How did you find Kundalini Yoga?
Actually, Kundalini Yoga found me in the late 90’s.. I was living in Little Rock Arkansas and a friend invited me to a class. That was the beginning of a beautiful journey.
You are teaching a few Art workshops at Sat Nam Fest: “Awakening Your Creative Fire, Making a Personal Mandala”. What is your intention for teaching these workshops?
The intention of these workshops is to give people the opportunity to connect with their own creativity in a meaningful way. By holding a safe and nurturing space to visually explore emotions and ideas, participants will have the opportunity to create art that is meaningful to them and relevant to their spiritual journey. The hope is that once someone steps into their creative flow, they’ll never look back.
What can we expect to do in your workshops and what would like your students to take away from the experience?
The workshops begin with a conversation about creativity as a spiritual practice and it’s relevance and importance in our lives. We follow that with some chanting of mantra that helps us tune in and focus our creative energy. After that, it’s a hands on art class where we begin painting personal Mandalas. From there, it really is a big party where everyone can relax and enjoy the experience of expressing themselves in a creative way. This is very liberating because it is so rare that we have this kind of opportunity. Materials are provided and there are even stencils to help the process. All experience levels are welcome.
How does someone incorporate a personal Mandala into their Kundalini Yoga practice?
Both art and yoga are ways in which we can connect with and experience the divine. A Mandala serves as a place to focus energy and can serve as a visual Meditation if you sit and gaze at it. In Kundalini Yoga the concept of daily practice or sadhana is very important as it helps to connect us with our higher selves. I would recommend creating a personal mandala that is supportive of your yoga practice. For example if you were doing Kirtan Kriya everyday as your sadhana, you could create a mandala that incorporates the colors and symbols of the 6th and 7th chakras which are activated in the meditation along with the specific Mantra Sa Ta Na Ma. You could then place this Mandala on your altar and have it serve as a visual reminder of your personal experience of the divine through your practice. This will strengthen and deepen this connection even when you are not doing the Yoga.
Can you give us a sneak peak into your creative process?
I like to mix it up by trying new things and keep it real at the same time by working with subjects that I find personally meaningful like nature. I view art as a spiritual practice and I am infinitely curious; always looking and listening for new inspiration. It might be the sound of water flowing over rocks or the way two colors lay against each other in the sky. Because I am both a visual artist and a musician I feel like I am always exploring synesthesia (seeing sounds and hearing colors) in my work. Whether I am painting or recording music, it has to feel fresh and vital. Without that vitality, a work has no ability to nourish me as the creator or the person who experiences the work and then there is no point.
What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching Art and Yoga?
I am constantly woking on new paintings and recordings. Whenever I travel, I love to paint a watercolor of the journey or write a new song. Whether it is a New Mexico thunderstorm or a temple in Nepal, I always find something to inspire me. I also really enjoy walks with by beloved Ramdesh. It is my favorite part of the day when we step away from whatever projects were working on and get to come together and share with each other.
Learn more about Harnam Singh.