As top-40 hits begin to take center stage in many urban yoga studios, it is refreshing to practice to Indian music performed by native artists playing traditional instruments. Akhand is a collection of 16 Vedic chants, originally created to remind the listeners that we are all, as the liner notes put it, “one reality with many forms.”
The disc features chants and mantras performed by some of South India’s best-known vocalists, including Krishnaraj ji, Bombay S. Jayashri, and P. Unnikrishnan. Accompanying these artists are mesmerizing sounds from the sitar, double bass, tabla, and veena.
With their themes of unity and peace, the chants sung on tracks like “Namasthe” and “Shanthi Mantra” will be familiar to many yoga students. But the upbeat energy and powerful echo of the tribal drums in “Rudra” are what make Akhand stand out. In a brief 42 seconds, “Rudra” manages to evoke and celebrate, through its powerful, rhythmic drumming, the album’s joyful message of unity. Better yet, yogis of all stripes will find it fun to move and groove to.
By various artists. Kosmic Music; kosmicmusic.com