🔸 Kirtan, Songs & Sutras


at YOGA SOUP (28 PARKER WAY SANTA BARBARA, California 93101)

With Dave Stringer, Sheila Nicholls + Special Guest Joss Jaffe

Saturday, February 17th
7:30 PM

Join us in Celebration!

For 18 years Dave Stringer has been a part of Yoga Soup Anniversary Gatherings. 

We'll gather in the studio to lift our voices and hearts and move our bodies as we're guided into ecstatic Kirtan oblivion by Dave, Sheila, Joss and their exquisite band of musical prodigies. Soup and simple delights will follow.

About Kirtan: The call and response form of mantra chanting known as Kirtan is a consciousness-transforming practice, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.

From the perspective of Eastern philosophy, the bliss we are seeking is already inside of us, and it’s interesting  that from a scientific perspective this is also a true statement. Bliss is an electro- chemical state that the body itself creates and maintains, and it is a state that we are apparently hard-wired to seek. Chanting is one of the world’s oldest means of finding it.

Chanting affects the areas of the brain that produce our sense of where our body ends and the world begins. It also slows and steadies breathing, producing hormone and neurological changes in the body that feel simultaneously calming and thrilling. One’s sense of separation diminishes, and one’s feeling of connection increases.

Moving from the individual level to the collective level, the effect is magnified. A group of people singing together, breathing together, is a cloud of intelligence, turning like a flock of birds. As the song itself vanishes into the skies of silence, it’s a mighty thing to be a part of. You feel intimate with all the strangers surrounding you, concurrently expansive and still. Intensely, vividly, alive.

Inquiring into the origin and nature of the universe, both the Western discipline of science and the Eastern discipline of yoga arrive at the obstacle of the mind. But how can the mind come to see beyond itself? How can we transcend the limits of our consciousness? Singing, we move ourselves into a field out beyond questions and answers. Encountering bliss, the mind is still.

DAVE STRINGER is a producer, musician and songwriter who has been widely profiled as one of the most innovative artists of the modern Yoga movement. Bhakti Without Borders, an album he produced, was nominated for a Grammy in 2016. He was nominated in 2023 as an artist in the Best New Age, Ambient or Chant Album category for Mantra Americana, along with his collaborator Madi Das. He's both an inspiring singer and a compelling public speaker, resolving neuroscience, yoga philosophy and art into a participatory theatrical experience. He is featured in the documentary films Mantra: Sounds into Silence and The Power of Mantra and has toured extensively, leading concerts, workshops and retreats all over the world. 

SHEILA NICHOLLS is a Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and social activist propelled by a singularly magnetic voice. Her work embraces both the political and the spiritual. She has co-written songs with Agape founder Michael Bernard Beckwith and frequently provides music for his meditation retreats. She enjoys teaching songwriting to both children and adults. Sheila has released four critically acclaimed albums. Her music has charted in Billboard’s top 40 and been featured in the films “High Fidelity” and “Jackie & Ryan.” Her album, Thrum, is a series of jazz-accented duets with Grammy-nominated Kirtan artist and producer Dave Stringer.