Durga Das And The Art Of Kirtan

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Chanting His Way To Joy.

David Newman, also known as Durga Das, may at times remind you of musical legends Cat Stevens or George Harrison, as he weaves his magical music taking you deep into a world of bliss or inspiring you to dance to his groove. Yet his notes are always imbued with the warm and transformative undertones of love and devotion,

After going to law school and taking the bar, Newman ditched a big-time career to start a yoga studio in Philadelphia and become a kirtaner. Since releasing his first album in Soul Freedom in 2003, David has been a star on the Kirtan circuit, garnering rave reviews in places like LA Magazine and National Public Radio. Not surprisingly, he is on the road most of the year. Even with his hectic schedule the ever-gracious Newman made some time to talk about music, yoga and life, before coming to NYC for a Kirtan Concert at Integral Yoga on November 16 with Dar Dowling.

Dar Dowling: Back in the day you studied law, so I'm really curious about how you went from being a lawyer to teaching yoga, and becoming a Kirtan artist.

David Newman: I graduated from law school, took the bar, and passed, but I never actually practiced the law. I was exposed to yoga before going to law school, and really started practicing it while I was in school. After graduating I decided to open a yoga studio in Philadelphia.

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While there are lots of schools here now, back then there weren’t many, so it was an experiment. I thought that if it didn’t work out I would go back to the law. We are celebrating our 21st anniversary at Yoga on Main so I never had to practice law.

D.D: What drew you to yoga and teaching?