Ahead of Daphne Tse's first ever concert in Zagreb, we sipped some chai and shared some lovely thoughts with this world-renowned, deeply inspiring soulful singer, songwriter, yogini and teacher. Since her initial yoga class 20 years ago, Daphne has merged her spiritual practice with her contemporary folk singer/ songwriter style. Daphne is a certified yoga teacher and co-‐founder of SpiritDance SoulSong. She is inspired by her global travels and is honored to share her music and teachings with grace and joy for living life fully.
Don't miss the chance to hear Daphne's magical voice on Friday September 16th, at 7.30pm at the Gaia Yoga Shala.
This is a donation-based concert, an offering by Daphne to Zagreb's growing yoga community, - All are welcome. Let's come together!
Supersoul.Yoga: Describe your love story with yoga and music?
Daphne Tse: My love story with music began when I was very young and fell in love with singing and music. I sang in choirs, played multiple instruments and just loved being absorbed in music in whatever way I could. It took me quite a few years to build up my courage to sing solo and play guitar in front of an audience, but once I did, I loved it and never stopped. :)
I was a gymnast in my high school and college years and from there I took what I learned as a gymnast and was introduced to yoga in my mid-twenties. My friend gave me a video tape and I loved it. When I moved to Los Angeles, I started practicing and working at Yogaworks, where I met my teachers, Erich Schiffman and Shiva Rea (among many other great yoga teachers at YW during those days). I was invited to a yoga music concert (kirtan) one evening and went along with some friends and was blown away by Jai Uttal’s voice, his energy and the whole experience of kirtan. I was so inspired by Jai, that I went to Guatemala with him to study and wrote my first kirtan mantra song there, Saraswati Mata. From then on I have loved merging both my contemporary music background with my love of yoga, mantra and meditation to share what I call Soulsongs.
SY: What does yoga/music represent to you?
DT: It represents unity of all beings. Honoring the Mother in all ways and connecting global through our heart chakras to make this planet a better place for all.
SY: Tell us about your musical influences?
DT: Oh I have so many, but my most important are mostly singer/songwriters, including the great and late Nina Simone, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, Beth Orton, Carole King, Patty Griffin, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Eva Cassidy, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and so many more. In the kirtan world, Jai Uttal is my teacher, friend and inspiration for doing what I do in the mantra music world.
SY: Who are your teachers?
DT: I’ve had many vocal coaches over the years and so grateful for all of their teachings! I have studied with Jai Uttal and Daniel Paul for mantra/kirtan music and they have the BEST kirtan camp, if you ever want to go and study with them in California (www.jaiuttal.com).
SY: How does your personal yoga practice look like (on and off the mat)?
DT: I travel constantly (about 9 - 10 months a year), so my personal practice shifts and changes to meet my needs wherever I currently am calling home. I meditate in many ways from sitting to dancing to asana to swimming in the ocean to taking long walks on the beach to singing and playing guitar. I love being in the present moment and not pressuring myself to stick to a rigid practice and instead I tap into the flow and let myself be free and enjoy my practice in whatever way it arises daily.
SY: Please share your favourites with us - books, sites, anything that tickles your yogic fancy!
DT: I am currently reading Robert Svoboda’s “The Greatness of Saturn” It is a book about vedic astrology and the ancient mythology. I love the stories and the wisdom. I also love one of my teacher’s Swami Shankardev’s website (he has so many wonderful resources and also does great online courses on so many yogic topics). www.bigshakti.com
SY: What’s your secret to happiness?
DT: Being in the present moment and reminding myself not to take things too seriously. Laugh a LOT (especially at yourself)! Eat organic chocolate and get into nature as much as you can!
SY: What are you grateful for today?
DT: My heart connection with my family and the support and love my parents always give me no matter what. I feel grateful to be loved unconditionally. :)
SY: How do you live a wholehearted life?
DT: Take chances, make mistakes, say YES to anything that serves your life path and go for it (even if it scares you!) and do your very best to forgive and let go daily. It is not worth holding onto regrets, resentments and old patterns that will eventually bring disease to you and those around you. Lighten up and let go! Enjoy the moment and give Thanks for this One precious life!
SY: You love to travel, how does your passion for travel connect with your passion for yoga?
DT: I am so grateful and blessed to be able to travel the world spreading my love for music, mantra, singing and dancing. I give thanks daily that I am invited to festivals, conferences, retreats, studios and special events around the globe to offer my gifts.
It can be energetically draining to always be on the move ~ city to city, country to country, but I know that my am in service to the greater good of humanity and keep positive knowing that I am doing what I love most!
SY: Which cause (s) do you support? What concerns you the most?
DT: I support Yoga Gives Back organization (their mission is to mobilize the global yoga community and empower women and children in India to build sustainable livelihoods. Planting Trees (Trees for the Future is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of impoverished farmers by revitalizing degraded lands. What concerns me most is the health and wellness of the planet and the well being of children on the planet.
SY: What is your top travel tip?
DT: Stay hydrated and bring your own food and drink on the airplane, if you can. Vitamin C and daily 20 minutes in the sun! Pranayama (Sitali)
SY: Your favorite destination and why?
DT: Ohhhh this is a very hard one! It is a 3 way tie,
1. Hawaii (My Aloha home. The place I know will be my home, once I stop traveling. I love the wild nature of Hawaii, the people, the amazing organic foods and the OCEAN.
2. Bali (My heart home and home of the festival I am one of the original team members of www.balispiritfestival.com
3. Hong Kong (My father’s homeland and my favorite city in Asia)
Closing thoughts: I am so thankful to Supersoul Yoga and Gaia Shala for supporting and sharing my heart teachings and music. I am excited to come to Croatia for the first time and I am sure it won’t be my last! Check out my music and whereabouts in the world at www.daphnetse.com