Meander Valley Gazette

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Good vibrations

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

Jon Perry and Alfred Franssen Kirtan group members

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OCTOBER 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

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MANY PEOPLE would associate the word “yoga” with a form of physical exercise. Yet it actually means ‘union’ and is practised in many forms.

A group of people are meeting weekly in Deloraine to practise Kirtan. Pronounced “KEER-tahn”, it is a form of Bhakti yoga, which is ‘union through love and devotion’. And, like any other form of yoga, it is a path to greater self-awareness.

Kirtan is a singing practice usually accompanied by instruments and sung in Sanskrit - an ancient energy language. During a session, a person calls to the group and its participants respond.

“It’s designed to build up energy,” says group initiator Jon Perry.

Jon started the gathering, as he believes this type of yoga is equally as significant as the more physical forms.

“I passionately believe it is as important as hatha yoga,” he explains and adds, “I wanted it to be seen in that light; doing it daily orweekly is good. Practising regularly is where the real benefits come.”

He says Kirtan is a way of expressing reverence for whatever you hold dear in your heart, and that this practice has provided him with many life-changing benefits.

“My life feels like it has got a meaning and purpose now. It is about becoming a better person; a better human being, serving and giving,” he elaborates.

Jon refers to Kirtan as ‘yoga of the heart’ as “it gets you out of your head and further into your heart.”

Group member Alfred Franssen says the music is an important factor in this for “it is this that appeals to the emotions”.

“When you hear Kirtan, it really stirs things up. The chords, the tones and the melodies make you feel passionate,” he shares.

Jon invites anyone who is interested to come along and join in at whatever level that feels comfortable, saying, “You do not have to be a good singer. There is no competition. You can just come along and listen if you like, but you will get more out of it if you participate.”

Kirtan runs Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 8pm, at Deloraine House on 12th, 19th & 26th November. Then at Deloraine Day Centre in December - 3rd, 10th & 17th. $5 covers the room hire, and any extra is donated to charity. Email Jon for further information via jonparryuk@hotmail. com.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores