Sidak Kaur discovered naad yoga – the yoga of sound – 12 years ago when she was a kundalini yoga teacher, and now she trains naad yoga teachers! I’m lucky enough to have her as a teacher on my own journey into naad yoga – as well as being supremely wise and skilled, she has the patience of a saint and I’m so grateful to her for holding me steady on this path. I hope this interview inspires you as much as it did me…
HOW DID YOU GET INTO NAAD YOGA, SIDAK?
I was brought up with classical music and studied singing. Later I went into Kundalini Yoga and took the first steps into my spiritual path. One day my Yoga teacher asked me to find out what Naad is about and to study that. He obviously knew that I was destined to be a Naad Yogi 🙂
I was then looking for a Naad Teacher for three years but didn’t find anything that satisfied me. I knew there must be something deeper and more valid, something that is more than just singing mantras and hymns in entertaining pop music tunes.
Finally, in 2006, I was at the annual European Yoga Festival in France. After the early morning Sadhana I went to the Gurdwara to meditate and when I just had put one foot into the room, something moved me deeply and my tears started flowing. After sitting down I then realised the musicians singing kirtan accompanied by very beautiful string instruments and percussion. The Yogi of Sound, Professor Surinder Singh, was leading the kirtan together with his Jatha and it was his singing that touched my soul so deeply that my tears kept flowing.
Later in the afternoon I went to his workshop and listening to his teachings about Naad Yoga, I knew that this is IT. I then studied with the Yogi of Sound at Raj Academy and here I am now, a Naad Yoga lead trainer with Raj Acadamy and very happy to share this bliss with others.
HOW HAS NAAD YOGA CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
I immediately had the feeling that I’d found what I had been looking for all my life. It was like the dot on the i and the conclusion of all the things that I had done so far, but always with the feeling that I was still missing something. Now this was the missing part and I felt very blessed. It melted together the two passions of my life: Yoga and Music and became the most powerful tool to get to know myself, go inside, communicate with myself, become more confident, more relaxed, more gentle towards myself and others.
Naad Yoga gives me all the tools and skills that I need to have a happy and healthy life. It leads me to my inner world, my true self. It helps me to become the best version of Me and gives me the capability to deal with difficulties, hardships, health issues… well, with all challenges that cross my life. It makes me able to go through all of it with a smile. For me, using sound, music and my own voice as a tool for healing and ‘Innertainment’ is the most direct, the easiest, the most effective and the most beautiful way to go through this stormy ocean of life. I also love the company of my Saranda, a very beautiful bowed instrument that has become my shadow, which supports my voice in its expression and which helps me to tune myself into health and balance.
WHAT DOES YOUR NAAD YOGA PRACTICE LOOK LIKE NOW?
I do a daily sadhana which contains contemplation, a short set of superhealth breathing meditations based on sound and rhythm, some physical exercises when needed, then tuning myself by tuning my Saranda, followed by supersense exercises with singing and playing by going deeply inside through shutting off the sense of sight with a blindfold, finishing with singing a shabad from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib in the prescribed raag, which is a specific mood expressed through the music. Sadhana, done in a focused way takes about 45 minutes only.
This has become my natural discipline, a reality that works for me by keeping me healthy and giving me all the energy and focus I need for the day. The good thing is: In cases when I am travelling on the road or in the air, I can still do it, just virtually, wherever I am, without any instrument and without making any audible sound, so there is no excuse 😉
In addition I am currently working on exploring and experiencing the 22 emotional signatures of the musical scale in all their depths, which is a very important work leading towards mastering the sound, and I practice Alaap, a kind of melodic improvisation within the raag system that develops and expands the expression of the specific moods.
Whenever I have time and inspiration I work on composing Mantras and shabads.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE NAAD PRACTICE?
My current favourite is practicing Alaap in different raags because it is all about developing my expression and it also deepens my understanding of the raags.
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST POWERFUL NAAD PRACTICE YOU’VE EVER DONE?
One of the most powerful practices was my very first full composition of a shabad in raag. It boosted my confidence and trust in myself and opened a door to my self-healing capacities. The highlight of that was that it has been recorded for the CD Sacred Sounds which was also a powerful experience, going through that whole process in the studio together with my friend Sampuran Kaur from Spain and under the loving guidance and support of our teacher Yogi Ji – another great blessing.
HAS ADOPTING YOUR SPIRITUAL NAME, SIDAK KAUR, CHANGED YOU?
It was a powerful process because when I came into Naad Yoga I already had a spiritual name: Hari Har Kaur. But when I went deeper into Naad Yoga, my energy, my behaviour and my whole approach to life changed so much that I felt that name didn’t serve me anymore. It was kind of exhausting me, and so I asked Yogi Ji for my new spiritual name. He tested me a whole day by checking whether I really wanted it and whether I was really ready to take all the consequenses of accepting a new name not knowing whether I would like it and also making me aware of the fact that I was already well known as a Yoga teacher with my first spiritual name on all platforms etc… At the end of the day the Yogi of Sound blessed me with the beautiful name Sidak Kaur. Sidak means an elevated state of spritual discipline, no fears, no insecurities and straight forward. Wow, what a task and what a blessing. It felt very good and right and very much the core and essence of my true self. I am now challenged and reminded every day to really BE that SIDAK.
FAVE QUOTE? ‘Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames’ – Rumi
BOOK? Outrageous openness – Tosha Silver
PLACE? La Palma, Canary Islands
TEACHER? Yogi of Sound Professor Surinder Singh, Shabad Guru (the sound current), My inner teacher, Life
RAAG? Suhee, the mood of Love
BREAKFAST? My favourite: fresh pressed orange juice with some lemon, roibush tee with Ghee, plane gluten-free porridge with heated frozen raspberries, avocado with a piece of spelt bread (sometimes with some cream cheese), once or twice a week a boiled or scrambled egg.