Here’s what the New York Times wrote about kirtan in a 2009 article:
Yoga Enthusiasts Hear the Call of Kirtan
By SARA ECKEL
Published: March 4, 2009
ON one of her regular visits to New York from Virginia, Christine Breighner told Rebecca Damon, a longtime friend, that she didn’t want to visit the tourist sites she’d seen before. She wanted to extend her horizons beyond the latest Broadway show or exhibit at the Met. Not too long before, Ms. Damon had received a brochure advertising a call-and-response chanting session called kirtan after a yoga class. Now she passed it along.
“I read the brochure and said, ‘Oh, that might challenge my comfort zone, so we should do it,’ ” said Mrs. Breighner.
Recently, Mrs. Breighner and Ms. Damon attended a Friday night kirtan at the Integral Yoga Institute. The two friends, along with about 60 participants, sat on cushions facing a group of musicians who wore traditional Indian kurtas — collarless cotton tunics — and played a variety of instruments, including tabla, a wooden flute and harmonium, an accordion-like organ.
For about two hours, the musicians played and chanted in Sanskrit while the audience responded when moved. Some clapped and swayed as they repeated the words; others simply listened with closed eyes and beatific smiles. The mood became more festive as the evening wore on, with many participants jumping up to dance: springing straight up and down, making chorus-line kicks and even walking on their hands……..
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