Airdate: November 10, 2016
Ramdesh loves introducing new mantra music! On this refreshing podcast, she interviews Sukhmani from the husband and wife team Sukha; they discuss Rise, the exciting new album Sukhmani has made with her husband Sukhman.
Sukhmani is a Kundalini yoga teacher and sacred chant singer. The album, produced by Ram Dass, is on the rise, too! Sukhmani and Sukhman have been playing music together for nearly 20 years. She discovered a Kundalini yoga class one day and was immediately hooked; soon, Sukhman joined her, and they went deeper and deeper into the practice. They especially enjoyed the mantras and began writing music to accompany these sacred sounds, eventually bringing in other players–a harpist, a violinist. As time passed the group gained momentum. Now, they play for workshops, festivals, and just love the path of Kundalini yoga: “We love what we do!”
The album came about because the couple wanted to do something special. Sukhmani had a lot of students sharing stories about Kundalini yoga and how it had changed their lives; they inspired her to write the song title song, “Rise.” She was also inspired by The Alchemist’s Prayer by Ram Dass and she had a dream that she should call him and see if he would help them produce an album. Fortunately, she followed through on that dream, and the ball began rolling! It was a magical experience putting the songs together, she says. The album relates to the root chakra, setting the foundation for a good practice, and letting the Kundalini rise.
Listen first to “Ong Namo,” the opening mantra that begins every Kundalini yoga class. “It was a beautiful experience recording this,” Sukhmani says. You’ll feel the energy rising as the song goes on, and there’s some really cool guitar playing on this track, to boot!
“Wah Yantee” is up next. One of her favorite tracks, this features some amazing players (check out Tripp Dudley on drums!). One of the Aquarian Sadhana mantras, Wah Yantee is known for awakening the intuition. It’s a beautiful mantra that “always hooks me in and makes me feel powerful when I chant it,“ says Sukhmani. You may not only want to chant, you may feel like moving and dancing to this one, too.
The next track speaks to a theme that a lot of people are stepping into just after a presidential election in the U.S. Many people are feeling disenfranchised, notes Ramdesh, and this song really addresses what we need to be feeling now. Sukhmani says it comes down to being able to vibrate the energy of light and love. We are able to meet the challenges of life by vibrating from an open heart, and “love one another more than ever” while remaining in a positive space. Keep your practice strong and radiate love out to the world, Sukhmani suggests. Be your best self no matter what.
This track, called “Rise,” includes Sa Ta Na Ma, a mantra that resonates with the balance of the cycles of life. As you listen, see if you can rise your vibration to love: “What you vibrate you will become!” The more we can infuse ourselves with these sacred sounds the more we can manifest what we came here to do, notes Ramdesh.
The next track you’ll hear is “Dharti Hai.” How did this piece come about? “We don’t really know where they come from—they just kind of happen!” says Sukhmani. She and her husband have been writing for so many years that the music just comes naturally. Connecting heaven and earth through the heart center, this is an upbeat, fun expression of the mantra.
Listen to the “Mul Mantra,” one of Sukhmani’s favorite mantras of all time “It’s always been one of those special songs and mantras for both of us,” she says. Yogi Bhajan’s voice is on this track–an added treat. Get ready to elevate!
Find out more and order their music on Spirit Voyage. This awesome group will rock and rise your mantra world!