskrit mantras are powerful tools for positive change. I choose to remember how potent this language is in supporting the expansion of peace and harmony on the planet. Each mantra is a prayer, an offering, an invocation for positivity and growth.
Many practitioners and teachers of yoga hesitate to use sanskrit, often due to difficulty with pronunciation. Here is a link to just one of Manorama's resources on pronunciation of key yogic terms. (She has many to choose from).
I teach five Yin Yoga classes a week now. In a town where many yoga practitioners exit the classroom looking like they have bathed in their own sweat, it would make sense that the opposite end of the spectrum would become popular in contrast. (Little does the beginning Yin Yoga practitioner anticipate the beads of sweat that begin to pop out while deep in pigeon). Yin Yoga is said to work on the fascia. This link that I have provided is not for a Yin Yoga practitioner, but rather a specialist in the area of fascia. Many of his postures are reflective of yoga poses, but his approach is slightly more focused upon working to make something occur in the fascial tissue in order to actively heal the body.
My teaching in class is inspired also by Roger Jhanke, a qigong specialist, who discusses the measurable electromagnetic field emanating from the water which runs through the fascia. In his book The Healing Promise of Qi, Jhanke describes the fascia as a "liquid crystalline lattice." My discussion of a person's energy field, aura, or subtle body typically begins by describing the fascia as a way of grounding these topics of feeling in the gross manifest.