Surya Revelers - 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).
Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness and works with breath, movement and mantra.
Melissa discovered yoga in 2002 while in Austin, going to a class on a friend's suggestion. As it turned out, it was Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, who brought the practice to North America from India in 1969. She was immediately drawn in. Being a singer, Melissa loved chanting mantras and found the practice to be very transformative early on and decided to continue with the practice. After four years of Kundalini she completed the teacher training program at Yoga Yoga, opening the door to teaching. After moving to New Orleans with her husband Matthew in 2007, she began teaching at Swan River Yoga, cultivating interest in Kundalini and inspiring her students to also become teachers.
Matthew has been a student of sound and its impact on emotions from 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 since. 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; Gypsy Jazz to classical European; to the music he creates daily, Matthew continues his exploration.
In 2009, having passed the teaching baton to her students, Melissa and Matthew started what would become The Dirty Rain Revelers, pouring every ounce of energy into that vision. All the while, Melissa continued deepening and maintaining her own Kundalini practice at home and as a student. She expanded her teacher training to include restorative yoga, prenatal yoga and explored various workshops. The couple 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 the annual three day workshop/retreat in Magnolia, MS in 2016. 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 spiritual musical coin, Surya Revelers.
The couple have now led workshops in Magnolia and Hattiesburg, MS; Lafayette, LA; and Knoxville, TN.
You can find Melissa at Love Light Sacred Space on Wednesday's at 9am in the Lakeview neighborhood of New Orleans.