Life is like a train ride, each station can offer us something new, each passenger can change our lives and all of these moments can bring us unforgettable memories of joy as well as fears to overcome. For Rob and Melissa Lundsgaard the ride has just began.
“We never expected kirtan to fulfill our lives with so much joy, which now we get to share with others,” they said.
Kirtan is an ancient traditional music of devotional chanting, also known as “call-and-response,” which usually involves mantras accompanied by an instrument.
Coming from two very different worlds, Rob and Melissa couldn’t have predicted that chanting and performing would change their lives completely.
[Listen to one of their songs while you read this article]
Rob, a songwriter and an actor, who spent the majority of his career wearing multiple hats in the world of entertainment, film and production, left it behind to pursue what he found most dear to his heart – music. Melissa, with a career in the retail industry, left the corporate world to follow her passion of becoming a yoga instructor.
Rob’s pursuit of Kirtan chanting was started with a request from a yoga teacher who had heard his music. She bought his CD and starting playing it while teaching yoga. She then invited him to come perform live at her studio.
When Melissa and Rob found each other they were united, not only by their love for each other, but also by their shared passion for Kirtan, yoga and people.
At first, Kirtan was just something Melissa enjoyed listening to.
“I was not a performer,” she noted. She didn’t even know she could sing.
One day, as Rob tells the story, “I heard this beautiful voice coming from the kitchen,” right as he was waking up, but he wasn’t sure if it was a dream or a reality. After hearing her “angelic” voice, Rob instantly wanted to perform with Melissa. That marked the start of their duo.
Now, when Melissa is not teaching yoga, or working as a boutique buyer for yoga wear, she accompanies Rob and they perform together in different venues, such as: yoga studios, spiritual centers, yoga events and workshops. For both of them this has been an overwhelming journey, but especially for Melissa who initially faced performance anxiety.
“Yoga really helped me to overcome my stage fright,” she said.
Today, Rob is just mesmerized by her ability to let go while performing. It’s easy to notice the articulation of her joy, he noted with a smile.
Seeing them perform, it’s obvious how much they care for each other, which translates into their music creating a peaceful atmosphere in which one can just melt into the moment of sound.
On the other side, the entertainment world offered Rob a creative, but stressful fast-paced environment, which did not leave him with time to relax or reflect. Today, chanting allows Rob to continue being creative while having the opportunity to take a deep breath and enjoy his surroundings. Although, sometimes he does miss the “tempo” of the entertainment world. Each industry has brought him very different experiences, which he appreciates.
Both Rob and Melissa believe that material possessions and physical comfort are not more important than the spiritual enrichment that one can gain, so it is their goal to inspire others through Kirtan.
Today, Rob and Melissa, are grateful they can share their passion for music with others. While they are enjoying this train ride, they have only passed the first few stations of their journey. It is going to be exciting to see their evolution as performers in the years ahead as they provide delightful experiences for people on and off the mat. You might meet with them along the way, in one of these stations, so be ready to enjoy the ride.
Rob & Melissa’s albums can be purchased directly on iTunes.
Interested in more content like this? Get social with us:
- I Attended a Retreat at Yasodhara Ashram in BC, This Is What It Was Like! - Nov 18, 2018
- Balance isn’t a straight line! - Dec 10, 2015
- Pasta Liguria: It’s all about the base - Aug 3, 2015