How did you first get into Kundalini Yoga?
Hansu Jot: I was raised in a household where we practiced buddhist exercises of meditation and chantings. Later I tried various other practices from other traditions including Transcendental Meditation, Hatha Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and I incorporated them into my daily practices. They definitely helped me to find a certain balance in my life, but when I recall the first time I experienced a Kundalini Yoga Class, it was a whole different and transformative experience. In one meditation, the teacher made us move our arms in backwards circles for 11 min chanting “har har” from the navel. I remember that all the anger, fire and desperation of the past was coming up, my ego kicked in screaming: what are you doing here, stop it now. But I didn’t. I just kept on going. My Soul remembered and I surrendered and tapped into a state of transcendent acceptance. From there on I dove in. I now think Kundalini Yoga and the teachings of Yogi Bhajan saved my life.
How did you decide to pursue a career in sacred chant music?
Hansu Jot: Music was always a major part in my life. At the age of 4, I started my classical piano education. Later I learned how to play guitar and received vocal coaching from various teachers. I went to a high school with a main focus on music where I learned everything about musicology and orchestration and also the history of music. I was playing in bands and was writing songs. At the time I started Kundalini Yoga, I was actually in a electronic/Indie band, and we just received our first record label deal to record our first Album. But as I dove in deeper and deeper into the world of Yoga and Consciousness, there were too many aspects of the life that I lived that were too painful for me to maintain. I started to drift away from it and from my ambition to be a performing artist in the world of Pop music. When the inevitable break happened, I thought, “ok, I give up the whole thing, No music for now.” I went to the European Kundalini Yoga Festival in France, and from there I drove down to Chateau Anand to live in a 3HO Ashram practicing Kundalini Yoga.
But the sound did follow me. One day, the Ashram mother Guru Jagat Kaur asked me if I could play music for the Sadhana. I sat down and wrote a set of Sadhana Mantra tunes. And in one of the mornings, two of the meditating yogis were Tarn Taran Singh and Dharm Singh from Espanola, and they encouraged me to keep on sharing the sound. So I did, and it actually manifested into the album ‘Sadhana for Chateau Anand’, a 3HO Seva project to support the Project and Community of Chateau Anand. And from there on the sound kept on following me.
What inspired you to become a Kundalini Yoga teacher and what keeps your passion for teaching going?
Hansu Jot: Very simply said, I experience the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as such an incredibly nourishing and vitalizing tool in my life, that it feels very natural for me to want to share it with the world. I actually believe that a conscious practice that connects us with our soul and strengthens our body and clarifies our mind is not just a luxury, but essential for our wellbeing and happiness now and even more for the future that is ahead of us. So who am I to hold it back, if I can share.
What do you like about teaching and performing at Sat Nam Fest?
Hansu Jot: Sat Nam Fest is such a beautiful and inspiring event where people come together to celebrate and connect as a soul community. For me, it is a great honor to share and teach here amongst so many other great teachers and artist. I have only been to Sat Nam Fest in Joshua Tree and it was just a delight and now I am very excited to come to Berkshire and feel into the vibe there. The photos look so luscious and green 🙂
What about the Kundalini Yoga community feels special to you?
Hansu Jot: I would say that in Kundalini Yoga taught by Yogi Bhajan there is an emphasis on transforming your Karma and crystallizing your True Self along the process. And that is something you can feel and see in the practitioners. I would describe it as being the lighthouse of radiance and grace. And as we come together as whole community, Wow so beautiful. I love to be in that community space.
What is your favorite aspect of Sat Nam Fest?
Hansu Jot: What I really enjoy about it that it is a festival where the teachings are transmitted beautifully but at the same time it is also just chill to be in the space. There are so many talented and inspiring people sharing their gifts without becoming dogmatic just out of joy of being alive and expressing our selves in so many colorful ways.
What are some of your hobbies?
Hansu Jot: Haha one of my secret hobbies is singing Christian Worship songs. Especially Hillsong United. Love them!! So much heart in those songs. Otherwise, I like to move my body in all sorts of manners.
What are tools you use to help manage stress?
Hansu Jot: Pranayam, Chanting, Meditating, and above all being authentic and true to myself and my path of destiny
What inspires what you will sing at Sat Nam Fest?
Hansu Jot: I don’t believe too much in a fixed setlist, so I prepare different pieces, songs and mantras but then let the space decide what is needed
Do you have a favorite mantra, yoga set or kriya?
Hansu Jot: Not really since they all touch into different aspects of the One truth but the Mantras that I always come back to is Wahe Guru and Sat Naam, I love pranayams so right now I’d say the One minute breath is supporting my happiness and calmness a lot.