I was born with a cleft palate and a hearing impairment, which causes me to hear the world in a different way. I have a 30 percent loss in one ear and a 70 percent loss in the other. I went through years of speech therapy as a child and I wear hearing aids. But sound is still garbled. My dad used to wake me up on Sunday mornings by playing music so loudly that I could feel the beat—luckily, I can feel sound. As a kid, I loved going to air shows because I could feel the planes before I heard or saw them. When I began my yoga practice in college, a teacher arrived with a harmonium and asked us to chant "Sita Ram." I sat patiently waiting for the physical exercise to begin. I had no idea chanting could be so powerful. I initially thought that chants such as Om and Sita Ram were just external sounds like those in the rest of the world. When Sita Ram wouldn't leave my mind, I began to feel it inside me. I had found a practice that affected me on a level of vibration that I had experienced all my life but hadn't understood. Through the continued practices of mantra and chanting, I found a way to focus my attention and work with my hidden patterns. My chanting and singing practice is even more powerful than my asana practice. I love it so much that I have written my own music, cut an album, and sing onstage regularly. I'm hoping that my musical experience will translate into good vibrations for those who listen.
For more information, jivadiva.com.