Last night, a frenetic New York City showed me its softer side. After a couple of days of bobbing along in the frenzied swoop of Manhattan, I found myself surrounded by beautiful people and sounds in a serene mecca on the island’s Lower East Side.
Stanton Street Yoga played host to Kirtan Soul Revival, or KSR. These vibrant ‘kirtaneers’ delivered a unique blend of traditional mantra based chanting and lively soul music, to an enthused ‘loved-up’ audience. For those not in the know – kirtan is a call-and-response form of singing performed in India’s bhakti devotional traditions, where chanting of mantras is accompanied by instruments such as the harmonium, tablas, pakawaj drum and karatalas or hand cymbals. It is basically pure love captured in sound.
Singing never played much of a role in my life until recently. I think failed childhood attempts at perfecting the art and reaching stardom left me somewhat dismayed. But through Kundalini yoga and things like kirtan I am slowly rediscovering the call of my own voice, as well as its metaphysical and healing power.
The fifth chakra, the throat chakra is vitally important. It acts as a conduit between the heart and head. If blocked, the head and heart remain energetically disconnected. Maintaining health in this area is not only vital for the physical throat and the enteric areas it controls, but for fluent, honest, verbal expression of thought, and a strong heart/mind connection. Singing is one of the most powerful means of opening this chakra. It relaxes and strengthens the throat and gradually releases blockages.
Kirtan provides a safe, loving environment to explore this relationship between your voice and wellbeing. And this most recent experience proved exactly that.
As the evening drew to a close, I was plucked from the cotton wool embrace of KSR’s soothing performance and deposited back onto the anarchic Saturday night streets of NYC. I made my way home filled with an overwhelming appreciation for an experience which came in stark response to my ponderings of just how New Yorkers find balance and healing in a city of unrelenting pace and stimuli.
This is my inaugural post. Welcome to it.
It has been a traversing trail which has brought me to this point. I speak not of my life’s path, albeit meandering in its own right, but of the one that has led me to what I’m calling my ‘tech-awakening’. Like a spiritual awakening – but with more widgets and plug-ins.
After many years of writing blogs for others, I decided to cross the divide and apply my efforts to something a little more personal – something more me. Whereas before I could always rely on techies to provide the platform for my words, this time it’s been born from my own elementary WordPress skills and incessant persistence.
Creating this blog has taken me down an interesting road, forcing me to embrace the multitude of social media that criss-crosses the blogosphere and our lives. It has compelled me to embrace technology and re-discover the patience needed to immerse myself in this world. I applaud and celebrate the ease with which one is now able to share and self-publish.
Like any responsible start-up blogger, I first sent my proposed blog’s name to a numerologist – Sandy Smith. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important the numerical value of a name can be. Detox Junkie adds up to an eight. This represents health and communication according to Sandy. Befitting, considering its focus is on sharing my (and others) personal experiences and learnings around unclogging mind, body and spirit.
Reaching a state of happiness is really the goal of any detox. My own journey continues to explore this very thing. I hope reading this blog helps bring you closer to your state of equilibrium and happiness. Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions, corrections, comments, and share your thoughts, ideas and opinions along the way.