Music and Chanting

Kirtan Scotland has been broadening the horizon of Kirtan yoga (Mantras with Music) in Scotland since 2009. The Kirtan Scotland band uses an eclectic blend of both traditional and modern instruments and engage eastern and western melodies to form a wide variety from meditative to energetic.

Chanting has been practiced for thousands of years by diverse cultures and is now undergoing a renaissance in the west. More than just music group chanting is a contemplative practice. It promotes community, peace and conscious living. Kirtan is one of the fastest growing forms of meditation in the world and for the 1st time it was performed at the Grammy awards in 2013. The Kirtan band "Bhakti without Borders" has been nominated for a Grammy in 2016. It is fun, it feels good, and brings one into a place of peace, well-being and blissful joy.



Martha is currently completing her Clinical Psychology Doctorate at the University of Edinburgh, and has also recently qualified as a Yoga Teacher. She believes strongly in the connection between body and mind, and is passionate about the role that yoga has in helping individuals to release and move on from trauma held within the body. When she is not studying or practicing yoga, she loves singing and playing guitar. Growing up in a musical family meant that sharing songs was a regular occurrence, and she looks forward to sharing a few songs at the Edinburgh Community Yoga festival party. 

Find her on Instagram @marthaagillespie


Shiatsu Therapist

Jenny White of Shiatsu Connects will be offering 10 minutes seated Shiatsu sessions during the opening night at Serenity Café. This will involve an upper body acupressure massage (fully clothed) that will help ease any stress or accumulated tensions you have. Shiatsu is an immediate stress buster, working to relieve tired, aching muscles in the short term and, due to its ability to relieve stress, maintaining overall health in the long term. A 10 minute treatment consists of acupressure on specific points on the back, shoulders, arms, neck, head and hands.


Shiatsu is a hands-on Japanese touch therapy (acupressure massage) which can support you to deal with the stresses and strains, and aches and pains that may occur in everyday life. It can help with physical and emotional issues which may appear in the body as pain or illness. It can also help to maintain good health and well-being in a proactive, preventative way.

Jenny discovered the transformative effects of Shiatsu for herself 20 years ago when she experienced burnout within a stressful work environment. Shiatsu as a body therapy helped her deal with the physical & emotional aspects of stress and helped stabilise her body and mind. Regular treatments helped connect her to what she truly wanted out of life. It gave her the resilience to make big changes and eventually she moved to Scotland where she retrained to become a Shiatsu Practitioner. While training, she lived/worked at the Holy Isle Project, a retreat centre on a small island next to Arran. She moved to Edinburgh in 2014 and works from Santosa in Leith, and Napiers in Bristo Square.

Jenny has a background in social care and community development.  She founded Shiatsu Connects with the aim of making the health care benefits of Shiatsu touch therapy available to diverse communities in Scotland. Shiatsu Connects works in a wide range of settings and in partnership with community organisations including youth, drug & alcohol recovery, employability projects.

Shiatsu Connects offers on-site seated shiatsu sessions and self-shiatsu workshops to charities, community groups and corporate staff teams. The workshop can tailored to the needs of the group, from one hour to all day workshops. These can include on-site seated shiatsu sessions, and group sessions that give participants the chance to learn simple self-shiatsu exercises; acupressure techniques as well as mindfulness techniques.

Jenny is a Registered Member of the Shiatsu Society (MRSS) and registered with Disclosure Scotland. She has trained with Rob Nairn and the Mindfulness Association and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Emotional Education.


For more information about Shiatsu treatments and working in partnership with Shiatsu Connects, you can find more information at


Helen Redfern is a writer and ambassador for Yogamatters. She's passionate about the transformative power of yoga for all and writes extensively about yoga and meditation around the world. Helen oversees Yogamatters' charity scheme, the High Five Initiative, which supports Edinburgh Community Yoga outreach projects. Helen will give a short talk on the High Fives Initiative that ECYO are a part of with Yogamatters.

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