The Power of Kirtan

Singing is one of the oldest instruments we human beings have. We can sing ourselves to sleep, calm down our kids with lullabies, sing us into euphoria during a sport match, praise with our singing the Lord or the Universe. We can sing for love, for hope, for healing… You name it.

When it comes to singing no wonder it plays such a big role in the modern path of yoga. When we tune in to our heart and sing from there we can hear our innermost heart voice. It is one of the easiest ways to find this authentic voice: by singing.

So imagine someone who trained himself almost his whole life to sing with others devotional songs. This can be like a highway to your heart voice. It can feel like you found the fast track to yourself.

To experience a Kirtan with Krishna Das can be an eye opening experience. It is not only about listening to someone but also listening to being yourself.

Krishna Das’ journey as a devotional bhakti singer and teacher isn’t a story of only love and light (and by the way: who’s story is only love and light?). His interest for spiritual teachings began in the late 1960s, when he met Ram Dass. He followed him and was captivated by Ram Dass’ stories about his Guru Neem Koroli Baba, better known as Maharaj-ji.

So in the 70s Krishna Das went to see Maharaj-ji in India – and stayed with him for two and a half year. Krishna Das went back to the US and Maharaj-ji died six months later. So for Krishna Das singing was also a tribute to his guru. But it didn’t came easy, it took almost twenty years for him to find his way onto the stage and share his experience and journey.

It is hart to explain how to train the heart voice – but once we find it by singing we know that it exists and we can search for it over and over again.


When we hear our authentic voice we automatically recognize it. We know: Oh yes, now I’m singing/talking from my heart. Not from my ego. Or from my brain.

We all know people who talk all the time but it seems like there is still nothing heartfelt or seriously important in their talking. And then we know people who just say one sentence and it feels like they explain the whole world to us.

No wonder a Kirtan with Krishna Das is also full of stories and those important sentences. If you read his book “Chants of a Life Time” or saw the movie “One Track Heart” you know how rare and special the teachings of Krishna Das are.

Krishna Das will be giving a Kirtan & a Post-Conference at the upcoming Barcelona Yogaconference:

Kirtan with Krishna Das

Post-Conference Bhakti Yoga with Krishna Das


Source: BYC Blog

How to Create A Mind-Blowing Yoga Nidra Experience

I would consider my first experience of Yoga Nidra as both mind-blowing and one of the weirdest experiences i’ve encountered on my yoga journey.

I was young at the time, regularly practicing yoga, and I had started to deepen my practice by trying all sorts of (what I considered to be) weird but wonderful classes from Gong Baths to Kirtan, Kriya yoga to crystal healing, eventually leading me to the Psychic Sleep, a seriously deep relaxation known as, Yoga Nidra.

Many years later and these ‘unusual’ practices are all part of my daily life and a major contributor to my overall well-being.

I remember the first Yoga Nidra session distinctly because immediately afterwards, I was blown away with the power of my mind!

I decided to join this session as my dear teacher who I had really grown to trust and respect, offered it as a special class in her beautiful yoga garden. She was incredibly enthusiastic about it which made me curious so I thought, ‘why not try this ‘yogi sleep’!?’ Plus, she told me that after just one 30-minute Yoga Nidra session, I would have the equivalent energy levels of having an 8 hour sleep – errrr,  yes, please!

She led the session following the traditional format of Yoga Nidra, which I have detailed below in 5 easy steps, but simply put it starts with a detailed body scan, breath awareness, a sankalpa (positive affirmation) and a series of visualisations. For me, the most profound aspect of this session was the bodily-sensation visualization in which my teacher guided us to feel our body heavy, then light, hot and then cold.

It sounds simple, but I could not believe that my mind could control the bodily sensations that I was feeling. I was blown away by the power of my own mind!

After the Yoga Nidra session, I felt such a surge of energy and a complete realization of how powerful my mind actually is. If it can control all my bodily sensations, making me feel hot, cold, light and heavy all within a few minutes, without moving or changing the environment – purely just from my mind, what else was my mind capable of?!

I didn’t quite realise just how impactful this session was until I reflected upon it a few months later. This short 30-minute, meditation session, had rewired my brain, my beliefs about myself and my approach to life. I moved from truly believing that my mind and my thoughts controlled my emotions and actions, to discovering, that I can have control of my mind, my thoughts, my feelings and my actions –  mind blowing, especially at a young age!

All this from a 30-minute meditation – who would have thought it?! Certainly not me, at the time.

It’s no surprise that I found a deep, deep connection with this form of meditation and just 5 months later, I found myself in India spending 23 days learning how to competently guide traditional Yoga Nidra meditations.

Since, then, it has been one of my favourite techniques to share with teens and adults. I realise that not everyone may feel the effects as vividly and profoundly as I did, but imagine if they did?!

Imagine if we can give our students the gift of realisation – a realisation that they have control of their thoughts, feeling and actions, realisation that they can control their own mind.

This was one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received (all for $15USD in that little Yoga Garden). If you haven’t experienced Yoga Nidra yet, I highly, highly recommend it.

Whether you’re leading this for your yoga students, looking to explore this independently, or you’re interested to learn more about it, here’s an easy 5-step guide to Yoga Nidra:

1. Get Comfortable

Yoga Nidra can last anywhere between 20-90minutes so getting comfortable to avoid distractions, is vital! Lie in Shavasana, cover yourself with a blanket, place a bolster under your knees and a cushion under your head. Relax and settle down.

2. Detailed Body Scan

This is the first stage to get the mind into a focused state and the body into a sleep-like, restorative state.

Various teachers and schools guide this differently, but, it is a detailed scan of the entire body, focusing on each limb and joint at a steady pace to keep the mind focused and bring awareness into each part of the body.

Personally, I start with the right side of the body, from the right thumb to the shoulder, all the way down to the toes. Then the left side, the front of the body and the back of the body. Being very detailed, specific and consistent with my guidance.

  1. Breath Awareness

By this stage, you may well have a few of your students, particularly beginners, floating in and out of a sleep-like state (and there’s always one student in a full deep sleep) – don’t worry, this is completely natural.

Focus on each breath, counting each exhalation. Traditionally, you would start from 100 and count each breath, down to one but I often start at 10 – its just more achievable and often, actually creates more focus than starting at 100.

  1. Sankalpa

This is your positive affirmation. Typically a positive “I am…” statement.  Usually I encourage my students to create their own meaningful affirmation before starting the Yoga Nidra session but often, I will create the sankalpa, especially if I am leading a theme based class or a teen yoga nidra session.

Once the sankalpa has been created, repeat it mentally 3 times.

  1. Visualisations

There are a whole range of visualization techniques to accompany Yoga Nidra (I could, and often do, speak about this all day long), a couple of my personal favourites include:

** Body Sensations – being guided through body sensations, from feeling hot then cold, heavy then light, just like my first mind-blowing experience of Yoga Nidra

** Quick-fire visuals – this keeps the mind super-focused. Usually I focus on natural environments or elements – a snowy mountain, a burning fire, a gentle-flowing river.

Now that you have entered the ultimate relaxation, take some time there. Some teachers play soothing music or singing bowls in the background, but traditionally, this would be a silent space.

Afterwards, take the time to feel the profound effects, to sit in the relaxation, to just be and feel the energy and mental state that has been created.

You learn more about guiding yoga nidra and meditations for children, teens and adults here.


Source: BYC Blog

3 razones por las que no querrás perderte el BYC 2019

Si nunca has asistido al BYC y te lo estas pensando, te comparto 3 razones (aunque podría darte muchas más ) para que este año te animes a venir y que lo experimentes por ti mismo. Seguro que una vez ahí, pensarás en más motivos por los cuales todo el mundo debería de asistir a este festival ? 

Photo Credit: Yoga and Photo @cristoloveanucecilia


Si hay algo que caracteriza al BYC es la calidad de los profesores invitados. Por eso (entre muchas otras cosas) es considerado uno de los festivales yogis  mas importantes no solo de España sino de Europa. 

Esta novena edición del BYC contará con artistas y profesores invitados que no necesitan presentación. Son personas tan maravillosas que créeme cuando te digo : ¡Querrás conocerlas! Solo de pensarlo me dan unas ganas enormes de que llegue el mes de Julio…

De momento te dejo algunos de los nombres que encontrarás en esta edición. Seguro que te suenan de algo, pero si aún no los conoces esta es la oportunidad perfecta para hacerlo. Mas adelante compartiré un poquito mas de ellos.

Krishna Das – Kirtan 

Shiva Rea – Prana Flow

Mirabai Ceiba – Wold Music 

Bryan Kest – Power Yoga 

Patrick Broome – Yoga for everyone

Krishna Takis – Thai Yoga Massage 

Yoshio Hama – Dharma Yoga 

Simon Park- Liquid Flow 

David Lurey – Vinyasa Yoga 

Dario Calvaruso – Navakarana Vinyasa 

Más de 50 profesores y artistas maravillosos reunidos en un solo lugar, gracias al Barcelona Yoga Conference 2019. 

Aquí te comparto la lista completa de los profesores y artistas invitados para que le eches un vistazo.

Photo Credit : Barcelona Yoga Conference Facebook page.


Barcelona Yoga Conference es igual a Familia Yogi. En este festival te sientes como en casa nada mas entrar. Esto es algo que me sigue sorprendiendo cada año. El BYC cuenta con hasta 1200 participantes que vienen de todo el mundo y aun así tiene la capacidad de hacerte sentir tan parte de él, tan en el hogar … 

Kirtans gratuitos al aire libre, yogis tumbados disfrutando del sonido de los mantras, otros bailando libremente, alguno que otro niño que se entremezcla como si hubiese nacido para estar ahi, abrazos por doquier, los acroyogis practicando en los jardines como si nunca se cansaran… Acroyogis, ¿de donde sacáis toda esa energía ?

En el BYC puedes llegar a sentir claramente como hay algo que une a todos los asistentes, hay algo en el aire que se respira. Podría definirlo como tranquilidad, disfrute y felicidad… se respira AMOR.

Photo Credit : Wari Om Yoga Photography


Es verdad cuando digo que tienen stands de comida riquísima. Comida vegetariana con ese toque casero que hace que este más buena. 5 días en los que podrás desayunar, comer, cenar y seguirás añorándola aún después de haberte ido ? 

En el área del BYC Village podrás pasear entre más de 40 stands. A mi me recuerdan a los mercadillos en los que encuentras cosas que en otro lugar no lo hubieras hecho. Así que te aviso, seguro que algo te roba el corazón y te lo llevas a casa ? 

Photo Credit: Wari Om Yoga Photography BYC 2017

Espero que esto te ayude a decidirte. Regálate una escapada a Barcelona el próximo 4-8 Julio. Te espera una maravillosa experiencia en el BYC 2019. 

Source: BYC Blog

shamanic yin

The perfect end of the day was a shamanic yin yoga practice led by Valentina Duna & Geraldine Lethenet. The room was packed, a clear sign that the world we live in, every time more and more yang, needs in fact a LOT of yin!


The girls had us make a circle around a very beautiful setting of a tiny altar and their musical instruments right at the center. The class started with the invocation of the different names of mother earth: Gaia, Pachamama, Durga, Deví, Párvati, Shakti, Tonantzin among many others and they announced that this class would be an opportunity to re- connect to her.

Both Valentina & Geraldine have beautiful voices that guided us throughout the different postures & sang chants & mantras that allowed for everyone present to ease into the practice & into the intention of surrendering & allowing, to the rhythm of the shamanic drums & other instrument sounds that they shared with us.


After a fully releasing & restoring savasana, we were invited to come back slowly and asked to join the tribal chant invoking positivity & love into our lives.

A truly recommended experience, hoping to repeat very soon! The girls mentioned they belong to a collective the The Shakti Mamas  , a group of powerful women sharing and spreading the message of love & union to mother Earth.


Source: BYC Blog

embodied flow

We were blessed to start the day with a refreshing summer rain before a full day of yoga and fun at the Barcelona Yoga Conference!


I joined Carlos Romero´s class “embodied flow yoga“. Carlos explained this concept as the intention to move and flow with breath far and deeper beyond the physical. Throughout the practice we were motivated to stay in tune with our sensations and allow breath to mobilize into the little corners of the physical and energetic bodies  for renewal and optimization, tuning into our own capacities to heal.

It was a truly enjoyable experience and you could feel the room of yogis & yoginis inspired by the music that evoked nature sounds & Carlo´s words reminding us to remember where we came from, the essence of nature and life, a constant flow.

img_4234.jpgClose to the end of the class we were lucky to have the beautiful cello strings of Algimiro Cesarino (Cellomano) craddling the group into rest after the practice. And at some point he was joined by Amrita Liza and her sweet voice accompanied us into a restoring, sweet savasana.

The trio (Carlos, Algimiro & Amrita) that led this sweet experience are from Venezuela and now live in Bali were they hold trainings, workshops, concerts & many more initiatives. To know more about their music & proposals, click on these links:


  • Carlos Romero – yoga & massage –
  • Cellomano – music & sound therapy –
  • Amrita Liza –

Hoping they return next year to the Conference to enjoy more unique experiences like these with them!


Source: BYC Blog

restorative yumminess with Janet Stone

At the end of the afternoon, I joined Janet Stone´s class, it was supposed to be a vinyasa practice but instead she announced that it was going to be a restorative class! All my body screamed yuuuuumm! After a full week of teaching more than 15 classes & practicing throughout the day it was just what I needed at the end of the day. And it was such a highlight to have the sweet voice and guitar of Amrita Liza to lullaby us through the experience.


The class started with a few face massage tapping and rubbing movements to stimulate circulation and release tension. We later continued to release fascia and muscles from arms, wrists, ankles & calf muscles using our elbows and ankles to perform circular massaging and rubbing actions.

Eventually we moved into restorative yin – inspired asanas to release any remaing tension. A long, sweet savasana allowed for the integration & digestion of this sweet restoring practice. We gathered at the end of the practice to share some chants lead by Amrita & Janet.


And we were surprised at the end to find out it was Janet´s 5oth birthday! The group showered her with happy birthday songs & wishes, she was offered cake that was shared among the group & she expressed deep gratitude for being able to share her special day doing what she loves most: sharing & living the teachings of yoga. 

Love, long life & lot´s of love for you Janet!

Source: BYC Blog

underwater expedition with Simon Park

I got to embark on an underwater yoga expedition with Simon Park. It’s such a joy to practice with Simon every time, his classes are a perfect mix between mindful movement, fluidity & challenge.


At the beginning of the class he asked us to imagine we were immersed in blue, crystal water all around and to start moving slowly from child’s pose exploring the motion and the experience as if water was containing us the whole time. It gave me the sensation of being on a diving experience and made me think of this, one of my favorite Mirabai poems:

” this human body is a vast ocean concealing reefs and sea domes, heap with jewels, enter its secret rooms and light your own lamp… within the body are gardens, rare orchids, peacocks, the inner music.Within the body, a lake; in its cool waters, white swans take their joy, enter its secret rooms and light your own lamp…”

We were guided through a complete body mind experience combination of breath and movement that from simple, fluid movements lead us into deep hip openers and hamstring stretches that were the preparation and evolution into a peak challenge.

At the end of the practice we enjoyed some final deep back body & lateral stretches with longer holds encouraged to breath and create space & openness serenaded by Johannes Vogt and his sweet guitar to give way to a restoring savasana. During the final resting pose we began to be taken even deeper to the undersea guided by the ebb & flow of the tanpura in the background and the beautiful voice of a mermaid* led us into the hidden valleys & caves of our inner landscape for a full inner exploration and renewal, the sweet hands of Coco adjusting me in savasana did the magic for complete release.

*I later found out the mermaid´s name is Blanche de Marion and she was signing the peace mantra, Blanche is the organizer of he Chamonix Yoga Festival that happens every year, for more information, look for her on fb as yogi Blanche 

Can´t wait for more of these amazing experiences today at Barcelona Yoga Conference.

Source: BYC Blog

Relaxing the Hangab Way – A Conversation with Hubert Mühlbacher

A few months ago I had my first experience of Hangab Inversion therapy and felt a level of relaxation that went way beyond what I was accustomed to. It’s been quite the pleasant surprise to find the same Hangab team on the Barcelona Yoga Conference schedule this year. Hangab is a unique method of inverted relaxation, conducted in a slow and measured manner. Let’s hear more about Hangab from Hubert Mühlbacher, who will be offering this unique experience at the BYC this year, along with his Hangab family Hartmut and Petra.

Hubert pic

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you began with Hangab?

I have always loved Savasana. The term “letting go” helped me a lot in various situations in life…I even came to the conclusion that in the moment we really let go, everything falls into its natural place! The cells in our body, the flow in life, the experiences we make and the happiness we perceive. When we managed to let go, everything is well ?

Letting go is not easy but I believe when we open ourselves to it, in daily life and/or in sessions, we get better at it.

So ten years ago in Vienna, I heard there is a guy hanging people upside down and it’s about letting go! I was so fascinated by the idea that without even having experienced a Hangab session, I straight away jumped into the first training for practitioners.

I entered a deep Savasana experience. The first time, I felt my spine going up to the top of my head and felt that strong column inside. I was also impressed by the different stories of the other participants during the training.

Hartmut (founder of Hangab) and his wife Petra became my family over the years, we started to travel together and spread this medicine.

Hangab Inversion Therapy.JPG

What are the general benefits of Hangab inversions?

The big key is the slowness of going up and the way we can stay inverted. At first, we only pull the legs up, give a little introduction and then go up very slow and in stages.

In each stage, the body has time to adapt to the inversion, preventing uncomfortable pressure in the head. This way people can hang way longer than what they think, resulting in still point experience, where the mind shuts down and old emotions can come out. We guide the people with inverted bodywork and hold space when entering a process.

The physical benefits are similar to all inversion positions but maybe a bit deeper. Compared to the traditional inversion in which we rush into, here we take time, there is no pressure in the head, there is no active muscle holding the pose and that gives us the benefits to work with time and release.

So the spine and all joints get space, a kind of backflow of all liquids, turning the circulation upside down, the organs receive gravity in another way, not laying, not sitting, not standing and that is a real benefit.

I would also say it is a holistic way to free things. Some people experience physical releases, some more emotional or mental, some are just flying, some have visions and some feel reconnected to their soul or their true essence.

Hangab-Ground .jpg

For someone who’s never done any Yoga and has no workout history, is Hangab advisable?  

The oldest woman hanging was 89, the oldest man was 87…I always say, everybody who can stand upright can also hang even though we had a woman sitting in a wheelchair experiencing immense freedom as well.

There are two kinds of Sessions.

In Hangab-Ground, one gets lifted up until shoulder-stand (head and shoulders still on the ground). Pretty much everybody can receive that type of session and the benefits of the relaxed inversion are already taking effect.

In Hangab-Flying one gets all the way into full hanging.

Both are good and similarly powerful.

In the Yoga scene, most people can go into Hangab-Flying straight away because the bodies and minds are already trained and opened but even there sometimes we suggest they receive Hangab-Ground first, gain trust and go up all the way the second time.

The only contra-indications are high intra-ocular pressure (but also there Hangab-Ground is no problem) and on the day of intensive menstruation, women should really feel inside if they want to do it.

Can you tell us a bit about the science of how Hangab works on the human body and nervous system?

As I mentioned above, the simple but powerful key is that the body adjusts to the inversion when going up step-by-step and slow. Our system seems to swoop and can work the other way around as well. In some old cultures, people were actually hanging way longer than how we do it today.

But as for the scientific side in us, we did a test with a doctor, osteopath and kinesiologist with interesting results on the physical level. As summary, I would say it is balancing and self-regulating. So high blood pressure came down and low blood pressure went up. The left and right sides of the brain got balanced, the self-healing power increased from 40-60% before to 90-100% after, people were in average 3 cm taller pointing towards a regeneration of the discs and much more…if interested please visit:

Can you share a bit about the emotional aspect of Hangab? Some people seem to have a lot of emotional release during a Hangab session. Can you explain the how and why of that?

In the test, the Osteopath said that every tested person naturally entered the ‘Still Point’. That is a point of zero where our system shuts down, like at a computer…and restarts again after. When we are moved into the inversion position, our mind cannot follow (f.e. the sense of balance) and naturally gives up the control. I guess this deep relaxation can bring old emotions tensions, traumas to the surface, so that they are expressed and can go.

I can also see the release of an emotion as the relaxation of a tension. Physical tensions or blockages (especially in the organs) can very often be linked to an emotion of the recent or former past.

Another aspect is that you are suspended on the feet and cannot ‘flee’ straight away. I mean, you can always say stop and we bring you down and it’s all done with love and big respect, but the fact that you are fixed opens the solution to surrender to it, to relax where you hold on and just let it be. Surrendering is actually relaxing and can open interesting doors.

I remember feeling extremely relaxed with a Hangab session with Petra in Bali a few months ago, especially the lower jaw felt a huge release. It had me wondering if being suspended upside down is more restorative than lying down horizontally. Can you shed some light on that?

What shows in a hangab session normally are the points of resistance, where we learned to hold on. Everybody has different points. The jaw, forehead, neck, shoulders, back and buttocks are more common areas and sometimes really difficult to spot in laying savasana. In hanging upside-down, the body is falling into an unusual direction, making it easier to let everything just hang down. Being moved by us in ‘flying savasana’, lets you spot them and relax where you would maybe not be able to relax yourself.

What is more or less restorative is really hard to say, both are similar, great, and still different. For now, we are happy to discover what the change of perspective in being upside-down can do for us.

Thank you Hubert for the wonderful conversation and sharing your knowledge with us!

For more on Hangab, follow on Instagram @hangab_inversion and don’t forget to try the Hangab experience for yourself at the BYC! 


Source: BYC Blog