All posts by vaishnavi

Bhakti BOOM! Microphones for kirtan

I get asked for tips for low-cost mics so I thought I’d compile the information in one place.

Standard microphones

Low-cost for decent sound quality – the Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice – you can find it for about £20 online. I use it and it’s very decent for the price – that’s me using it in the pic above.

Wireless Headset microphones – a low-cost hack!

A couple of years ago, I discovered this information and have tested it out and found it to work extremely well as a lower-cost option for a wire-free / light-weight mic option. I initially looked into it for busking as it saves me having to carry not only a standard microphone but also the stand and the cable – all of which add up in weight.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I design much of my life around avoiding having to carry anything heavy, so frankly, this suits me for most occasions! But joking aside, the other advantages are that this set up allows me to move my head around freely (rather than hold my mouth near the microphone) which works well in a bhakti bhav. Also, I’m not the most competent guitarist and if I look down to find a chord, the mic comes with me, rather than my vocals getting temporarily lost.

The sound is definitely less wonderful than with a standard mic but IMHO it’s a good-enough quality. And the better the headset mic you buy, the better the sound (that’s something I’m still experimenting with).

So you need two things:

1) A JOYO Rechargeable Digital Wireless Guitar Transmitter Receiver

I have the JW-01 (which you can find for under £60 at time of writing if you search on google) but there is a newer model the JW-02. I haven’t tried this but it looks like the units are more streamlined and put-in-pocketable.

You don’t need a guitar for this set-up (but you can use it to amplify an electro-acoustic or electric guitar if you want). On the transmitter unit (which you wear or put in your pocket) there is a standard 3.5mm input socket for a headset microphone. The receiver unit gets plugged into the amp (in the same way a standard microphone cable would).

You can read more about the set-up here – which is where I got the information:

2) A low-cost headset mic with a 3.5mm mono connector

Check this link to see the kind I mean – get one with decent reviews and the only thing to watch out for is that it is a standard 3.5mm mono connector (not a threaded or locking connector which Senheiser and other brands use).

I guess you could also use a clip-on lapel mic but I haven’t experimented with those.

– Vaishnavi

I offer 1-1 coaching online
kirtan, harmonium, voicework
£25 for 30mins
£40 for 60mins
£200 for 360mins (to use in 30, 60, 90 or 120 blocks)

Yoga of Sound

Please sign up in the sidebar for updates of future workshops – both in-person and online

Being out of alignment with our authentic sound impacts all areas of life – confidence, sense of self-worth, health, relationships. Be supported in a safe space to play gently with your edges and embody your joyful, expressiveness! Exploring the body (yoga asanas and chakra work) and voice (Indian scale, simple mantra, chants, songs and free sounding) together to free up your own authentic sound – and experiencing how vocal sounding can allow a deepening into asana.

Open to all – no experience in either yoga, mantra or chanting needed. Bring vegetarian lunch to share

Date: Sunday 2nd July

Time: 11am-6pm

Price: £25 online ( or £35 on the door

Where: Yogasara, 10-12 Picton Street, BRISTOL, BS6 5QA

“So elevated from the experience”

“I returned home feeling renewed”

“I’ve increased in confidence”

Full Event Listing

Free Your Voice

  • Do you yearn to express yourself more confidently?
  • Do you feel your voice doesn’t really communicate your authentic truth?

Join me in a 4-part online playshop to learn

  • Why you don’t sing
  • Why that is a perfect response to your past experience
  • How to transform this outdated, habitual response and move forward into sounding freely 

The GIFT of doing this work online is that you can participate, play and explore at a level that feels right for you – and from the comfort and safety of your own private space.

Extreme terror and panic can be associated with the idea of singing or speaking in front of others – yet as a child you sang and sounded unselfconsciously. Being out of alignment with our true voice impacts all areas of life – confidence, sense of self-worth, health, relationships.

Be supported in a safe space to play gently with these edges and receive tools to reclaim this joyful, expressive being: the one who KNOWS she can sing!

This experiential workshop on embodied voice and sounding will support you to transcend the invisible barriers to your birthright: a natural state of relaxed, joyful self-expression.

Using a combination of Psycho-education answering key puzzling questions (Why you don’t sing, Why that is a really smart response to past experiences) and a light-hearted experience of different modalities and tools to move beyond the fear – including Somatic Experiencing, EFT, Yoga, Comedy Improvisation exercises, Listening Partnerships. We come together as a group and also split into online “breakout rooms” for work in pairs and smaller groups. Replays will always be available if you have to miss a session or wish to re-live the fun!

Next 4-part Online Playshop: Sundays May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th 2017

$33 (£27 approx)

Wild Heart of Sacred Song

Please sign up if you would like updates on upcoming retreats.

Here’s what some participants from the 2017 retreat had to say:

And see below for an example of a sold-out retreat I held last year.

beach-song-houseA 4-day retreat at The Song House in County Donegal, Ireland with Vaishnavi Monday 17th July – Friday 21st July

“I cannot begin to describe in words how blessed I feel from the weekend, it has completely changed my life. Thank you Thank you Thank you”

kc_laughter-smallerThis retreat will incorporate devotional song and mantra (from the Indian and other traditions) and draw on a variety of vocal practices and the rich local tradition and wild landscape to support a deepening connection with our wild and sacred heartsong!

Or “our wild and sacred hearts omg!” as spellcheck suggests 😉

bright-beachNumbers are capped at 16 participants to ensure this is an intimate group and that each person gets the input and support they need. The singing sessions will be morning and later afternoon / evening to leave the middle of the day free for visits to the beach, hikes, kayaking, communing with the wild nature around us, relaxing…

10606509_10152644333603923_2893316466469246185_nWhat unfolds will depend largely on what you as a group bring to it: your histories and your dreams. Both Candy and I enjoy being responsive to the needs of the moment so the practices we may draw on could include:

  • Improvisational exercises, playfulness and spontaneity
  • Chanting of simple call and answer bhajan and mantra
  • The work of Chloe Goodchild and The Naked Voice
  • Group singing and harmony with Candy Verney
  • Sound healing through mantra and group songbaths
  • Singing in local sites of natural beauty, historic interest or exceptional resonance!
  • Simple movements and stretches to begin each day and open our song vessels
  • Rare opportunity to experience heart-opening Irish Sian-Nos singing and local traditional music

I never know what will come through but I have held space enough times now to trust that – if I can get out of the way as much as possible – it will be magical and transformational!

I meant to write to say thank you for a transformative weekend. I returned home feeling renewed in every way”

The Song House

ext-song-houseTeach na nAmhrán: The Song House lies on the world renowned Wild Atlantic Way. The nearby coast, with expansive wild and empty beaches bordered by sand dunes, stretch for miles and look out onto Tory Island. The seascapes are spectacular in stormy weather, yet gently sloping sandy beaches make these ideal swimming spots in warmer seasons. Muckish Mountain, Errigal Mountain and Glenveagh National Park are a short drive away.

workshop-space-with-viewOne mile from Falcarragh, with local shops and pubs, some serving excellent food, Donegal retains traditional values. The local pubs have regular music sessions where Irish music both past and present is performed by local and visiting musicians. Anyone is welcome to join in. As Falcarragh forms part of the Gaeltacht (the Irish-speaking areas) you will hear the language spoken around you.

dunesThe area is rich in recreational activities. A Surf /Water sports school in nearby Dunfanaghy, excellent hill walking, biking and mountain climbing and several popular golf courses. Dunfanaghy (15 minutes by car) has restaurants, pubs, and an organic/wholefood shop. It also has an historic graveyard dedicated to the victims of the famines, and the Old Workhouse, now a museum.

More information on

life changing. being love bombed, a healing experience, an opening of hearts. what can I say? words don’t really describe the sense of ‘altering’ I went through over the week-end.”


twin-roomThe rooms in the Song House all overlook Muckish mountain. There is one dorm sleeping 4 (also bookable as a family room, sleeping 5) and the rest of the rooms are Twins which you can share with one other or book as a Single.

window-view2We will have a wholesome and tasty breakfast and dinner prepared for us using local and organic ingredients as far as possible. As you may wish to go to the beach, walk, explore, adventure, go kayaking etc. during the day, you can create your own from supplies we will have available for you.

If you wish to arrive earlier, there may be availability to extend your stay – please email.



There are many ways to reach The Song House. Candy recommends Dublin as the simplest.

Information on car shares and car hire can all be found on a wonderful site Some participants have already decided to rent a car and drive together. If you would like to be connected, please let me know.

Arrival is between 3pm-6pm on Monday 17th and Departure between 9-11am on Friday 21st. Please email to arrange arrival or departure outside of these times.

DUBLIN (Ryanair, Easyjet, Aer Lingus)

  • Drive (4 hours)
  • Coach (4 hours, 3 daily:
  • Fly to Donegal (see below)

BELFAST (Easyjet, Aer Lingus)

  • Drive (2.5 hours)
  • Coach (2 ¾ hours, 1 daily: The coach doesn’t stop at the airport, but if you phone them, they’ll arrange for a taxi to drop you from the airport to meet the coach on the main road.
  • Local Bus hourly from Belfast to Derry: (see below for connections)

DERRY (Ryanair)

  • Drive (1.5 hours)
  • Local bus to Letterkenny (30-45mins, 13 daily:, then on to Falcarragh (1 hour, 9 daily:

KNOCK (Ryanair)

  • Drive (3.25 hours)
  • Coach from the airport (5 hours, 3 daily, one change: or from Knock town (3 hours 40 mins, 6 daily,

DONEGAL (Aer Lingus: from Glasgow and Dublin only)

  • Drive (30 mins)


  • Liverpool – Belfast
  • Liverpool – Dublin
  • Pembroke Dock – Dublin
  • Holyhead – Dublin


  • Early Songbird (By 15th March 2017): Dorm £340 / Twin £380
  • Songbird (After 15th March 2017): Dorm £380 / Twin £420

double-roomIf cost is a barrier for you, please email explaining your circumstance and a little about yourself and why you would like to attend the retreat.

For a single room, add £120 to the Twin sharing rate.

Is This Retreat For You?

vaish-hand-passtion2The only PREREQUISITES are a willingness to be playful and a longing to connect more deeply with your heart. You do not need to consider yourself “ABLE TO SING”.

“My husband commented tonight that I’ve picked up new phrases and increased in confidence since the retreat. I feel like I’ve moved on from the rut I was in.”

  • Does the idea of booking this retreat terrify the living daylights out of you?!
  • Do you yearn to sing and express yourself more confidently?
  • Do you feel your voice doesn’t really communicate your authentic truth?
  • Do you feel hopelessly self-conscious singing or speaking in front of others?
  • Do you wish to reconnect with your playful inner child? The one who KNOWS HOW TO SING?
  • Would you love to ramble about the wild Irish coastline, singing your heart out with a group of totally nonjudgmental, safe playmates?
  • Have you, like me, fallen in love with Indian devotional song and wish to immerse more deeply in it for several days at a time?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, do get in touch. I may be able to allay any concerns or fears that this is not for you.

About Vaishnavi


“It is always a privilege and joy to work with someone who is already courageous, creative and committed to waking up.” Chloe Goodchild

Vaishnavi didn’t believe she could sing til she was introduced to mantra in her late twenties. Through Kundalini Yoga she tentatively began sounding and through being introduced to Indian devotional song, she finally found her way home (AUM).

Vaishnavi spent several years living in a large Indian ashram, immersing herself in daily chanting of Sanskrit verses. During this time she also led bhajan (Indian devotional singing) for thousands for people. Now back in the UK, she remains anchored in her dedication to these sacred practices while sharing them in a playful and accessible way. This is the first retreat she has offered since the enormously well-received Breath by Breath retreats she held with Preet Kaur in 2013-14.

mahamata_mockup_lrShe is a trained Kundalini Yoga teacher and has studied with Rajeswar Bhattacharya (the foremost singer of Tagore raga) and Chloe Goodchild and the Naked Voice. The greatest teaching, however, has been a flowering of the heart and a transmission of bhakti (devotion) through her time with Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi). She is one half of the duo EARTH whose debut CD Maha Maha was released in December 2016.

About Candy

about-small-imageCandy Verney is a teacher and mentor of mine and we are incredibly blessed to have her vibrant energy and presence with us on this adventure! She will be sharing some precious songs from diverse traditions in some wild and inspiring spaces – on the beach, in a sacred site and in a resonant church space (weather permitting).

Her passion is to inspire and create, through singing, a sense of harmony which gives an experience beyond the ordinary. Group singing has a power unlike any other to bind people together. More traditional communities have known this, and we are rediscovering this today. Singing has the power to build bridges between cultures and communities with differing world views. This is a common theme in all the work Candy does.

Candy is a skilled facilitator excelling in breaking down barriers and creating unity through singing. Over time Candy has gained extensive experience in developing harmonious teams using the voice, working with a wide spectrum of individuals including businesses, universities, hospitals (staff and patients) social services and education. She is in regular demand throughout the UK and mainland Europe. She is a member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network.

Some themes we may explore…

Playfulness – will be a foundation of the four days as we gently explore reconnecting with our innate inner child in a safely held space.

Connection – with our own hearts, those around us, the natural world. Singing and sounding deepens our intimacy with life and existence in a magical and effortless way!

Sound Waves – witnessing the rise and fall of sound each day as we begin from silence, rise into fully expressive sound and gently sound ourselves back into silence.

Listening – to ourselves, others and the world around us – plays a key part in sounding. We will play with deepening our listening through call-and-answer chants, group sounding, harmonising, Triads (from The Naked Voice) – and also using a technique called Listening Partnerships.

Silence – is the space from which all sound emerges and dissolves back into. We will spend some time time in silence to connect more deeply with ourselves and the natural world.

Movement – Sharing simple stretches to open the body for the voice to flow, sounding in simple and easy yoga asanas, walks on the beach and in the countryside around – for starters.

Healing – Sound and voice are innately healing – and we will also close each day with a group sound healing experience that will deeply relax and leave you ready to slip into sleep.

Find out more / Book Now

Kirtan, Concerts & Songbaths

Vaishnavi loves shares sacred music in different formats with different levels of participation from those present. Kirtan breaks down the concept of an “audience”, inviting everyone to join in – whereas SongBaths are sound healings, received lying down, after being guided into a deep relaxation.

Upcoming Events

What surprised her most was realising she can do this online! Through the amazing platform Concert Window, you can enjoy blissful healing vibrations and mantra in the comfort of your own space. This is what the total strangers who stumbled upon my last “concert” had to say:

“How special is this ! It’s taking me somewhere”

“Thank you, that was hypnotic! Dreaming in Amsterdam.”

“That was beautiful!!  Very healing for all beings and healing our beautiful Mother Earth. The singing was beautiful, I was lying on my bed and it was sooooo….soothing and relaxing.”

“I saw some of your broadcast last night and had to get in touch. My goodness, you have a gift. Your voice, your face, your music was so full of compassion, strength, gentleness, brilliant steady shining joy. I could barely take it in. It was one of those moments where all I could do was be still and accept love. Thank you so much…you love filled soul.”

Sign up or Get in touch if you would like to be updated when the next date is scheduled.


Be guided into deep presence and stillness, beyond relaxation: a profound letting go into sacred space. Vaishnavi will hold you tenderly in that receptive state and, responding to the energies and needs of each person present, channel Divine healing song infused with sacred mantra. This powerful sound healing journey will finish with an experience of profound oneness through a group healing songbath.

Participants report feeling:

deliciously relaxed, rested, soothed, safe, held
more space in the body, a sense of well-being
connection and grounding into the body
emotional release, healing, purification, cleansing
led back to own heart, deeply touched

Read testimonials

What people are saying

Voice & Music

“she sings like an angel, touching hearts at a deep devotional level” Chloe Goodchild

“You mesmerize me when you sing. Wow” Venus CuMara

“serious all over goose bump making music…incredible!”

“Her voice is mesmerizing!!! It reaches your heart and fills it with affection, peace and love. It is a magical experience hearing this enchanting soul sing! I am spellbound!!!”

“I have to say that your singing on Monday morning before the closing ceremony was my highlight of the whole weekend. Your voice moves me deeply”

Workshops & Retreats

“a great joy and loving creative devotional presence to work with” Chloe Goodchild

“I feel so elevated from the experience. I ended up completing the cycle by pushing out again and writing about my breakthrough on Facebook!!!” Carlotta Mastrojanni – Modern Medicine Woman

“you are already a beacon. I love your very natural, and relaxed style of leading the group. Your energy draws us in.”

“I cannot begin to describe in words how blessed I feel from the weekend, it has completely changed my life. Thank you Thank you Thank you”

“I meant to write to say thank you for a transformative weekend. I returned home feeling renewed in every way.”

“My husband commented tonight that I’ve picked up new phrases and increased in confidence since the retreat. I feel like I’ve moved on from the rut I was in.”

“I have moved into a place of more compassion and more joy. Like I unzipped a suit that was too small and stepped out of it :)”

“life changing. being love bombed, a healing experience, an opening of hearts
what can I say? words don’t really describe the sense of ‘altering’ I went through over the week-end”


“So much gratitude for such an exquisite, deep, and profoundly moving experience through the delicate beauty of your voice. The Songbath was healing, soothing, purifying and richly evocative. I felt cleansed and cradled, held and heart-opened by the journey you took us on.”

“I would recommend anybody to go and experience Vaishnavi – a channel for the Divine. You can’t help but be touched by that. It popped open my heart to be able to release and cry. I was going into a deepening in the journey of sound, Just pure voice. She held the space for me to feel safe. Brought me back to my own heart.”

“I loved your energy and song bath, especially as I was not sure how my brother would respond and after having a severe stroke he took to it with such enthusiasm and did him good participating. I love your beautiful spirit.”

“Just had to tell you that after yesterday’s lovely evening I have slept the best I’ve slept for a long time! Didn’t wake up once and no nausea either! Feeling great! Thank you thank you thank you!”