YOGA MAGAZINE (UK) April 2013
YIN: YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB
Yoga from the North Pole to the Nightclub: An Interview with Parvati
Canadian musician and yogini Parvati tours the UK this fall. She shares with Yoga Magazine how a life-changing North Pole journey taught her to see yoga everywhere, and inspires her latest album and show.
How did you become interested in Yoga?
My grandmother meditated daily and practiced yoga. Despite hardships, she glowed. I knew that that light was home.
At 16, my first yoga class was a homecoming. I began meditating, later went to India for yoga teacher training, and met my guru Amma. I opened yoga studios to teach YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a method I created to synthesize my experiences. Now yoga is a 24/7 practice.
What is the relation between Yoga and music?
Nada yoga is a means to God-realization through music. Composing teaches me to quiet my mind and listen while serving the creative flow. My most potent works arise from stillness, even fierce dance anthems.
Composing and performing begin with prayers. I connect with devas and the Cosmic Intelligence to tap into a field beyond my personal will. A picture of Amma is by my computer. If she smiles, I’m on path; if not, my work is tossed. My creative process is about getting out of the way, like taking dictation.
Why did you go to the North Pole?
Summer 2010 was unnaturally hot in Toronto. During meditation, I felt called to go to the North Pole to sing and raise awareness of the melting polar ice. There, I performed rituals and chanted to the Divine Mother. We shot footage for music videos, and an upcoming documentary.
How did the North Pole journey inspire this album YIN: Yoga In The Nightclub?
At the North Pole I prayed: “Mother Earth, you are suffering. If I can take anything on, let me know.” Prayers are always answered, just not the way we think they will be.
Within 24 hours of the 2011 tsunami hitting Japan, a spontaneous spinal injury left me paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors insisted I had been in a car accident. But there had been no physical impact. Given a 50-50 chance of dancing again, surgery was recommended.
I chose instead to work with YEM, the devas and the Cosmic Intelligence. Four months later, standing again, my recovery was called medically miraculous. I went straight into the studio. Out poured YIN in profound gratitude.
What is the album about?
YIN blends ancient Sanskrit chants and dance grooves. Electronic music provides creative flexibility to sculpt sounds that express the “otherness” I feel in Nature, which was essential to my healing. In yoga, Nature is known as Prakruti, an aspect of the Goddess. This album is in dedication to Her.
How do you keep up your yoga as a touring musician?
I feel I’ve never had more opportunity to practice yoga. Going from sitting for long periods producing music, to jumping on stage for a cardio-intensive performance, requires a sense of fluidity. Hatha yoga, coupled with daily sitting meditation and mindfulness, gives me that.
I see my life as a yoga practice. Obstacles are like an edge, a tense area in yoga. When we meet them we learn to soften, accept and open to possibility, returning to flow. My life is a reflection of my beliefs and karma. There is no need to push. Just practice gratitude and receptivity.
You are #2 in Canadian electronic charts. What can audiences expect from your UK tour?
At the heart of my creative work is a sense of a joy and wonder, which I intend to share in shows. Our world is full of possibility. I love using videos, lights and sound to express that we are more than physical. Above all, I hope people have fun.
North America seems to have created the Yoga Star. What is your view on this?
When we begin to see our own inner light, the stardust we are, these things won’t matter. We are an externally driven society looking for perfection and the divine outside. The message of YIN: Yoga In the Nightclub is that the divine is everywhere.
Where will you perform?
I will be in England and Scotland, in places like London, Brighton, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and York. I will be at Mind Body Spirit Festival in Brighton.
A percentage of proceeds is forwarded to the global charitable network Embracing The World.
More information is at www.parvati.world.