The Harmonium for Beginners – Yoga Journal

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I’m sitting with eight others in a semicircle on the floor, slowly unpacking my harmonium for the first time. I revel in its cuteness. It looks like a toy piano crossed with an elegant teak accordion that folds up on itself like a child’s suitcase for easy carrying. I’m at a yoga studio, where I’ve signed up for a class to learn to chant and play 10 Kundalini mantras performed by some of my favorite musicians, such as Snatam Kaur and Jai-Jagdeesh. As a singer and a newbie Kundalini Yoga teacher, the big sound and simplicity of the harmonium appealed to me. I enrolled in this six-week course with the goal of accompanying myself while leading a mantra meditation or chanting during class.

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Our teacher, Michael Cohen, founder of the Kirtan Leader Institute, walks us through setting up and positioning our…

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