Monday, December 30, 2013

Music & Intimacy: Interview w/ Om Singles co-owner Ellen White

Music obviously has played a huge role in creating intimacy, but we wanted to get the current take on that story.

The following is an interview with Ellen White, co-owner of, a dating site that encourages emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy:

What is it about the right music that allows us to become more present in the moment?
Listening to music is one of the best ways to connect to the present moment. This mindfulness should allow us to feel the music, as well as pay attention to the words that an artist took time to profoundly write. We can learn a lot from being truly present while listening to music.

Why does music make it easier to connect with others?
Music allows us to connect to others in a variety of ways from socially, professionally and romantically. It sets the tone and atmosphere from which connection to others follows.

How does that affect our ability to be vulnerable and intimate?
Through music, we can connect intimately by reducing the need to talk and be distracted, thus allowing a sensory experience to take place that leads to greater vulnerability, trust, shared understanding and intimacy.

What does music provide when it comes to revealing parts of ourselves that otherwise remain hidden?
We can sing, dance, and move, which I believe are highly important physiological sensations. We can release our inhibitions and get lost in the music.

How does rhythm affect sex?
By getting lost in the music, we can close our eyes and move, sway, emote and feel the moment which definitely helps with sex.

Is there a correlation between the right kind of rhythmic music and how we experience love making?
I think so. I think love making should be a highly emotional and intimate experience with the right kind of meaningful music set in the background. This makes a big difference!

When is music distracting and when does it allow for us to surrender into a deeper space of intimacy?
I think people can use music to distract themselves from mindfulness however I believe the greater purpose of music takes us to an amazing intimate space within ourselves. I get lost listening to music for hours, intensely, and thus feeling the greatest connection to life, love and the deepest part of myself. Yogi Tunes has awesome music that will take you exactly there!

If a person likes one kind of music, and another person likes something else - can they become closer through their different tastes?
Absolutely. Music should transcend judgment.

If so, what does that say about finding our ideal partner?
Can we fall in love with someone who's taste and opinions differ from ours? Yes. Connecting to a person on an energetic level also helps us to transcend our differing opinions. Understanding another person is a high level of love and makes it easier to understand why they like different things.

Is our fantasy mate someone who is exactly like us, or someone who compliments us?
I think our fantasy mate complements us on an energetic level and not on a mental level, which means they do not have to be like us. This energetic compatibility allows us to feel free with each other knowing we will not be judged. Anything that takes place on a mental level usually involves judgment. But to connect energetically allows ease, trust and ultimate intimacy on all levels, thus making the perfect complement.

About :

"As the co-owner of, we believe approaching love from a creative and open space can be a refreshing new concept for the online industry and also can help open up opportunities in every area of our lives. Our site is always seeking new and expansive methods to unite people in love. Because, truthfully, we know very little about who is “right” for us and where our path to happiness lies. Most of us pursue our relationship paths with specific goals and images in mind. We rarely surrender to the thought that our capacities for love and happiness are much bigger than we ever imagined.

Most online dating sites, especially in the mainstream arena, promote a very limited process for approaching love. A statistic-based system encourages people to plug in a specific list of criteria based on a limited frame of reference. It also promotes a process of instant gratification where people are searching for immediate dating options based on geography and superficiality. While this serves a purpose, it reinforces a pattern that we feel is ready for change and innovation!" -- Ellen White

OmSingles strives to ignite a deeper calling for love, capacity and happiness by minimizing statistic-based questions, and expanding upon questions and dialogue that speaks towards people’s visions and deeper intentions. Questions such as “if you could create a new approach to love what would it be” encourage people to think beyond the box and in to a larger realm of possibility. We believe this helps to release deeply held desires about potentials for love helping to manifest them. We probe in to future instead of rewinding past. We like to believe we are creating “Destiny-mates” where two people embark on a path of new open potential versus repetition; creating new stories of vision, rather than recreating scripts.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Power of Mantra

Wikipedia defines mantra as a sacred utterance, or numinous sound that has psychological and spiritual power. Earliest known mantras were composed in Vedic times by Hindus in India, and those are at least 3000 years old.

This past year we here at Yogi Tunes were introduced to Valinor, a record label created by Prana Yoga Flow® instructor Veronique Dumont and musician Rogerio Jardim, for the sole purpose of helping yogis access the power of mantra in their personal practice.

I recently asked Veronique if she'd be interested in giving away a Christmas mantra to our beloved Yogi Tunes community, and when she agreed I thought I might as inquire a bit more into this truly intriguing creative duo.

Can give our readers a little bit of background on where Valinor came from and what inspired it's creation?

Many of my students were asking me for music to accompany yoga and at the same time help them with meditation and mantra practice. Even with my many years of practice I had nothing really that I could suggest to them that was to my liking. So I figured why not do it myself and produce my own mantra music so my students can benefit from it. So it came really from the request of my students, and the desire to give them a daily tool to support them in their meditation and practice. I was lucky enough that life brought me on my path a dear friend and great musician Rogerio Jardim who supported these productions and understood what these recordings could bring.

In your own experience, how has the power of mantra influenced your yoga practice?

For me mantra practice has created miracles in my life. It gives me the possibility to focus and align my own energy and to be able to create at all levels in my life. It is definitely a very powerful still or movement meditation tool, but also the tracks that we've written are made for yoga practice, bringing additional elements to support the specific energy or feeling you want to give to the sadhana itself.

Can you speak to those people who feel like they can't sing, or "don't have a good voice" for chanting mantras?

I say sing even though you think you don't have a great voice... If you come from the right place within your heart, to serve, heal and enjoy, then that is what people will receive and feel in their own hearts. Even though I did study music for 20 years and singing for 10, I don't consider myself a singer. I consider myself someone who likes to share the tools that made a difference in my own life.

Do you have any favorite mantras you like to sing for certain reasons? If so what are they and how do you use them?

I have many, all the ones I produced are my favourites :-) but if I could pick just a few:

The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra To bring healing and great transformation in all aspects of life. The Ahum Prema mantra opens and heals the heart, bringing us back to our deeper essence. I love the Mars mantra (coming on our next release 'Agni Mantras' available on Yogi Tunes January 2014!) and Surya mantra to awaken inner fire, courage and strength. 

Do you have any tips for teachers who are new to singing mantras and want to incorporate them more into their classes and personal practice?

I always say share and teach something you've already experienced for yourself and that made a difference in your life. Find the appropriate mantra that you need in the moment, wether that be for healing, empowering, inspiration, connection with your essence, or to create change and transformation, manifest abundance and channel creative energy.  Whatever serves you the best, work with it for a while. See what it brings in your own meditation, yoga practice and creation in your life. Once it has made a difference in your own life, either an inner difference our outer difference, you'll be able to share it with confidence with your students.

Can you write about any highlights you've had where you became more aware of the connection between sound and yoga?

As a Prana Flow® yoga teacher, music has always been a big part of yoga sadhana, through mantra practice and carefully chosen music to accompany the yoga practice itself. It is well known now that the vibration of sound has an effect on the physical matter, and as yoga practitioners we are aiming at this transformative aspect in our physical body and all levels of life. So to choose positive music and Mantras can definitely enhance and bring an opening to yoga practice at a deeper level. I've been an eyewitness of this in every yoga retreat I teach. Music and sound is a very unique powerful tool that supports the deeper goal of yoga.

Where do you teach and how can people find out more about you and what you do?

I teach year around weekend yoga retreats intensives, in the Eastern townships of Quebec near Montreal Canada. Being an affiliate teacher trainer with Shiva Rea, I also teach a Prana Flow Yoga® teacher training in French and English, in my own retreat center, the Institute for personal growth, that I direct with my mother Annie Marquier. We have students and clients from all over the world, coming for retreats on a year around basis. Our website: - facebook:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Akal Dub's Lotus Sessions Vol 1 & 2

After an inspiring conversation with Yogi Tunes CEO Alex King-Harris (aka Rara Avis) about the merging of yoga and music we began pioneering the idea to create a yoga class that was focused on music.

The intention was to allow students to deepen their personal practice without distraction while still staying current with musical trends. It quickly became obvious that it wasn't inspiring to throw together a playlist and call it good, so we set out to literally co-create the soundscapes to the classes based on the the energy that the students would be bringing into the room.

When yoga instructor Kia Miller heard of the idea she quickly advised that it would be a great opportunity to focus on one chakra of the body each week and play to the musical key signature that resonates with it. This is one of the most exciting, inspirational, and eye opening projects to ever be created.

Lotus Session Volume 1 and 2 focus on resonating and healing the 1st. And 2nd chakras. This is where we store information on our connection to earth and others around us. When it out of balance it can often create a feeling of helplessness in relation to money, support, belonging, and often feels like we have no resources to feel we can accomplish what is expected of us.

This session was crafted live on the spot and completely unrehearsed. Utilizing live looping of voices, guitars, flute and supported with interchangeable midi notation information, we were able to craft and improvise the soundscapes, drums, and electronic instruments to flow with sequences of Kia's Wednesday night Hatha class. The power of modern technology has allowed us to create changes with all the elements almost instantaneously. In addition synthetic loops created during the ambrosial hours each morning before the class are ready to be launched for an extra bonus of vibrational nectar. The flexibility of Ableton Live 9 and software synths is comparable to having an entire orchestra at your fingertips that will do anything and everything you tell it to on the fly.

This is truly a unique event that must be experienced in person to understand the effect you have during your own practice. Can you imagine what it would be like to have someone channel your energy whether positive or negative and put into a piece of art that you can take home and listen to forever?

For more information and dates on current Lotus Sessions please sign up for the Yogi-Tunes newsletter to find out when you come experience the sound of you.

Monday, December 16, 2013

An Interview with Brad Senstock

An interview with Brad Senstock
What inspires you to make music for yoga?

This is one of my favorite questions that I actually get all of the time. When I first started practicing yoga I had countless intimate moments in the yoga studio where I became completely absorbed in the music and postures while tears would stream down my face. I noticed that what was happening was that had tapped into a world that was full of healing and full of musicians that were creating for the purpose of healing others. They themselves were completely surrendering to the creative process of the universe that said it is ok to simply be as they were and let the music be as it is. I spent many years in the pop and rock industry where egos dictated what would make it to the radio and by the end of the record the magic was lost by so many people trying to have control over what was being heard. When I step into a space with other musicians what inspires me the most is that we all seem to have the same vision and idea and completely merge with each other without any direction or ego says what should be and that is when I see that others in the room are receiving the same experience I am.

One of the greatest moments I've experienced was during the Lotus Sessions Vol. 6. A few musicians and myself were composing completely original content in real time. As we were playing I witnessed three separate individuals completely stop their practice all at the same time and sat down in complete meditation. I was overwhelmed with joy and compassion knowing that they came into a room with so much on their mind and in minutes they were just ok with sitting and receiving what the universe had to offer in that moment. Shouldn't life be like that in every moment?

Can you talk a bit about your creative process? What tools do you use to make music with? And what are some methods you use for composing vs performing live music? 

This is another question I get frequently and ironically both questions actually relate to each other. Currently I am running Ableton Live 9 on my Macbook Pro with various Synthesizers like Zebra 2, Omnisphere, Massive, Vanguard, along with various Earth Moments sample packs that come Ableton Ready. The Earth Moments packets have some really great high vibration ethnic samples that are really essential to uplifting the energy of the yoga room. I rely a lot on co-creating with different artists when I step into playing live. Each guitar player I work with have their own flavor of sound and it is a great experience to bring everyone in and see how we can sculpt the energy

My creative process actually involves composing live in the yoga room as if it were my recording studio. There actually very little to no separation of studio and performing live classes.

I often wake up at about 4 am, do an hour long meditation and immediately jump on my computer with a fresh Ableton session. My writing process involves remaining seated in Lotus Posture while I create. This is honestly the number one most important part about creating music. It ensures that my posture is steady and the energy is flowing all throughout my body. I remaining connected to my breath and when I feel fatigued it allows me to pull the energy from the lower centers of my body into my higher centers where the healing actually takes place.

I start writing drum beats, synth loops, bass lines, and pad loops for the yoga class I will be performing at that day. I spend the first four hours writing as much material as I can in various 4 to 32 bar loops. I never create structure when I write; only loops. This allows me to focus on the sounds and how they interact with each individual loop. Each element is designed to work with any of the other elements harmoniously. By the time I have finished writing after the first 4 hours I end up with about 2-3 hours of all original content that can be mixed and matched during live performances. At about 8 am I'll take a yoga class myself or go exercise then I come home, eat a bit, and jump back on the computer and start writing more material. By the time the Yoga class comes around at 6pm I have over 4 hours of content that could potentially be played. Along with all this material I introduce the element of live looping my flute, guitar, and often my friend Anthea Jaskirpal Kaur's voice. With all of this flexibility we are able to sculpt the energy of the class into a piece of artwork that has never been rehearsed, composed, arranged, or experienced ever before. Best of all it gets recorded live as well!

After the class happens I'll wake up the next morning and listen to the content we have created. Often it immediately goes up on my website for download depending on how well everything was flowing. Once it gets released as an hour long flow I go back into the set and pick out my favorite moments from the class. This is where take the elements back into the studio where I can sculpt and perfect the sound or arrangement even more to fit with an album sequence. Since I started this project, thanks to Rara's amazing idea about creating original content to yoga flows, I ended up with over 8 albums worth of content. I am currently in the process of organizing and re-mixing the live content into 3 yoga flow albums. It's all about staying in the moment right? This process allows me the speed, flexibility, and pressure needed to create amazing content that is so close to the spirit source. 90 percent of the time the sounds that were put together in the moment of the class are so great that I don't want to change much about it so I simple give it a little more structure and it becomes its own track. This allows my ego to stay out of the way as well which is essential to making progress.

Each day and each class allows me to experience a new birthing of my own creativity which is honestly the best high I have ever experienced.

How do you support yourself as an artist? Are you full time or are there other things you have going on that support you in your quest to make music?

There are always other things that help me support myself as an artist. I am happy to say that for the first time in my life I have the ability to support myself completely on music. However at this moment I am currently working at various farmers markets, running audio online yoga videos, posing for yoga shoots, volunteering Khalsa Peace Corps to feed homeless people, and DJing ecstatic dance parties. These are all essential to maintaining my humbleness, integrity, and to feel I am contributing more the community to all the creative process to continue to flow through me.

Would you say there are any sacrifices you have to make in order to pursue a creative career such as this?

In my experience I literally sold every possession I had, even musical interments to try and support this career. What ended up happening was that I surrendered completely opened up myself to be healed and directed into the what the universe wanted from me. It was to get rid of all the crap in my life that involved ego, fame, power, and money until I understood that I was to create music for healing. Not everyone has this experience.

What are the rewards of doing what you do?

Witnessing persons literally change in front of my ears from a state of panic and fear into a state of being and love. It allows connection to every person and I am rewarded with the reminder that every person I encounter is a reflection of me and they are here to support me in my journey on this earth.

Can you speak to why you feel music is healing?

This is a tough question. I believe we all have experiences we can't explain or even comprehend. Music is about expressing those moments in an art form. Expressing all these, "feelings" we have without having to say them. You can experience love, frustration, longing, loneliness, depression and you can be uplifted and even understood all from one song! When someone hears a piece of work that has been composed from a moment that can't be comprehended it is as if everyone in the vicinity surrenders to the fact that everything is happening all at once and we can't be in control all of the time. It is all happening and it is all happening to heal us.

Please share some thoughts about why yoga and music make such great companions!

Yoga and Music is like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Experienced yogis know the postures of the flow and they something delicious to snack on! Inexperienced yogis want to distract themselves from having to go inward or face on these crappy postures for the next 6 minutes so they need something delicious too!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Breathing from the Core

Inhaling and exhaling effect our entire being in some very profound ways.  From improving heart function to increasing metabolism, all cells in the body ultimately benefit from deep, rhythmic breathing.  Without the life giving nutrients that is delivered to all areas of our body as we breathe we would quickly die, therefore it is important to fully understand the life giving nature of breath and how profoundly it can affect our over all state of being.

I consider myself fortunate to have found yoga through a teacher who centralized breath in his practice.  For the first 6 months all we did together was study breathing mechanics and use fluid simple poses that strengthened the muscles that support breathing.  By the time I was done, my breath was the central core of my yoga practice.  If I wanted to explore new asanas, I would only do so if my breath allowed it, not the other way around.  No movement would happen without a direct connection and focus on my breath.  The result was a profound sense of how important breathe is in yoga, and in life, and also a tremendous sense of safety at never extending beyond agreeable limits for my body.

Yet perhaps one of the most amazing things about breathing is our ability to have it on auto-pilot or control it.  The two different parts of your body that control those things benefit from being synchronized by rhythm and pace.  Breathing longer, slower, shorter, faster all produces very noticeable effects and also helps to oxygenate your blood, providing vital chi or prana to the body.

Breathing also connects us to something greater, quite literally. 


Begin practice by sitting in Vajrasana (other options are cross legged or on your back with your legs up on a chair if you have back issues)

Three Part Breath

Part 1: Belly
-Place your hands on your belly and slowly beginning breathing in and out of the nose
-Use only your diaphragm and belly muscles to inhale and exhale, allow your belly to push outwards as you breathe in
-Do 3 sets of 10 long, deep breaths, and on the final breath, hold it in and relax your upper body.
-Count to 3, then exhale and take a child's pose between sets.

Part 2: Mid-Chest
-Inhale by stretching your rib cage apart, then using your hands to press your rib cage together
-Should feel like the sides of your rib cage are moving outward to the left and right
-3 sets of 10
-Inhale and hold on the last breath of each set, then child's pose

Part 3: Upper-Chest / Shoulders
-Then go to shoulders, and inhale by lifting shoulders up, exhale by letting them drop
-Dropping the shoulders while exhaling helps loosen tension in upper torso
-3 sets of 10
-Inhale and hold on the last breath of each set, then child's pose

Part 4: Wave Breath (all together)
-Finally, link all three together - Belly, mid-chest, shoulders, inhale and exhale in the same order
-3 sets of 10
-Inhale and hold on the last breath of each set, then child's pose

By now your breath should be warm and ready to use for more asana!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Music Healing: An Interview with Steve Gold

As a part of our ongoing interview series, YogiTunes founder Alex King-Harris recently spoke with Steve Gold about the health & wellness benefits of music.

Does music contribute your overall health and well being? If so, how?

Steve: As an artist, music is the meaning of my life. It calms my nerves while nourishing my soul. It excites my spirit and recharges me with hope. It is also the foundation of my life’s purpose and the bridge that proceeds me into the global communities that support my work. The connection and love I receive through music is the best medicine.
Can you speak to any experiences you've had where your music has promoted a sense wellness in others?

Steve: I feel honored and humbled to have received many testimonials from people that have shared their healing experiences with me that have resulted from listening to my music. Mostly to help them through difficult life transitions, including birth and death. Also, a friend recently sent me an article written by a cardiologist that explains the fact that listening to joyful music while exercising improves artery function, lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety. A recommended song list is included in the article and my rendition of There Is So Much Magnificence is in the top 10 joyful healing songs. I hope the song reaches and heals a lot of aching hearts.
Can you remember a time you experienced a profound moment of healing through music?

Steve: Yes, many times. One of the most heart-rending was when I sang for a close friend at her death bed. We breathed and sang while gazing into each other’s eyes. We knew it was the last time we’d share together and that experience opened us both up to deeper feelings of gratitude and love for each other. In that moment we were altogether healed, resigned and transformed.
What qualities do you feel need to be present in music for it to inspire wellness in the listener?

Steve: In my opinion, deep healing is a result of deeper listening. The healing transmission in music is simply a form of sympathetic resonance that is generated by a musician that is tuned into the wonderful and resounding frequencies that are available to everyone. In order to deliver the transmission, I believe that the maker of the music must be a very good listener and that quality comes by way of being innately sensitive to the needs of others. It is then up to the receiver of the music to be open to the possibility of healing.
Was there anyone, anything or any experiences in particular you've had that impact how you choose to express yourself musically?

Steve: Absolutely! When I was in my youth a friend introduced me to Malcolm McLaren. Malcolm was not only the manager of the Sex Pistols, but he had literally created new music genres and fashion. He was a master of innovation, fusing styles like folk with hip hop or opera with rap and dance beats. Malcolm made me my first cassette tape of legendary bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Malcolm and I worked together for 2 years and he encouraged me to listen and learn from these giants by saying, “You’ve got to get your roots boy ~ steal from the best.” I’ve since spent many years soaking up the best American roots music. I know I may never be one of the greatest blues artists because I don’t suffer the blues, but I do have a lot of respect for the wonderful influences that inform my own unique expression. After recording my second full length CD, Let Your Heart Be Known I realized that unconsciously I had employed Malcolm’s method by fusing Americana, folk and blues with Sanskrit mantras. It was like I’d somehow taken the best of the sacred and profane and made them work together.

Do you have any special events coming up you'd like to share?

Steve: I am facilitating two events at Deepka Chopra's Seduction of Spirit 'Music & Meditation' Immersion at The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA. November 4 - 10. One will be a Highly Spirited Live Music Performance and the other is a guided music meditation that I call 'Journeying Om' in which we explore the meaning of this most sacred mantra through singing as a group. This is my second year as a presenter at this amazing event and what I love most is witnessing everyone in a state of presence and openness. It is WONDERFUL!

Find complete details at

More about Steve Gold:

Steve Gold is a down to earth, soulful singer and teacher. He creates powerful music for conscious living, broadcasting vibrations straight from the heart. His positive message of self love, self fulfillment, and personal accountability heals and inspires. Steve’s practice of more than 25 years combines his passion for singing, songwriting, yoga and metaphysics. Steve travels the world teaching Mantras for Manifestation and Voice of Magnificence workshops and performing at festivals, conferences, and retreats.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yoga & Music

by Jano Galindo
Having the right music in your yoga class is essential to the overall experience. As a practitioner, you may not be aware of how much consideration your instructor has put into their musical selections. When all the elements come together there should be a blend of great instruction and music that enhances the transformations that occur in your practice.

The Music in your practice is best related to the breath. Your breathing should have a pattern and a rhythm. This is the best way to keep the thoughts in your mind occupied on the breath. Your job would be to keep these patterns and rhythms consistent throughout your practice. Music is an unseen, intangible element. It draws its force from the atmosphere and is translated in notes, harmonies, vibrations and rhythms. When composed with the intention of healing, it has the properties to touch the highest aspects of the self. It is a sub-conscious direct connection to the soul or atman and it is here where there's healing power. It's here where you have mental, emotional, physical and spiritual transformation. These experiences take place only in the present moment. The beauty of music is that it's designed to immerse you completely in the present and no where else.

When instructing a yoga class my first intention is to create a sequence that challenges you and takes you to a place within yourself that allows change and shift. 

The music selections that I use in my classes have been fine tuned to enhance these shifts and changes. It is moving, inspiring, elemental, atmospheric, rhythmic and full of love. Just like the sequence of postures, the music has a beginning that creates an atmosphere. The song selections create more of a soundscape with natural sounds and less rhythm. This allows you to begin the journey within. All the students that come into the practice are coming from so many different places. The beginning selection of music and postures is designed to bring everyone together, set a personal intention and create a group energy.

As the pace of the class goes from the introduction into moving the body to generate heat and prepare for the flow of the practice, the music has to accommodate these changes. There is percussive rhythms introduced, the tempo is still moderate allowing for a build and there is more context to the melodies and harmonies. I tend to keep to the idea of textural soundscapes and interlude type of instrumentals here. The ultimate focus is to keep the students in a inward exploration.

The intention of the instructor is revealed towards the building and peak of the class, it is essential that the selections do not distract or take anything away from the ultimate goal of union between the breath, body and mind. This is where I find it the most challenging in having the appropriate selections. This is when the instructor has more liberty in song selection, and it can either make or break the class. As in most things in life, less is more. Your tempos can build but you should consider avoiding house or techno type tempos. I tend to keep my choice of songs more in the lounge or chill categories, where you can find steady tempo beats that don't rush but still allow for a great push. If your class has a peak, there should be a peak song as well. This does not imply a peak tempo, but a song that goes with whichever intention there is for the class. For example if I am teaching a balancing sequence as a peak, I don't want to have song selections that may be distracting, but steady and consistent with little to no vocals.

In closing your practice with cool down postures, the idea would be to allow for the attention to re-focus towards the inside. The final postures and songs should be set with the intention of achieving the ultimate experience in savasana. If you think of all your posture and song selections as a preparation for savasana, your experience with putting together a playlist will have a clearer intention and serve a greater purpose. The final song for savasana is the most crucial. In the end you have to trust that your song selections are not going to betray you but enhance and allow for a deeper experience in the asana. 

I have about 10 or so songs that I have come trust, check some of them out here:

Savasana Playlist 
Om Prana by Rara Avis
Featured on the album Beneath the Radar 

Sol. by Ishq.
Featured on the album Orchid

Shiva's Flute by Shaman's Dream
Featured on the Yang mix Bom Shiva 

Claire de Lune by The Philadelphia Orchestra

To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

Vishranti by Dave Eggar Quartet 

Awakening by Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
Featured on the album Anjali 

Lotus Heart by Desert Dwellers
Featured on the album DownTemple Dub: Waves  

Cave Dwellings by Liquid Bloom
Featured on the Yang mix Prabuddhah Beat

Shanti (Peace Out) by MC Yogi
Featured on the album Elephant Power 

Learn more about Jano Galindo, including his teaching schedule, at

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Into the Power of Music: An Interview with Deva Premal & Miten

As a part of our ongoing interview series, Yogi Tunes founder Alex King-Harris recently spoke with Deva Premal and Miten. Our goal for this interview was to broaden and contribute the conversation surrounding music as a healing force in the world. Deva and Miten both have a particularly potent and important insight into the power of music.

Does music contribute your overall health and well being? If so, how?

Deva Premal & Miten: Music in itself is an expression of the 'soundless sound' - meaning, beauty which cannot be expressed in words - but can be heard. Music originally arose as a spiritual experience and as such, contains its own integral healing power.

Music moves all emotionally - whatever style it is played in. We all recognize the different responses to that of a baby's laughter, compared to that of a police siren, say.... so, we agree, all sound has power.

In our case, we use music to enhance the sanskrit texts, known as mantra. Mantras are scientifically formulated sound healing formulas - discovered by the wise ones of ancient india, some 5000 years ago. Refined sound bites, basically.

It's no wonder then, that fusing music with these powerful codes creates a strong response, or reaction. The mantras, fused with the music we play, create a sense of only in the one who chants, but also, in the ones who hear.

Can you remember a time you experienced a profound moment of healing through music?

Deva Premal & Miten: We experience intense and profound healing every time we sing. If we didn't, why would we bother?

The music deva and i create has practically zero entertainment quality - it is not emotional, it's not going to get us in the charts-it doesn't claim to mend broken hearts or revenge love betrayed. It doesn't protest inequalities and political issues...

This music was created in an ashram. It's another dimension... People don't live in ashrams to get famous or concern themselves with inter-personal relationships, or even matters of the world - at least initially. We weren't in an ashram to plot a the music never had any of that essence in it.

When our spiritual teacher, osho, died, we eventually left india and began sharing something of the way he'd taught us to play music, and what we'd experienced, personally, from playing this kind of music - which we did, with other fellow travellers on the path. Eventually the autobahns had to widen to accommodate more and more of those fellow travelers - there are so many of us now, all looking for our life's purpose - looking to make some kind of sense of this life we're living in the 21st century.

Mantras have a potential. We've heard from people who experienced a shift in consciousness when hearing the music, without even knowing what the mantra was actually, there's a power, inherent in the sounds. No translation needed. Just to be open to their power seems to be enough.

What qualities do you feel need to be present in music for it to inspire wellness in the listener?

Deva Premal & Miten: Music needs to contain the quality of pure intention. It needs to be free of any sense of ambition. It needs to have the quality of being nothing more than an offering to spirit - a gift that gives and asks for nothing in return.

If that quality is there - if the musician approaches the mantras from this space, he/she will have an experience of well being, themselves - and that's really the point. If the musician is playing from the place of humility and inner intent, then the music will be received by the listener, and it will transmit the healing power of the mantras.

Was there anyone, anything or any experiences in particular you've had that impact how you choose to express yourself musically?
Deva Premal & Miten: Not really...we're not really kirtan singers, but we love kd and jai and snatam especially. We keep our ears open, but we don't consider ourselves proficient enough as musicians to attempt to actually emulate anybody...!

We can tell you that we love the voices of Bombay Jayashree, Bobby McFerrin, the late Jagjit Singh, Bob Marley, and Blind Willy Johnson. The music covers a wide horizon ... we like that, it keeps things open and healthy and without borders, you can experiment unselfconsciously. Which is basically what we do when we record. 'A deeper light' is an experiment. 'Password' was an experiment. 'The essence' certainly was.

Through early November - 2013, Deva & Miten with bansuri maestro Manose and keyboard wizard Maneesh de Moor are on tour in the USA and Canada. Tour details and tickets are available at BrightStar Live Events.

More about Deva Premal & Miten
Deva Premal & Miten began their journey into love and music in 1990 when they met at the ashram of controversial Indian mystic, Osho. Their worldwide concerts and best-selling albums have since introduced millions of Westerners to the joy and deep relaxation found in spiritually based songs and chanting mantras from the Eastern meditation traditions.

Deva & Miten have released a string of acclaimed CDs with sales exceeding one million, and their concerts have moved from yoga studios to audiences of thousands in concert halls, cathedrals and music festivals around the planet.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Creating from Passion: the Maker of the Bamboo iPhone Case

When I was first turned on to Mantrastyle I was stoked on both how cool the case was, how much it reflected the Yogi Tunes aesthetic.  The magic behind these cases is SF based artisan/entrepreneur Grace Tai.  Grace has created a cool niche and is indeed graceful in her approach to business.


What first inspired you to start making the cases?
I wanted to create a business that was a fusion of two things that I love: fashion and technology. I am absolutely obsessed with my iPhone and have never been able to find a case for it that I felt really reflected my personality. I wanted something that made a statement and bamboo not only does that but it's eco-friendly and incredibly sustainable to boot! 

How are the cases made? 
The cases are CNC milled for great precision and detail - people are always surprised at how thin and light the cases are! We get the awesome engravings on the back by using a laser machine that shoots millions of tiny little lasers into the wood to create awesome and intricate designs.

Did you have a specific background that helped you create your business? 
Some sales, some marketing, and a lot of passion!

Do you face any particular challenges in spreading the word about your creation?  
Absolutely - the Internet is a big place! One thing I have noticed is that it's one of those products that once someone sees it, they absolutely love it. I've had complete stranger stop to tell me how much they like my case. It's just a matter of getting the word out!

You seem to have an underlying message that comes through what you've created… if so, could you talk about that? 
Well, I wanted to create something that wasn't just cool, but also something that helped make the world a better place. One of my favorite things about Mantrastyle is  we get to donate a % of our cases to Freedom House,  a shelter that provides safety and rehabilitation for formerly trafficked women who have been rescued. Human trafficking has always been an issue very near and dear to my heart and  it's been a dream of mine to create a business that was able to incorporate this very important issue. What a great feeling to be making beautiful products for an equally beautiful cause!

I noticed you were selling your cases on - can you talk a little bit about them?  They seem like they have a really cool concept. 
Scoutmob is one of our awesome partner sites - they feature an awesome array of products created by locals. You can search your city and buy stuff from people who walk the same streets as you - how cool is that? It's one of the great things about locally made products - not only are you contributing to your local economy, you are making an impact on the lives of real people, not huge corporations.

Do you have any plans to branch out into other products, or perhaps other phones?  
Absolutely; check out our site, we are already testing some new products out!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Child’s Song - By Alan Cohen

There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they’re been born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

Reposted from:

Peia just happens to be an amazing singer!!

We hope to have her on Yogi Tunes soon :) 

Alex King-Harris
aka Rara Avis

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Hidden Cost of Convenience

Ever notice how with convenience often comes hidden costs?  It seems that with complete innocence we hunger to have our needs met in the most affordable, least time consuming way. However when we take a closer look at some of the services and products that fill our lives, we find hidden costs that put individuals, the environment and our future at risk.

In the music world, this is unfortunately no different.  Take Pandora Radio for example.  Amazing service right?  Right.  Pandora has created something that very few other music services can duplicate... an automated recommendation engine that literally streams endless amounts of music that is strikingly similar to what you already like.  It's free if you don't mind the ads, and very cheap if you'd rather have uninterrupted music.  An excellent way to enjoy listening to and discovering music online and it works well for yoga teachers, massage therapists, and other wellness professionals as an easy alternative to spending time hand-picking music for use at work.

However, as an artist, to earn a monthly minimum wage in the US ($1,160) via Pandora, I would need approximately 4,000,000 song plays. (Yes, that's four million).  Yet, if I were to sell around 230 albums via Yogi Tunes I'd make the same amount of money.  Now, I can't exactly live on $1,160 per month but there's definitely no way I can expect four million plays on Pandora per month.  If I was getting that kind of air time my name would be Justin Beiber and I wouldn't care how much I was making off royalties because I'd have 9 super cars, 12 houses, a private jet, a super yacht and would make more in one hour than most musicians make in their entire life time.

Yogi Tunes is a music service that has drawn a firm line in the sand around compensating artists and DJ's both for their hard work in bringing excellent music to the yoga community and beyond.  We pay DJ's a fee every time their mixes get published and offer a profit sharing model for both DJ's and artists if their music gets used in our subscription plan.  We then pay them more money for the retail sale of their music and try our very best to support independent artists and DJ's by marketing them and their music free of charge.  Sure, we hope to create a revenue stream that allows us to create financial stability in our own lives, but we're always doing it with the creative people in mind who power our service.

So the next time you're craving convenience, it's always worth looking behind the ease of use to make sure it's genuinely fair trade and good for everyone.  It's not always the case that it's bad - I'm not saying to distrust innovation.  Just asking (myself included) for some awareness around whether or not it's good all the way down the line.

Alex King-Harris
Yogi Tunes Co-Founder/CEO

The following graphic is an excellent tool for understanding the current state of affairs in the world of music royalties:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lookin' for Adventure?

I have the absolute joy of living in one of the nicest, most progressive, chilled out towns anywhere: Ashland, Oregon.

We are up in the mountains about 1/2 hour from the California border and life here is safe, peaceful, affordable, the city has an ordinance against billboards and large scale chain businesses, plus it has one of the nicest city parks I've ever come across.

One of the reasons we moved here was the local Waldorf school that our now 13 year old son attends. It's very low cost for a private school, has the most amazing teachers and a philosophy about childhood development that we resonate with.

One of the many perks at the Waldorf school is our son's teacher Kelly Shelstad and her husband Tom who are very gifted childhood educators. Since our son joined Kelly's class we've seen him truly blossom into a happy, healthy, content, funny, relaxed individual. One of the key things Kelly and Tom do is take the entire class on multi-day hiking trips. The first time they went on one it quite simply transformed the emotional and social dynamics of the entire class within a period of 3-4 days. They came back more themselves than I'd ever seen them, and the long term effects of Kelly and Tom's presence in our child's life has been truly a blessing.

Tom has an amazing company called 'Inner Guide Expeditions' through which he shares his passion for the wilderness and love for humanity in two ways: transformational wilderness trips for teens in the Pacific Northwest and customized family expeditions all over the globe. Through personalized attention, heartfelt connection, individualized feedback, and outdoor adventure they create a foundation for awareness and transformation to flourish. They hike, play, share, reflect, and explore their way through some of the most beautiful wilderness in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

"Something astounding happens when electronics are forgotten and an “analog” rhythm of life emerges center stage - wilderness becomes adventure, challenge becomes insight, campfires become council, strangers become family." Tom Shelstad

In 2013, Inner Guide is providing custom family expeditions in Washington, Oregon, and a 105-mile circumnavigation of Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland, and Italy. The trips are custom crafted to meet the unique needs of each family from the design of the expedition, to the level of facilitation and location. These rare experiences, as a family in a wilderness setting, guided by skilled facilitators, with opportunity to connect deeply away from the day to day, are exquisite opportunities to turn towards the people that matter most in your life.

If this resonates with you it's because it's really frickin' cool and you should definitely consider going to their website and booking a trip.

You can do so at: or call them at (541) 261-4959

Alex King-Harris
Yogi Tunes CEO/Co-Founder

Monday, April 8, 2013

Qawwali Music Explained: An Interview w/ Tahir Qawwal of Fanna-Fi-Allah

If any of you have ever had the absolute pleasure of sitting in on a late night jam session with Fanna Fi Allah, then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say the air fills with a palpable sense of mysticism, devotion and a serious connection to the groove.  While I am myself a well trained musician, i've often wondered about the under lying structure present that is capable of bringing to life such an amazingly intricate and yet delicately simple form of devotional music.

To learn more, I sent my friend and band leader Tahir Qawwal some questions and was really inspired by the responses... read on for the interview!

You can listen to their latest release here:

And all of their releases here:

Can you briefly talk about the roots of Qawwali singing?
Musically speaking qawwali singing comes principally from the classical raaga tradition of the Indian subcontinent. All qawwalies are composed inside of a raaga framework which span both classical & semi-classical raaga's. Since qawwali singing is done in the high register, the texture of this singing is most closely related to folk & bhajan. Most of the vocal ornamentation in qawwali singing is contained in the Indian classical system, while a few special techniques come more specifically from Persian singing.

What are the general themes you are singing about?  Love?  Spirituality?  Devotion?
Well qawwali covers a very vast subject mater, spanning over a thousand years of culture & sufi poets. Generally speaking the principal subject matter is ' Ishq ' divine love, the passionate & emotional relationship with Allah. The typical subject matter for expressing this sacred devotion within qawwali text is offered to the name of Allah directly, towards the beloved prophet Muhammad ( pbah ) & his family, sufi saints of the Indian subcontinent & simply to the beloved, called by many names like: Sajna, Mehraman, Dholena... The qawwali texts are in languages such as: Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, Seraiki & Purbi.

Can you describe how the structure of the music works? (how it's composed and performed)
The musical structure of qawwali is quite unique, yet much of it's arrangement has certainly evolved out of older Indian musical genres. The main body of the song is comprised of a central sufi poetic text which is divided into two melodies, the astai ( lower melody ) & the antra ( upper melody ). In addition to this principal text we have firstly the ' saazina ' ( instrumental intro ), ' alap ' ( wordless vocal intro ) & ' Dora ' ( poetic invocation for the song ). Once the main text begins there can be many improvised solos sung spontaniouslly by the front line vocalists, these improvised bits known as ' amad ' are passionate offerings sung to embellish the raaga even deeper. As well, our qawwali repatoir is completely traditional, the melodies being composed by our maters & their for fathers. Being the group leader, it is also traditional for me to add relevant poetic material to the song as spontaneous solo or call/response sections.

I've seen it performed many times, and it seems like everyone gets a chance to solo but how is the solo order determined, and how does the ensemble know when the solo is over and it's time to sing the chorus?
When it comes to ' amad ' solo parts, it is the duty of the advanced vocalists in the front line. There is certainly no order as impulsive passion is the way. There is though, a communal respect given first to the advanced singers. When it comes to how to start or finish, this is all empathic, as long as a solo is aesthetically within the feel of the track it all lines up naturally.
On behalf of the whole ensemble, how did most of you get involved? Was it different for everyone?

Well, my beginnings in the qawwali field evolved directly out of studies in Indian classical music & my journey into sufism. When Fanna-Fi-Allah was created by Aminah Chishty & I back in 2001 we tried our best to build the group from skilled vocalists who were passionate about this musical genre. Qawwali is an extremely difficult & sophisticated form of music. Because of the perpetual musical training involved in our ensemble, it is treated as a very long term commitment for anyone to join the mob. Yes, it was truly different for each of our beloved members.

It seems like you guys are family and all share a common bond within the music… can you talk about that?

We certainly do ! Sharing devotional music has been a profound way to experience friendship. Keeping the peace within our crew hasn't always been easy, but now that were all well out of our twenties inshallah generosity & maturity will guide our way forward.

Are there particular challenges you face in touring with such a large group?
The most confronting challenge of touring as a large ensemble is simply the cost. After our first decade of touring professionally we all decided that it was time that we would only except gigs that were fairly paid, this has created some limitations for venues & festivals with small performer budgets. On top of this we typically accept one or two benefit concerts each year as well as perform in India & Pakistan without any concern for compensation.

Do you ever perform in smaller numbers? (duo or trio, etc.)
Traditional qawwali as passed down from our maters can only be accomplished with a group. There are specific rolls that must be fulfilled for an offering that is truly qawwali. Singing the sufi texts in a classical ( duo or trio ) is beautiful genre called Kafi. My other musical ensemble named Sufi Soul Sangeet is designed for this more subtle & soft traditional art.

Do you have any tips for people interested in singing Qawaali who might not have access to an ensemble to practice with?
First off, the guidance of a qawwali ustad ( teacher ) is completely necessary since the form is much too advanced to imitate. Most of the practice involved is purely classical training which is done alone. But when your ready for an ensemble give a call !

Is having a female tabla player unusual?
Yes, female tabla players in Pakistan seem to be presently almost non existent. Thanks to her heart felt dedication to the path & her initiation under qawwali great Dildar Hussain Khan, Aminah is proving herself exceptionally well in this field.
Can you talk about how, as a non-indiginous ensemble, you've been received by traditional audiences and/or venues?
Honestly when performing in Pakistan, since the traditional setting of qawwali is completely sufi in nature there is only kindness when we offer our sound. The virtues of hospitality & warmth come much more easily than cultural discrimination. That being said, we are very young in this path when sitting at the feet of our teachers & their many generations of qawwali history. Qawwali music is much more of a spiritual experience than a cultural display. As I've explained above there are many languages in qawwali, therefor even local Pakistani qawwal's have to study hard if they are to thrive.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


A 3 day, free, groundbreaking web conference on going beyond addiction, created by our good friend Tommy Rosen (LA based yoga instructor.) 

As someone who has and continues to personally struggle with addiction, I am humbled by how it has impacted my life.  My soul yearns for transformation, but my body sits often alone, isolated...

This program is truly a blessing - awesome offering from Tommy and a ton of great international speakers.

Alex King-Harris
CEO, Yogi Tunes, LLC


Sunday, March 17

12 PT / 3 ET – Sat Dharam Kaur– Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery
1 PT / 4 ET – Elisa Hallerman – Maintaining Sobriety, Achieving Balance and Healing Families
2 PT / 5 ET – Rolf Gates – Meditations from the Mat – Along the Road to Recovery
3 PT / 6 ET – Dr. Marc Lewis - The Addicted Brain: Insights From a Neuroscientist and Former Drug
4 PT / 7 ET – Beverly Berg, PhD - Recovering Couples: From Dysfunction to True Love
5 PT / 8 ET – Nick Ortner - Emotional Freedom Technique and Overcoming Addiction
6PT / 9 ET – Noah Levine – Take Refuge: The Buddhist Path of Recovery

Monday, March 18

12 PT / 3 ET – Bruce Alexander – The Globalization of Addiction
1 PT / 4 ET – Chelsea Roff – Starving for Love: Recovering from Eating Disorders
2 PT / 5 ET – Sukhdev Jackson - Women in Recovery: The Graceful Path of Recovery
3 PT / 6 ET – Anna David – Sex and Relationships in Recovery
4 PT / 7 ET –Guru Prem- Finding the True Path of Recovery: Moving from the Head to the Heart
5 PT / 8 ET – Dr. Dan Frigo – Hazelden Turns 64: Best Practices of In-Patient Treatment for
6 PT /9 ET – Christopher Kennedy Lawford – Recover to Live: Kick any Habit, Manage any Addiction

Tuesday, March 19

12 PT / 3 ET – Rainbeau Mars - Food, Drugs and Fear: A Survivor's Tale of Recovery and Triumph
1 PT / 4 ET – Guru Charan - Meditation and Transformation of the Addictive Mind
2 PT / 5 ET – Mastin Kipp - The Daily Love and Recovery
3 PT / 6 ET – Durga Leela - Ayurveda: The Ancient Science of Living and Recovery
4 PT / 7 ET – Trudy Goodman - Insight: Vipassana on the Path of Recovery
5 PT / 8 ET – Akahdahmah Jackson - Spiritual Healing: Living in Connection With a Higher
6PT / 9ET РDr. Gabor Mat̩ РUnderstanding the Roots of Addiction

Wednesday, March 20

12 PT / 3 ET – David Wolfe – Profound Recovery Through the Food You Eat
2 PT / 5 ET – Guru Singh - A Master Yogi's Eye View of Addiction and Recovery
3 PT / 6 ET – Ashley Turner – Addiction, The Body and The Chakras
4 PT / 7 ET - Arnie Wexler - The Last Bet: A Life Beyond Gambling Addiction
5 PT / 8 ET – Dr. Howard Samuels – The Landscape of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Today

Thursday, March 21

12 PT / 3 ET – Jennifer McLean - The Sacred Chamber - Connecting with Your Highest Self
1 PT / 4 ET – Gabrielle Bernstein – May Cause Miracles
2 PT / 5 ET – Ron Tannenbaum and Kenny Pomerance – A Look at The World of Online Recovery
3 PT / 6 ET – Nikki Myers – Yoga and 12 Step Recovery
4 PT / 7 ET – Kia Miller – Yoga and Your Relationship With Food
5 PT / 8 ET – Jamie Huysman – Caregiver Burnout and Compassion Fatigue