This is no traditional yoga class. In fact, the Bhakti-Yoga and Kirtan society does not do any physical yoga. Instead, they focus on the meaning of yoga and read from Bhagavad Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a sort of training manual for different types of yoga and Indian spirituality.
Rather than focusing on the body, like most yoga groups, they get away from the concept of being a body, and focus on being a spiritual being.
“Everyone is searching for eternal happiness,” said Ian Walsh, president of the Bhakti-Yoga and Kirtan Society. “That comes from being spiritual human beings, not a body.”
Their name, the Bhakti-Yoga and Kirtan society, comes from three different parts. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning to connect, or yoke. The goal of yoga is to connect all aspects of oneself: body, mind and spirit, to achieve happiness and contentment.
Bhakti-Yoga is the practice of devotional yoga, and Kirtan is a spiritual chant that goes hand-in-hand with Bhakti-Yoga.
They open their meetings with roughly a half hour of singing and chanting. They sing a mantra consisting of three different words, which are three different names of God: Krishna, meaning all attractive person; Rama, meaning resovior of pleasure: and Hare, meaning energy of the Lord.
“Musical meditation is very powerful,” Walsh said. “You can either make someone’s day or ruin it with just a few words.”
After the mantra is recited, the group reads old Indian texts about the mantra.
The group has a large emphasis on mantra meditation.
“The purpose of the group is making India’s ancient text and practice of Kirtan yoga accessible for all students,” Walsh said. “I hope people join us for it.”
This student organization has been at Boise State since 1994, when it was started by two individuals who wanted to make this type of yoga practice more accessible to students. This is still the goal of the organization as they continue to practice this devotional yoga through chanting and meditation.
The group plans to have an Orgsync page up by the first week of February for information on meeting times and locations. For contact information, visit involvement.boisestate.edu.