The pop star and frontwoman shares how her daily practice inspires her creativity and makes her feel protected.
I get up naturally at 4 or 4:30 in the morning for my sadhana (practice). I’ll use headphones to listen to a spiritual teacher on audio for 15 to 20 minutes. Right now, it’s Eckhart Tolle’s lecture “Touching the Eternal.” I’ve also listened to Osho, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and Gabrielle Bernstein. This has been my morning ritual for the past three years.
Then, I go to the other bedroom and get on my mat, sit on some blocks, and face the window. We live in a high-rise in the middle of Bangkok, on the 31st floor—so we have a beautiful view of the whole city. I always end with chanting the mantra Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru, which channels the spirit and protective grace of Guru Ram Das. That always makes me feel really happy. I feel close to Guru Ram Das. I feel like he protects my son and my family, and I thank him for that every day.
I went to India with [Kundalini teacher] Gurmukh 12 years ago, and we did a rebirthing class. I heard people screaming and yelling, and I thought it was ridiculous—until it happened to me. I found myself getting really angry and agitated, and I just ran out of class and started bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t understand where all this grief and anger was coming from. I talked to Gurmukh, who told me: “You can’t really understand it, but it’s too late to go back. The only way now is forward.” That’s when I realized how powerful the yoga is. So I stepped up my practice and began to study mantra. And I’ve now been through two Kundalini teacher trainings.
When creating my latest album, a pop-mantra album called Wilder Shores, I always went to a Kundalini class before the recording studio so I could be very open to what was coming in creatively. Making this album was a strange experience, because some of the mantras and melodies would just come as I was driving. I wrote the melody for “Light of My Soul” in a minute and a half; I was driving on the freeway, and I pulled over and sang it into my iPhone. It felt like a download. Ultimately, I hope this album will reach people who need help.
For me, singing actually started as a means of escape. As a kid growing up in a dysfunctional family in Burbank, California, I would lie in front of my best friend’s stereo speakers, from like 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., listening to KHJ and all the California radio stations—just singing and singing. Now, singing is a spiritual practice. When I sing, I get a feeling of connection to something else—something bigger. When I tap into it, there’s nothing like it. It’s just complete bliss.
Want to hear Belinda Carlisle’s mantras? For tracks from her new album, sign up for Yoga Journal’s six-week online Kundalini 101 course. Learn more at yogajournal.com/kundalini101.