Surya Revelers Medicine Music - Yin to The Dirty Rain Revelers Yang
Surya (sanskrit for Sun); Revelers (dancing in the sun and shining a light); Medicine Music (music is a universal language that speaks to the soul, heals and uplifts).
Melissa discovered yoga in 2002 while still in Austin, going to a class on a friend's suggestion that she'd like a certain style of yoga. As it turned out it was Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She was immediately drawn in. Being a singer, Melissa loved chanting mantras and found the practice to be very transforming early on and decided to continue with Kundalini.
Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness and works with breath, movement and mantra. Kundalini Yoga has its roots in the Tantric Yoga tradition, which dates back to the eighth century. In 1969, Yogi Bhajan brought the practice to North America.
Matthew has been a student of sound and its impact on emotions since an early age. Always deeply sensitive to sound, harsh sounds would cause him physical pain, and pleasing sounds, a sense of joy. His mother started him playing guitar at age four and he’s never stopped. The instrument became his voice; a direct link from his heart from which he could express what he could not express with words. Matthew made the connection between music and spirit early on and has made it a lifelong study. From the delta blues to classical Egyptian to Gypsy Jazz to classical European to the music he creates, Matthew continues his exploration.
Melissa completed her teacher training in 2006 at Yoga Yoga in Austin and after moving to New Orleans in 2007, began teaching at Swan River Yoga. While there existed a small community of yogis practicing together in New Orleans and Houma, LA, she found there wasn't a great deal of interest in Kundalini at the time. After a year or so of teaching at Swan River and other local studios, Melissa decided the time wasn't right to continue actively teaching. She and Matthew started what would become The Dirty Rain Revelers and poured every ounce of energy into that vision. All the while, she continued deepening and maintaining her own Kundalini practice at home and as a student, expanding her teacher training and exploring various workshops. Both Melissa and Matthew became close with the local Louisiana Kundalini tribe and through them received a great deal of encouragement to pursue Mantra music. Ultimately it was at the invitation by one of these yogis, their dear friend Bill Savage, to lead a three day workshop/retreat in 2017. Honored by the invitation, they put together a program which was enthusiastically received, giving the couple the confidence to further develop the other side of their musical coin, Surya Revelers Medicine Music.
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