Yoga concert offers meditation Memorial Day

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: May. 22, 2013 | Modified: May. 28, 2013
Yoga concert offers meditation Memorial Day

Kristin Luna Ray will perform at Neighborhood Yoga Memorial Day, May 27.

Photo submitted

While cookouts and other outdoor events abound in Watauga County this Memorial Day weekend, Valerie Midgett of Neighborhood Yoga will offer a different type of relaxation at her downtown studio at 7 p.m. Monday, May 27.

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Kristin Luna Ray will hold a participatory style concert at the Water Street yoga studio.

By engaging in the call-and-response form of chanting known as kirtan (pronounced "keer-tahn"), concert attendees will benefit from this unique style of yoga meditation, Midgett said.

The event will be held in a concert-style setting, but the audience will be encouraged to participate by responding with chants during the music session.

“It’s participatory in the sense that she engages the audience in the songs themselves,” Midgett said. “She (Luna) leads the concert, so there is a call and a response, which is very simple.”

Participation is not required, as attendees are free to interact as they please.

“Some just sit there and absorb the sound vibrations as a form of meditation,” Midgett said. “No experience in chanting is required.”

Concert attendees will sit on the floor, while traditional music is performed.

Kirtan is a form of bhakti, the yoga of devotion; jnana (gyah-nah), the yoga of wisdom; and mantra, the yoga of sound. Mantras are words, phrases and syllables that are repeated until they become integrated into the chanter’s consciousness. Today, many yoga students are discovering that this sacred, traditional practice allows them to access inner peace, calm, connection and non-thinking, Midgett said.

Kirtan, a type of yogic chanting, is becoming increasingly popular, and the concert will utilize its numerous benefits.

“For those who find meditation difficult, kirtan offers the possibility for the same stillness of mind, without the struggle or striving to concentrate,” Midgett said. “This practice is one way to focus the mind. By simply repeating mantras or words, you can release your mind from its daily chatter. For some, the practice has a powerful heart-opening effect, as well.”

Midgett said kirtan is offered at the studio at least four times a year. “We usually have a good size group of people, between 40 and 50,” Midgett said.

Some chairs will be provided for those in need. No experience is necessary, Midgett said, and those interested should “just come with an open mind and an open heart.”

Tickets cost $12 at the door for general admission and $10 for students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Neighborhood Yoga is located at 212 N. Water St. near downtown Boone. For more information, visit or call (828) 265-0377.

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