Song 1: SHAKTI
Before “yoga” was a household word, Wah! was creating music that set the scene for what was to become a new genre in music. Wah! has become a sensation in the yoga world with her spiritual, Eastern-tinged sound. She has developed a large and dedicated following both in and outside the yoga community after more than ten years of touring, recording, and releasing records. Wah! draws from both current trends and ancient traditions; her music is infused with pop, reggae and Indian folk melodies. If you’ve taken a yoga class in the last five years, you have no doubt heard Wah! and her unique, sultry voice.
Wah! began her world music journey when she took a college course on raga: melodic modes used for Indian classical chant. This led to her exploration of classical, world, jazz and reggae music as well as the performing arts. Wah! tours and teaches internationally and her music is sold throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. Her acclaimed solo albums include Maa, Love Holding Love and Savasana.
1) What is the inspiration for your music?
Healing. I want to create coherent energy (found in nature, and all living things, and decidedly absent from electronic, digital devices which we interact with more and more on a daily basis)
2) How does your yoga and spiritual life shape your music?
The mantras clear my mind. I use them as background for my yoga – they hold a continuous energy for me. I am vatta and easily distracted, so the mantras hold me in a certain focus, so I can be with my breath and be with the process.
3) Tell us how the practice of kirtan/spiritual music can become part of the life of a women doing yoga and the benefits of this practice?
Depending on what part of life you are in, you can use mantra to set your space for the day. In the morning, if you can rise before your children do and spend an hour in meditation or yoga, that is ideal. If you wake up at the same time, then put the mantra on in the house or wherever you are getting ready for the day. This will add a sacred, self-reflective energy for everyone to benefit from. At night, you can use mantra to unwind, help your family unwind, cook dinner to, go to sleep to. You can also play the CDs in certain rooms while you are gone, they will hold a sacred energy in the room which you can feel and drink in when you return home.
4) What do you learn from your music that teaches you about your daily life- please give examples.
I learn this: meditative energy is carried by the person, it is a vibrational, geometric, cellular energy. This energy can be inserted into the world as dance music, clubs, the subway, a walk in the woods, etc, but the initial vibrational energy has to be intact. If it is not, then the environment will take over and dominate. For example, if my meditative energy is strong and I sing a track of mantra, we can produce it as a dance tune for dancing, clubs, or yoga festival and it will retain its original intent to heal. However, if we produce the dance track first and then ask me to sing a mantra to it, the beats will often hit too hard and the sacred energy will be lost. The world will overtake your practice in a NY minute if you sit idle, the world just has a stronger vibration, that’s all there is to it. You have to work every day to create a heart-centered connection to yourself and your path. Then the world will conform to that connection.
5) As a woman musician where do you garner your creativity, strength and endurance from?
A long line of strong women (ie heredity) in my family! The women of my family are strong pioneers, and have created beautiful things in their lifetimes, using hard work and determination. And some creative thinking!
6) How do you find balance in your life?
The balance between mother and career has been the hardest for me. The role of mother is a special opportunity – I have taken 3-4 years off from my career for each birth – but as they grow, it can be hard to balance their needs with the demands of my career. It requires insight and compassion, and it doesn’t always work out perfectly. Finding the balance seems to be more of an intention, that no matter how the schedule ends up, I am still in love and being love for myself and my son & daughter.