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!