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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mix Your Own Playlists Like the Pros!

Ever had the feeling when listening to your yoga music, or preparing a yoga playlist for class, that you wanted to be a DJ but weren't sure how to do it?  Maybe you love making playlists and wish you had a bit more freedom to end songs early, combine two songs for a long period of time and in doing so create a seamless flow?

Thankfully software engineers have been busily creating a variety of easy DJ tools for beginners that integrate with iTunes.

For mac users, there's DJay - a very affordable, easy to learn, flexible DJ platform that allows you to do all kinds of fun things.

For PC and Mac users there's also Mixx:

If you google 'easy dj software' you'll get a host of links come back at you, many with free trial offers so you can check them out.  In general, go with software that looks elegant, and simple. There's no need as a beginner to have a piece of software that looks like the cockpit of a 747.  2 decks, a crossfader, some EQ on each deck and a big red record button will have you mixing like a pro in no time.

Tools like this focus on ease of use and integration with iTunes, so that you can quickly access your downloaded music and instantly begin enjoying being "in the mix".

The free teacher resources we've been offering come in really handy once you begin your career as a yoga DJ.  Long nature recordings and ambient drones can be layered onto existing songs, used as intros, outros, bridges between songs, and overall are excellent tools for getting the most out of your playlists.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Origins of Dub Kirtan All Stars

Greetings Beat Seekers and Sub-aholics,

I have something a bit different for you, something I think is a little bit special. After 2 years of honing the live band and building a catalogue of music to perform, the ‘World Music’ meets ‘Electronic beats and Bass’ project that I’ve been nurturing with me ol‘ mate David Starfire is now ready to see the light of day. It’s called the Dub Kirtan All Stars.

Grab a free download of our new EP here

The project came about from both David and my long-standing love of Middle Eastern and South Asian music in all its many forms. I still maintain the finger blurring speed rhythms of the middle East’s darbuka players are the original Jungle/Drum n Bass beats J When I first moved to London Dance music (EDM) was going off and there was a slew of bands and producers that were mixing up Electronic beats and Asian instruments, many of them 2nd generation Asian kids who felt as much part of modern British Dance music culture as they did their Asian roots. Bands like Asian Dub Foundation, Fun-Da-Mental, Loop Guru, TransGlobal Underground (which is where we first saw the phenomenal Natacha Atlas who features on David Starfire’s new album) and Talvin Singh (who went on to collaborate with Bjork)

and many others… were all cranking out often political Asian fusion beats that verged on punk in it’s intensity, and directly confronted the idea that to be British meant to be any one skin color, religion or anything else. It was political by the very fact that it was happening in a slow-to-change British establishment surrounded by the children of the colonial empire who were growing up in Mother England unafraid to claim the rights they should have as British citizens regardless if whether they looked or sounded like the royal family or not.

I would go and see these bands play and producers DJ (Talvin’s legendary ‘Anokha’ night at the Blue Note in Hoxton Square was one of the best examples of London’s melting pot futurism even to this day) and at the same time I’d visit the Southbank Center and see the finest traditional Asian musicians play purist classical music, blown away by the intensity of them both. By some unfathomable chance I even had one of the brothers from the esteemed Qa’wali dynasty of Salamat Ali Khan (RIP) in the studio in London after a meeting via a mutual acquaintance at a concert they did in London. Even tho Massive Attack had just remixed Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, I have to admit I hardly knew who he was at the time, but the sound that came out of his mouth when we pushed the record button floored me.

But as time went by I ended up firmly ensconced in London’s Electronic world and other than the odd concert down at the Southbank Art and Music festivals, I fell out of that scene as I grew in different directions musically and had little time for anything else. But in an odd twist of fate the music re-entered my digital bubble thru a side door - via my practice of Yoga. I took up Yoga to help me manage the touring DJ lifestyle which = long hours, little sleep, perpetual jetlag and adrenal rush after adrenal rush (of many different sorts), all in between being cooped up on planes sitting down for abnormally long periods of time. The physical practice Yoga worked a treat as a DJ lifestyle mitigation tool, but unbeknownst to me I had ended up practicing in a traditional Indian lineage, Satyananda yoga, and with it came the traditional call and response chanting called Kirtan….. Full circle. I have to admit I wasn’t into it at first, and at my South London yoga center kirtan was mostly held on the weekends when I was away DJing so, it was a slow start for me. I had become so accustomed to electronic music that when I did hear Kirtan chanting backed by minimal acoustic music, I would hear Bass drops, smokin’ beats and trippy synths buzzing in and around these circular mantras that repeated endlessly like a looped up vocal sample in a rave. But over time as I studied a little more of the Yoga philosophy and got to understand why they chanted the names of the Absolute, the Divine, over and over again, I started to catch a vibe. It was a way of getting beyond the ego, of losing your shit just like losing yourself in an amazing electro, dubstep or Classical tune. And when one of my Yoga teachers asked me to start a Kirtan project, his request brought me to revisit my love of Asian music and it was from here that the seeds for the Dub Kirtan All Stars project were sown. Soon after David (who is a seasoned East/West fusion Electronic producer) and I set a date for a ‘friends and family’ gig in Los Angeles and started feverishly making beats and jamming with our mates who do actually sing and play this stuff.

You see, neither David or I can play eastern Instruments, or sing like those masters I used to see at the festivals in London, but we can control swarms of musical robots via our music software and it was from this foundation that we built up the DKAS, a group of people who are steeped in both their traditional modalities and in the 21st Century digital world.

The ‘Subsonic Devotion’ EP is the first fruits of this project. It’s sweet and sexy, and heavy and driving by turns, and features the voices of the incredibly talented Chaytanya and Arjun Baba. Both singers are steeped in the traditional modes of their art but have been to their fair share of raves too, so we’re stoked to have them grace the DKAS project. I hope this will offer some fresh vibes to fans of both the traditional Asian music and fans of future Beats and Bass Music.

Again, if this is something that interestes you, grab a free download of our new EP here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Music & Silence

Music & Silence

Is there really a conversation to be had regarding the value of music as opposed to silence?  I'd rather think of them as mutually supportive, and in fact deeply connected.  Music is simply an elegant way of marking space within infinite silence through the passage of time.

The real question is does the right music played at the appropriate volume help you go deeper into your asana?  Deeper into yourself? 

If the answer is yes, then you've come to the right place! With our help you can enjoy listening an incredible array of inspiring music while you practice yoga.

If the answer is no, then consider practicing without music, or listen more carefully to what might not be working.  Is the music fighting for your attention as you try to listen to your teacher?  Perhaps the music is too busy, too loud, or not the right intensity level for the pose you're in.  Bad acoustics in the room?  Very common in bright, hard wood floor studios which are acoustically speaking not ideal.  If so, just like in asana, adjust, breathe and approach your edge again until you find the balance between tension and release, rhythm and silence.

I've personally found that music helps me better enjoy the silence left after a deep embodiment practice.  It's as if the symphony of my own inner voices come to a close as the music ends and we both participate in a mutual silence that is truly golden.

I'm going to take a wild guess and state that there is most likely nothing in any yogic text that speaks against practicing to music.  Therefore it's truly up to the individual to decide for themselves what works best, which is huge part of yoga to me.

Also sometimes people have an initial experience that turns them off, closing them down to future opportunities.  Not everyone has learned the skill of playing supportive music for yoga, so if you're referring to a time when someone bounced a booty hip hop track during savasana, then yeah that might not be the best argument for music vs. silence.

If you have however, experienced a beautiful flute melody or tabla rhythm during a cool down series that transports you deep into a state of pure samadhi then you're pretty much a yoga music junkie (like us) and we're here to support your fix.

In my personal practice I often spend time in silence… but when I practice with others I love how the right music connects us and brings us closer together.  A commonality we all share without having to activate our thoughts and casual conversation in order to be present with one another.

Alex King-Harris (aka Rara Avis)
Yogi Tunes CEO/Co-Founder

Friday, March 1, 2013

iTunes Pt. 3: Where did my songs go, and who's this 'Unknown Artist'?

iTunes can at times be unforgiving.  The reason is that iTunes isn't exactly masterful at handling songs coming to it from different places.  If all you ever did was download music from the iTunes store you probably wouldn't notice any issues.  But in reality, we get songs from everywhere these days.  Shared from friends, purchased at cool sites like Yogi Tunes!, imported from CD's, from other people's iPods (used to be easier), etc.  The end result is having a library that in industry terms is 'fragmented'.  

The experience many of us have with a fragmented library is clicking play on a song and an exclamation mark comes up (!), along with an error saying iTunes can't locate the song.  The other thing that happens is you have a ton of songs on your computer that live in the 'Unknown Artist/Unknown Album' folder... a  digital dumping ground for anything iTunes doesn't know what to call because it's missing the all important 'meta data' or name of the artist and album from which the song comes.

To help with prevent these issues, there are several important tools to be aware of.  The first tool is in the iTunes preferences panel.  Please refer to 'Working with iTunes Part 2' if you don't know how to find your iTunes preferences.  When you get into the iTunes preferences, click on the Advanced tab and look at the options 'Keep iTunes Media Folder organized', and 'Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library'.

These two options are often responsible for helping to create a lot of mess on your computer.  Let's say you just downloaded music from a friend's thumb drive (heaven's no, that's illegal!).  You probably did this by copying the music on to your desktop, then adding the songs to iTunes by dragging and dropping them into the iTunes library.  If these two settings are turned on, iTunes will first create duplicate copies of the songs, and any song that doesn't have an artist name or title, will be copied into the Unknown Artist, Unknown Album folder in your iTunes Music Folder.

This can create a mess because not only do you now have two copies of each new song you just got from your homie, but one of them is no longer identifiable because it's in an anonymous folder.

Yet these two options do elp if you're aware of how they can work for you.  Let's say you've just purchased music from Yogi Tunes and downloaded your new tunes into your downloads folder.  When the download is complete and you unzip your purchase, drag and drop into iTunes.  If both of these options are turned onhed iTunes will make a copy of the files and placed them neatly in folders by Artist and Album name.  All of our downloaded music has the correct information stored in the songs, so that iTunes knows where to put it in it's own file system.  As a final step you can then DELETE the original files in your downloads area!  

For those of you who have messy iTunes libraries, and tons of duplicate songs by Unknown Artists, there are several third party tools available for cleaning up your library.  Song Seargant, and Tune Up are two that I've had recommend to me, although I've never tried to use either they both get good reviews from users.  They remove duplicates and track down artwork and song information for music on your computer that is missing these critical items.  Of course no fix it software is perfect, so there may be some left over fragmentation, but after reading this article and spending a bit of time cleaning up your computer you should be far better off than you were before!