The work continues of shooting and logging for my “Yoga in the Nightclub” video. Here is a glimpse taken by John P. Santos of Green Bee Media at last week’s street shoot, where I got a break from working in front of the camera to take on some of the artistic direction for the shots of the other cast members. Please click through to see all the great shots John took last week!
After sharing with you last week the intense, life-changing experience I had in 2011 of a devastating spinal injury at the time of the Asian tsunami, I wanted to share with you a little more of how the experience of healing from that injury to walk and dance again led me into the studio to create my “YIN: Yoga in the Nightclub” album.
I wrote the following shortly after launching the album in Toronto.
As I wrote, engineered, produced, arranged and mixed the tracks (and went through the mix polish process with the talented sound engineer Carl Gardiner in the U.K.), I was literally brought to my knees again and again. There was something powerfully different about this particular album for me.
At first, I thought, perhaps it was the short window of time I had to create it. But that did not feel right. Then Carl suggested that perhaps it was the typical ‘second album angst’ that seems to plague most bands and artists. But that also did not seem to really describe what I was experiencing.
Then I realized that literally a year ago from the time I was producing the album, I was flat out in bed, in agony, with a severe spinal injury. At that time, I was undergoing a deep spiritual transformation, one that required profound surrender and trust like I had never had before. From that injury, as I have shared with you, my whole world changed.
From the onset, I knew I was creating a series of songs as a nod to the yoga community that shared my love for yoga and the Divine. But doing so at that particular time seemed to channel into this musical work much of the spiritual energy and the fruits of my inner transformation that I experienced during my injury.
In addition, I had never recorded myself chanting in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a vibrational language geared to invoke states of consciousness through sound. So repeating phrases over and over through the recording process was, in the unseen realm, stirring up my inner consciousness pot, rearranging cells, and moving me deeply.
In addition to being face to face with the power of the inner experience I had through my injury and the power of Sanskrit, the entire album was fuelled by the depth of my love for my guru, Amma, and the devotion I have to Her and the spiritual path. Cooked to the core through this recording process, I repeatedly met my ego that kept surfacing saying “I can’t”. It kept wondering how something as large as these expressions could come through this tiny body, this finite time and space, ultimately, this “little old me”.
The answer eventually embedded itself into my being deeper than ever before: “get out of the way – you are not the doer.” I relied heavily on the knowing that reality is plastic and that nothing in this world is fixed, despite the ego wanting to think it being so. So I focused on being an instrument, as best I could, and on just taking orders from the unseen.
Through the creation of the album, I worked very diligently with Nature’s Devas and the unseen realms. For hours a day, I was connected with them to expand my consciousness so that I could access and download (for lack of a better term) sonic information that would best express what I was called to share. At worst, I felt like I was taking dictation. At best, I was dancing with the Divine through sound. It was an exhilarating creating process.
You can get the full album for yourself and hear the potent Sanskrit syllables here. I look forward to sharing the video for “Yoga in the Nightclub” as well as for my song “Shanti Om” soon, and to performing these songs live in a city near you!
Enjoy the gift of this day.