nina rao hanuman chalisa workshop and evening kirtan

Sound is a powerful tool for transformation and meditation. It is believed by sages from the Vedic tradition that there is a subtle vibration produced by everything in nature. It is also believed that sound is the creative force that brought the universe into existence.

On Sunday February 15th, Shakti Yoga at 1114 White Street welcomes internationally known recording artist Nina Rao for a Hanuman Chalisa chanting workshop and Kirtan celebration.

Mantras are a powerful sound symbol evoking spiritual forces which can be found in all different sacred traditions. They hold the power to help us find our true path and realize our connection to the divine. They are often chanted to calm the mind, elevate our spirit, heal physical ailments and revitalize our life force.

Nina Rao first learned traditional chants from her grandfather in a village in south India when she was nine years old. The chants quietly stayed with her until she rediscovered chanting with Krishna Das in New York in 1996. Rao now tours with Krishna Das singing and playing cymbals. She was featured on his CD “Flow of Grace” and released her own debut double CD  Antarayaami - Knower of All Hearts.

She graces us with her beautiful voice and knowledge of this ancient tradition, Sunday February 15th in a two-part workshop.

Hanuman Chalisa Chant workshop from 2pm to 4pm

This is an opportunity for beginners and those experienced with chant to dive deep into this practice of chanting a 40-verse prayer in praise of Hanuman, together as a group. The prayer is from the Indian tradition with Hanuman invoked as the very breath of the Divine - our own Divine nature. Many believe that chanting this prayer gives us the strength to get through difficult times with compassion and grace. We will talk about the story of Hanuman in the Ramayana, read through the prayer and translation and chant the prayer together an auspicious number of repetitions. Word sheets will be provided. No experience is necessary.

Evening Kirtan from 7pm to 9pm

We continue the chant practice in this program with the chanting of Divine Names in the call and response format, from the Indian tradition. Nina will lead a line of mantra and the group chants the same line back in response. As with many practices, we do it to slow-down our minds and open our hearts by repetition and coming back to the chant as we let the inevitable thoughts pass through our minds like clouds in the sky.

The cost of the Hanuman Chalisa workshop is $35. The suggested offering for Kirtan is $20 or both events for the cost of $50. 

“By a stroke of Grace I was shown that there’s a chance for me to find what I am yearning for, something simple (but not easy) - peace of mind and ease of heart. Life is a complex exploratory process of daily routines, practice and analysis - all to cultivate the ability to really trust myself. It takes courage, patience and faith to walk this path of Life. Chanting is my vehicle, my path and the destination.”

- Nina Rao