Krishna Das is perhaps our greatest living bhakti yoga master. Bhakti yoga is the practice of chanting God’s name as a form of devotion. Breath of the Heart is a beautiful and absolutely pure representation of this devotional practice.
Breath of the Heart was produced by famed rap and rock ledgend Rick Rubin and released in 2001. Ten years later this work is a staple of every yoga music library. In fact, I recently attended a power yoga class taught by Paul Toliuszis that featured a rocking playlist. Somewhere near the end of this sweaty and challenging class the soothing baritone voice of Krishna Das pulsed forth from the studio speakers. As the energy in the room calmed Paul stated “ah yes what’s a yoga class without a little Krishna Das?” I completely agree. Krishna Das has been my sonic guru throughout my entire yoga practice history.
Breath of the Heart is an outstanding representation of KD’s work and kirtan style. The album is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition of Bhakti yoga but is infused with contemporary elements simultaneously. In addition to classic traditional arrangements of tabla, harmonium, djembe and bansuri, Breath of the Heart features violin, and the rocking blues sound of the Hammond B3.
Beyond this vast array of traditional and contemporary instrumentation, Breath of the Heart also features the outstanding response call singing of the 50-Strong Kosmic Kirtan Posse. The response singing of the Posse brings the power of community to this beautiful work.
If you are unfamiliar with KD’s work this album is a fantastic place to start. Chances are good that you have heard many of the tracks already around your local yoga studio. If you are unsure, sound clips from all six songs on Breath of the Heart are available on the music page of Krishna Das’s website. This work never gets old and soon you will find yourself joining the Kosmic Kirtan Posse in bhakti yoga in your car, kitchen, at work and wherever else you listen to music.
Breath of the Heart is an absolute must for every yoga music collection. I highly recommend using this great work to support your home practice. KD is truly a divine channel and his music is certain to breathe love and light into your practice!