Indian Ragas Yoga of Sound at Amaravati Wellness Center

February 9 - February 12

Do you love Kirtan, but have never had a chance to study the roots of Indian musical practice? Do you love to sing, but would like support experiencing a more confident voice in a safe setting? Have you been studying yoga postures, but would like to also develop a nada yoga or “yoga of sound” practice?

I answered yes to all these questions about 5 years ago, and was determined to find someone who was an actual authority on these subjects. My journey led me to India where I met Niloy Ahsan, a 21st generation practitioner of the Dagarvani Dhrupad lineage. Dhrupad is the oldest surviving form of Indian Classical music and traces its origin to the chanting of mantras, which is nada yoga. The practice of Dhrupad is very nuanced, and will inevitably induce a state of meditative absorption and mental peace. The level of enlivened concentration I experience in this practice is unlike any I have ever experienced, and is complementary to my practice of silent meditation, asana, and plant spirit medicine.

Niloy believes, like the ancient Rishis and Sufi mystics, that music can be a potent way of exploring the divine. This type of yoga is thus the exploration of sound, and the play of prana, at subtle levels, which makes it an act of healing. Niloy’s approach to singing is thus holistic, as is the Dhrupad music itself. It is deeply embedded in a philosophy of self-awareness, of how we sit, speak, and by extension, sing.

The workshop focuses on Dhrupad’s voice-training methods, which have their roots in Yoga and the Sama Vedic mantra chanting tradition. The basic method of the long vowel, Akaar, and how it is employed in Dhrupad to improve the voice, come first in the lesson. Subsequently, the concept of voice resonance fluctuation through many facets of vowel and consonant pronunciation, the use of the breath, as well as silent internal processes are covered after that. Techniques that are essential for Dhrupad singing are covered throughout the session, and they can also be applied broadly to voice training. The methods and concepts presented can be utilized to understand the voice and how it develops via rigorous practice in a wide range of singing genres. As it is an Oral Tradition every concept is introduced and explained via practical singing exercises.

Ideal Participant:
Anyone interested in learning more about the Dhrupad approach of music and how to incorporate it into their individual sadhana is encouraged to join the workshop. Fans of classical music, those seeking a yogic approach to sound and music, as well as music students who want to learn more about the foundations of Dhrupad/Indian classical music, can all benefit greatly from it.
Participation in the session is available to people from all backgrounds.

The following topics will be addressed in the workshop:

Swar (musical notes); activities to improve command and control over pitch and melody.
Basic Dhrupad fundamentals, knowledge of Tanpura and samvad (consonance), as well as the syllables in the Dhrupad alap.
Studying temporality in music, learning about how time works in music, the basics of rhythm and counting, and exercises to develop one’s intrinsic sense of rhythm.

Raga or the central concept of Indian Classical Music; learning how to sing, improvise, and interact with a raga in line with the Dhrupad tradition, as well as the nuances and complexity of this phenomenon that makes Indian music distinctive.

Bandish (composition) that blends the various rhythmic and melodic frameworks learned with application to poetry in the style of a musical composition in the Dhrupad tradition. A Bandish is similar to a mantra in a kirtan, but more like a song, though most are composed to express spiritual devotion.

The core focus of this retreat is to bring about a unique opportunity to experience meditation through the ancestral techniques of deep listening and mindful singing. Participants will be able to gain a general understanding of the many Dhrupad components as well as a comprehensive appreciation for Classical Indian Music generally. They will also be able to continue their immersion in Dhrupad music with the use of take-home practice materials and patterns.
Together, we will unveil the restorative and evolutionary power of vibration, the most accessible and effective support for meditative absorption. We will walk the way of sound, a journey towards the expansion of consciousness and the opening of the heart.
Location: Amaravati Wellness Center is an absolutely gorgeous resort and retreat center just 30 minutes outside of Chiang Mai, we will arrange a shuttle from the city on Thursday at 4pm. See the full schedule below. Amravati has a salt water pool and a massive enclosed area within which to do practice and look out over the mountains in nature. Private 1:1 sessions with Niloy will also be available during select hours. All meals (vegetarian) are included in the price of the retreat. Please use current Thai Baht currency translation, prices are listed in USD. If you have financial hardship please contact for consideration.
Single Room Standard ($345)
Shared Room Standard ($288)
Single Room Deluxe ($399)
Shared Room Deluxe ($328)
To be clear, each person in the shared room situation would pay the full price listed under shared room as it also includes meals and the value of the retreat itself above and beyond the accommodation only. Private sessions will be handled separately. Personal use of recording with iPhone is allowed audio only unless otherwise permission is granted. For more content to inform your awareness please see @dhrupadniloy on IG Dhrupad Niloy on
Facebook and Youtube.
Thursday February 8th Chiang Mai Shuttle from 4pm arrive and settle in at Amaravati
6-7 Introductory Session
7 Dinner
Evening Relaxation
Friday Morning time for personal sadhana movement practice or chanting
8:30 Breakfast Tea/Coffee
10-12 Morning Group Singing and Instruction
12:15 Lunch
1-4 time for 1:1 sessions and individual practice, swimming, relax and integrate
4-6:30 Evening Group Session
7 Dinner
Evening Relaxation also time for singing together
Saturday Morning time for personal sadhana movement practice or chanting
8:30 Breakfast Tea/Coffee
10-12 Morning Group Singing and Instruction
12:15 Lunch
1-4 time for 1:1 sessions and individual practice, swimming, relax and integrate
4-6:30 Evening Group Session
7 Dinner
Evening Relaxation and Kirtan
Sunday Morning
8:30 Breakfast
9:30-11:30 Final Group Session: take home sessions
12 Check-Out
Shuttle Back to Chiang Mai City
Please contact Meredith Aphieme at aphieme8@gmail.com or
Aphieme Zen Tarot on Facebook For all inquiries

Event Details

Location:

Amaravati Wellness Center

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