Music News

Pali Chant Suite: For Strings and Thai Yoga

This 70-minute class includes a 10-minute introduction, a 50-minute piece performed by three violinists, percussionist, and backing track, while two yogis lead the class in thai yoga—a 2500 year old sequence of simple healing poses—and a 10-minute closing sound meditation and shavasana. The live “trip rock” music heard thoughout is composed like a ballet to enhance each yoga movement; sound, breath, and grace.

“Thai Yoga, or Rusri Daton, is a system of self-healing postures that are closely related to Thai Massage,” curator Susan Voelz describes. All poses seek to balance the flow of energy in the body through 10 sen lines or channels of the body’s subtle anatomy that carry “life energy.” A fairly uncommon practice in the States when compared to Bikram, Hatha or Vinyasa practices, Thai Yoga originated in the Himalayas and was primarily practiced by monks.

Upon arrival, class attendees will relax on their mat, and 10-minute introduction will commence. The Rusri Daton will begin with a deep orchestral drone and authentic sounds of Thailand, followed by the beginning of the chant melody, breath, and the first pose. The series continues with fourteen seated poses, ten standing, and three lying down. A sound meditation and relaxation in Shavasana complete the roughly 70-minute experience.

The Seattle production will have three violins—one of them Ms. Voelz—and a percussionist. The yoga performers are Paul Weitz (yoga teacher, thai massage therapist, and co-founder of the Chicago School of Thai Massage) and Andrea Rossetto (yoga teacher, massage therapist, and owner of Whole Earth Body Massage).

Omar Willey was born at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Seattle and grew up near Lucky Market on Beacon Avenue. He believes Seattle is the greatest city on Earth and came to this conclusion by travelling much of the Earth. He is a junior member of Lesser Seattle and, as an oboist, does not blow his own trumpet. Contact him at omar [at] seattlestar [dot] net