Show: “Hanumania” Wednesdays at 7:00am
Major: Religion major, Politics and Government Minor with emphasis in global development studies
Hometown: Boulder, CO
What kind of show do you have and how long have you been a KUPS DJ?
I started DJing last year, fall semester, and then I went abroad so I’ve only been a DJ for one semester. I have a specialty show and it focuses on kirtan chanting and I play a lot of music that I play in my yoga classes. The show is called Hanumania, which is, like, centered around this idea of community that is creating through this type of chanting and this interaction. And it’s also named after the Hindu god Hanuman who’s, like, this badass monkey god.
Do you remember your first concert and who was the first person you saw live?
Oh god… That’s so embarrassing. My first concert ever was in 8th grade and I went to see Paramore, Cute is What We Aim For, and Hit the Lights. I remember my friend’s parents dropping us off; we made shirts with the band names on them. That was… yeah. That was a really embarrassing middle-school time for me.
What was your first music purchase? CD/Vinyl/Cassette tape/etc
My sister gave me a CD when I was, like, in… I don’t even know. Sometime in Elementary school. Patty Griffin, a long ride home, it’s folk music.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Well, I was having a conversation earlier with my friend about this because I have a bunch of random “guilty pleasures” and then we decided that there should just be “pleasures” because whatever, you like that kind of music. I’ve been listening to “Slow Motion” by Trey Songz a lot I guess that could be a guilty pleasure of mine.
How did you get introduced to Kirtan chanting, meditation, and yoga?
My favorite yoga teacher back home in Bolder, she teaches at the studio that I did my teacher training through, and she is just so awesome. She begins every one of her classes with a call and response chant which is what kirtan is. So for the first five minutes of class she plays a harmonium, which is like an accordion and a piano mix. And then she introduces the chant for the day and sometimes she’ll remix the Sanskrit with common songs that we know. One of her favorites is doing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” and she’ll remix that or, like, the Beatles or Bob Marley songs and stuff with Sanskrit and we’ll all just start our yoga practices by just singing together so that’s how I was introduced to it.
What are some of your favorite mantras?
Before I got into yoga at all, my mom had told me this mantra that goes: “Ohm nemashu shevia” and that basically means, “I bow to the supreme reality and to the divine that lives within.” And she would have me repeat that to myself if I couldn’t fall asleep or if I felt that something was troubling me. And I didn’t really understand what it meant for a number of years and then, as I got more into yoga philosophy and explored the world of mantras and Sanskrit music…. Sanskrit is the language. It’s, like, this crazy language it’s the only language that isn’t meant to just, like, symbolize something. All of the words are supposed to trigger different vibrational tones in your body that signify the actual meaning of what you’re trying to communicate. So, before I got into all of that, [ohm nemashu shevia] was my first mantra and remains my favorite. It carries a lot of special resonance with me.
How does this kind of music and meditation help you in your daily life?
I think, to be honest, I’m trying to create more of a substantial meditation practice. For me yoga has been my central form of meditation throughout the years and right now I’m working to incorporate daily, sitting meditation. The most beneficial part for me is just quieting my mind and, like, getting rid of all those annoying unnecessary thoughts that pop up that are often unhealthy thought patterns. Listening to the music, like when I do my show, is just… very comforting and connects me to something that, even if I’m not with physically, feeds my soul in a lot of ways.
What do you do with this outside of your radio show?
I started teaching yoga the summer before coming to college. I did a 200 hour teacher training and I started teaching classes when I got here, once a week, and have been doing that weekly up until now. I’ve actually taken a little break ‘cause of other things that I’m getting involved with. I think I use mantras, aside from yoga and meditation, as little… it’s almost like a mini therapeutic practice in my day-to- day life. Like, if I know that something is bothering me I’ll call on a certain mantra or create my own mantra in English to work on setting intention throughout my day and let go of things that are no longer serving me and to basically turn my focus to something that I think is important. I’d say that intentionality of practice is a good use for them.
Interview by Emma Ferguson – Digital Media Director [email protected]
Interview recorded on September 29th, 2015
This interview was transcribed from audio recording and edited for length