Grooving to Wah! is available on a yoga mat near you, driving a car, flying to a yoga retreat, surfing the web for a local southern yoga studio—just about anywhere. Wherever Wah! sings to me, (thank you, iPod), I always find my spirit lifted from whatever place I was at before, maybe even a little inspired to be totally fulfilled with what is front of me, no matter how challenging or crazy it is. Wah!’s music is such a nice background jam to the symphony of this life.
In her latest album, maa, the follow up to Love Holding Love, discover upbeat chanting that will move you and groove you to an open heart.
In the Invocation of maa, Wah! presents the Shri Ganesh Vandana Mantra as salutations to Ganesh. The story continues as Wah! tells the story of how she found love and Shakti within herself. “Thread the light through the body on the breath,” she insists on ‘Shakti,’ mystifying the listener with her invocative bass rhythms.
On ‘Parashakti,’ Wah! sings salutations to the Divine Mother. In her own words: “This song uses a raga, which is known to inspire courage in the hearts of those who sing or hear it. I wanted to express the elation which comes when great forces of pure energy line up and move through you. Parashakti Jai!”
Wah!, who Indie World Music calls ‘the goddess of Yoga Pop’, is the band’s leading vocalist, bassist and harmonium player. The group features Mike Haziza on the beatbox, Katisse Buckingham on flute, Matthew Martin Kelly on keyboards, Christian Teele on drumkit and percussion, Kirk Margo on guitar, Wah! on harmonium and bass, and Paul Hollman on keyboards and sampling.
On maa, Wah! sings for world peace. Mixing Sanskrit mantra with English lyrics, it’s possible to bliss out for a while with such a powerful message.
In ‘Shanti,’ she chants the traditional ‘lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu,’ and then adds “all paths lead within.” Indeed, the album takes the listener straight to the heart.
Feel the freedom in ‘Jagat Ambe’ as Mah! chants “Ma Jai Ma.” Yes, love is all. Feel the bass and the flute as you flow and move through ‘Bhakti Da.’ It’s a wake-up call for your ever-present heart. The keyboards provide the finishing touches. Currently my favorite to start a practice with.
At ‘Latiamba,’ you realize it’s not over yet. “I wanted this track to have the qualities of the full moon shining on the ocean, shimmering and sparkling with blessings,” says Wah!
‘Pahimam’ is another great one for vinyasas. ‘Pahi … Pahimam,’ she chants. Absolutely beautiful with the club beats … and the message is so wonderful: ‘You may call her by any Name, Divine Mother is always the name.’
Wah! works for me in a power yoga class or just getting ready in the morning before a long day at work. I have played her album Savasana in my own asana practice and at the office until technically I should be sick of it; yet I’m still enchanted every time I come home to her music. She is simply inspiring.
Oh and guess what, y’all, we may have mentioned this before: If you’re down this way, don’t miss her retreat at Jai Shakti Yoga in Atlanta next weekend:
February 3-5, Thursday-Saturday ATLANTA
In-house RETREAT with Wah!
Immerse yourself in a blissful energy, explore the practices of yoga, chanting and self-healing. Three days of immersion closing with the rockin Wah! band and Atlanta’s beloved Bhakti Messenger on Saturday night. Classes can be purchased individually or as a price-saving package.
9.30-noon Yoga with Wah! (live savasana music by Wah! at end)
1.30-4pm Satsang: Spiritual Practice as a Life Journey. From a yogic perspective, we explore the practices of pranayama, chanting, self-clearing, prayer, and self-healing and how you can use them. It’s healing, meditative and will increase your self-awareness in your life.
7.30pm Kirtan (unplugged)
1.30-4pm Satsang: The Science and Application of Chant in Yoga. From a yogic perspective, we explore how the sound is made in the body, where light can be received, what prayers, visualizations and mudras can be added to your practice, and other energetic nuances behind the popular practice of mantra chanting. It’s fun, it’s meditative, you will leave refreshed and connected to your Self.
6.30-9pm Yoga with Wah! (live savasana music by Wah! at end)
10.30am-12.30am Yoga with Wah! (live savasana music by Wah! at end)
7pm Kirtan with Wah! full band, Bhakti Messenger opening act
Jai Shanti Yoga